Week #3: On the Arts

Using education, conversation, and collective learning to turn the page.

Hello friends 👋🏽

Welcome to the third edition of the Anti-Racist Learning Community newsletter! If you're a new subscriber, we are excited that you've joined this community and are looking forward to learning, working, and questioning with you. 

This week’s content highlights artists in the Black community, from stand up poetry to the history of EDM, we wanted to use these resources to not only highlight the Black community, but educate ourselves how Black people are discredited in the music industry for their accomplishments. In light of recent events, it is important to recognize that racism extends past what we see on the headlines, and on the streets. While digesting this week’s resources, we hope to open your eyes to racial inequality represented through fine arts, and by fine arts. 

Every Sunday, we will send out a newsletter with shorter resources to read, watch, and listen to. Monthly, we will select a book to read in alignment with the syllabus above. The final Sunday of each month at 8 pm EST we will host a facilitated zoom conversation to discuss the text collectively. The first of these conversations will happen on June 30; please sign up here

We are not an authority on anti-racist education nor are we experts, but we are people who care enough to try to learn, to do, and to be better. We see our role as curating existing material into a tangible and simplified format that makes anti-racist education accessible. We ask for your support in sharing these resources with your families, peers, and coworkers because ultimately these conversations need to happen across our dinner tables, at work, in our places of worship, as well as in the classroom.

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If you have questions or suggestions for our group, please feel free to reach out. 

In community, 


June Book Club 📖

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

By Ibram X. Kendi & Jason Reynolds

As we announced earlier this month, we will begin our book club with a narrative by Ibram Kendi that sits at the intersection of rich stories and research, tackling the origins of racist ideas, as well as their prevalence across American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.

Our first facilitated discussion will be June 30 at 8pm EST (tentative), please sign up here

Suggested reading benchmarks:

  1. By Monday June 15 Read: Prologue (pg 1) - Chapter 11 (pg 135)

  2. By Monday June 22 Read: Chapter 11 (pg 135) - Chapter 26 (pg 323)

  3. By Monday June 29 Read: Chapter 26 (pg 323) - End (pg 513)

The book is now available for free via Spotify 🚀

Weekly Resources 💡

Watch 👀 War on Black Boys - Kale Nelson

A slam poet, Kale Nelson, performed “War on Black Boys” during The Return show at Oakland University in September of 2015. Although this video is 5 years old, Nelson’s words reflected many of the issues still prevalent today in the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, etc. His poetic rhetoric describes how the justice system is built against Black people and the way police get away with brutality while Black people and their mothers suffer from yet another unjust killing. The creativity coupled with his diction makes for a strong message that’s a real tearjerker.

Kale Nelson via Facebook, 11/27/18

Read 📚 Gay Black Men Helped Create EDM. Why Do Straight White Men Dominate It? about how "gay men, and especially gay men of color, are credited with creating house music and planting the seeds of the many genres that have evolved from it." This article offers a fascinating look into the history of house music and EDM, and how a genre and industry currently dominated by straight, white men must do more to amplify Black, female, and LGBTQ+ voices. 

Act ☑️ Zines are noncommercial, often homemade or online publications, often devoted to unconventional subject matters. As an alternative to commodified mainstream media, zines allow marginalized authors and artists to express themselves.

4 Black Zines to Check Out

  • @afrostylemagz — An African multi-cultural, multi-racial fashion magazine exploring diverse complexities and unique styles of the Black Diaspora

  • @morecolormedia — A digital and print zine run by queer BIPOC allowing authors ignored by traditional media to take ownership of their stories.

  • @preme.magazine — An independent Black-owned magazine showcasing Black voices in the editorial design industry, including creatives and those behind the scenes.

  • @galdemzine — An award-winning online and print publication sharing perspectives from women and non-binary POC.

PREME MAGAZINE, via instagram 6/10/20

Did you learn something new? Feel uncomfortable? Challenge your own idea of race? We'd love it if you shared the resources above with a friend, a coworker, or a community member to help them do the same.

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Ps. If you are interested in getting involved with curating, writing, or organizing within this learning community please email us at (antiracistlearning@gmail.com)  ❤️