September & October Antiracist Read: Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Laya F. Saad
Image via Brave and Kind Books
My September and October anti-racist read was Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Laya F. Saad. In September, I experienced this book via audiobook, which the author read herself. In October, I purchased a hard copy from my local bookstore, and have been working through the 28 days of daily challenges.
Here is some information about the book, from meandwhitesupremacybook.com:
When Layla F. Saad began an Instagram challenge called #MeAndWhiteSupremacy, she never predicted it would spread so quickly.
Using a step-by-step reflection process, she encouraged people with white privilege to examine their racist thoughts and behaviors. Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and more than ninety thousand people downloaded the Me and White Supremacy Workbook. Since then, the work has spread to families, book clubs, educational institutions, nonprofits, corporations, event spaces, and more.
Based on the original workbook, Me and White Supremacy leads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. The book goes beyond the original workbook by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and includes expanded definitions, examples, and further resources.
I realized about twenty minutes into this audiobook that I was going to need more than the 5 hour listening time to truly process Layla F. Saad’s work. Me and White Supremacy is the only antiracist read from 2020 so far that is getting two months, and that’s because I’m working my way through it twice. The first time, I listened to the audiobook, which is read by the author. While this was an excellent way to get an overview of the content, it’s not the way the book is intended to be experienced. As you’ll learn in the resources below, Me and White Supremacy began as a 28-day Instagram challenge, asking participants to read, reflect, and write on a different topic each day. The topics build in difficulty and complexity as the month continues. At the end the reader has not finished understanding or working against white supremacy, but instead has the foundation to begin building a lifetime of antiracist work. So after listening, I purchased a copy from my local bookstore so that I could re-read it as the author intended.
Brilliant author Laya F. Saad has been unbelievably generous in sharing information and resources about her groundbreaking work. Here are just a few:
These Authors are Glad You’re Buying Their Books. Now Do the Work, from The New York Times
The antiracist read I’m attempting in November is We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, by Bettina L. Love.
I try my best, but not all of my antiracist thoughts and reflections make it to the blog. Find more on Instagram.