Anti-racism resources: Continuing the focus
Winston Ben Clements is a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, specialising in unconscious bias, disability awareness and anti-racism. He is passionate about supporting the world’s leading organisations to deliver cultural change that is truly inclusive.
Each year we celebrate and commemorated Black History Month in October. It is an annual opportunity for people, governments and organisations across the United Kingdom to recognise the contributions black people make to society.
However, as the events of 2020 have demonstrated, racism is not limited to one month, and the focus must remain year-round in actively building anti-racist organisations and societies. In 2020 we witnessed horrific events that have galvanised the fight against racism: acts of brutality that are certainly not new or on the increase but ones that have captured our attention. As the American actor Will Smith put it in an interview at the time, “racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed.”
There is now recognition that it is our collective responsibility to challenge and dismantle racism in all its forms and at all levels. “Not being racist” is no longer acceptable and we are seeing a shift towards being “anti-racist.” People are marching and educating themselves on racism, whilst leaders are ensuring that bias is being addressed in the workplace. But we have been here before. The Brixton riots in the 80s, the Los Angeles riots in the 90s, as well as several incidents in the U.S and globally in the past decade. Therefore, much more work is needed to embed sustainable change, otherwise we will end up with another false dawn.
We all have the opportunity to make positive change in our communities and workplaces. The consultants at EW Group have curated some of the resources that have helped them to better understand how racism works. Our list includes TV shows, films, books, and voices exploring racism. Check back on this blog as we add more resources which have helped us. Read, share, and let us know your recommendations so that what we can continue to add to this list.
- Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap. This episode of Explained looks at the financial wealth gap based on race in America. You can watch the full episode here.
- Stephen: The Murder That Changed a Nation. This BBC three-part series investigates the failings of the Met Police in bringing justice to Stephen Lawrence’s family after he his racially motivated murder at a London bus stop in 1993.
- Black History Matters. BBC Sport have recognised Black History Month by releasing a series celebrating the achievements of black athletes in British sport.
- The School That Tried to End Racism. This BAFTA-winning Channel 4 series follows students at a British school who aimed to eliminate racial bias.
- I May Destroy You. This series took home six BAFTA TV Awards. I May Destroy You explores racism, consent, and sexual abuse. The series follows Arabella, when she experiences sexual assault and harassment in present-day London.
- When They See Us. Based on events of the April 19, 1989, Central Park jogger case, this series explores the lives of the five suspects who were prosecuted on charges related to the sexual assault of a female victim, and of their families.
- Pose. Golden Globe-nominated series following New York City’s African American and Latino LGBT+ and gender-nonconforming drag ball culture scene in the 1980s.
- Small Axe. BAFTA-acclaimed series created and directed by Steve McQueen. This collection follows the stories of West Indian immigrants in London during the 1960s and 70s.
- Time: The Kalief Browder Story. This series traces the tragic case of Kalief Browder, a Black Bronx teen who spent three horrific years in jail, despite not being convicted of a crime.
- Amend: The Fight for Freedom. Will Smith explores diversity and the battle for equal rights in America following the abolition of slavery.
- Anthony. This BAFTA-winning television film follows the story of Anthony Walker, a Black teenager murdered in 2005, and the life that he could have had if it was not taken by racism.
- Uprising. Filmmaker Steve McQueen brings us this three-part BBC docu-series about the devastating New Cross fire of 1981 that left 13 Black teenagers dead and affected race relations in modern-day Britain.
- Hidden Figures. This film follows the true stories of three black female mathematicians who helped NASA during the 1960s in the race to space and explores the challenges they faced which their colleagues did not.
- 13th. America has 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of its prisoners. This award-winning documentary looks at the racial inequality of the American prison system and how it benefits from the mass incarceration of African American people.
- Moonlight. This Oscar-winning film follows a young black man’s coming of age and his struggle with sexuality, race and masculinity, delving into the lasting impacts of homophobia and inequality.
- Queen & Slim. This romance crime drama follows a young Black couple who go on the run after accidentally killing a racist police officer during a traffic stop.
- Knock Down the House. This documentary film follows the primary campaigns of four female candidates – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush and Paula Jean Swearengin – who ran in the 2018 American mid-term elections.
- Sitting in Limbo. After living in the UK for 50 years, Anthony Bryan was wrongfully detained and threatened with deportation by the Home Office. This film follows his story, part of the Windrush Scandal.
- Selma. Segregation was legally abolished in 1964, but discrimination and Black voter suppression remained rife across most of America. This film follows the march for suffrage from Selma to Montgomery, led by Martin Luther King.
Podcasts and talks
- How to Get Serious About Diversity and Inclusion in The Workplace. In this TEDtalk, Janet Stovall explains why single-mindedness can sometimes be a good thing in helping us to accomplish positive change.
- I Can’t Be Racist. Psychologist Dr Keon West explores racial prejudice in modern day Britain. Listen to the full episode on BBC Sounds.
- Grounded with Louis Theroux and Michaela Coel. Journalist, Louis Theroux, invites actor and writer of series I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel, on to his podcast. They explore race – including how it can often be fetishised – as well as other present-day challenges, such as, sexual harassment and mental health. Listen to the full episode on BBC Sounds.
- Building an anti-racist and inclusive culture. Series 3, Episode 14. Diversity consultants, Yvonne Howard and Safina Nadeem, join EW Group’s reWorked Podcast as they unpick what racism and inclusion mean at work.
- Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Emmanuel Acho has “uncomfortable conversations” on racism, social injustice and rioting. Watch the full episode here.
- About Race. Author of bestselling book Why I’m No Longer Speaking to White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge, speaks to guests about issues surrounding race in her podcast About Race.
- A Black Man’s Death is Political. Untold is a platform for sharing stories from people or groups who don’t normally have a voice. Listen to the full episode on the Untold Podcast.
- Disability, Race and Building Resilience. Series 3, Episode 11. I join EW Group to explore what diversity means to me and why organisations must take intersectional approaches to inclusion.
- Brit(ish). From media representation to the police treatment of black people, Afua Hirsch delves into Britain’s complicated relationship with race, heritage and belonging.
- Why I’m No Longer Speaking to White People About Race. Reni Eddo-Lodge offers an honest, nuanced and intersectional overview of racism in modern day Britain. This is one of the most popular anti-racism resources having recently reached number one, making Eddo-Lodge the first black British bestselling author.
- Girl, Woman, Other. The first black winner of the Booker Prize, author Bernardine Evaristo takes us on an intersectional journey by following the lives of 12 women in the UK.
- Natives. Artist, activist and author, Akala, reflects on the inconvenient truth about the legacy of Britain’s colonial past – and the effects this has on black people in current-day Britain.
- Black and British: A Forgotten History. Historian and broadcaster David Olysoga reveals overlooked and forgotten histories of the slave-trading empire and the legacy this has had in the UK.
- Rainbow Milk. This story follows a teen from a Jehovah’s Witness family in post-Windrush London and the battle he faces with his racial and sexual identities.
Articles and additional anti-racism resources
- Why your workplace should be celebrating Black History Month
- Racial microaggressions: definitions, examples and practical actions
- ‘I can’t breathe’: why George Floyd’s words reverberate around the world
- Could racism be addressed through education?
- Racism at work: how to stop discrimination in the workplace
- How to be an ally in the workplace
Black people have been largely overlooked and ignored by the writers of history. This is why observing of Black history is so important. If we only tell history from one perspective, we perpetuate ignorance which ultimately results in injustice and inequality. We hope this resource list will contribute to a deeper understanding of racism both in our workplaces and the wider society. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to bring an end to discrimination. Now is the time to combat racism. For more information about how we can support you in building a truly inclusive and anti-racist work culture, speak to our team of diversity specialists.