To engage in self-reflection around our internalized racism, explore racism within society, and work to dismantle White supremacy within our communities.
Provide space to explore racism, engage in meaningful discussions around racism and White supremacy, and discover answers to our questions around racism.
Use the race literacy information we learn from materials we read and watch to inform our actions in working with people of Color to dismantle White supremacy.
If you're a White woman or a White trans woman and you're interested in race literacy work, you've come to the right place. This is a book club for those of us who want to explore our internalized racism and work with people of Color to dismantle White supremacy.
[If you know you want to join the book club and you want to skip to the bottom to find out the details and sign up, click here.]
I've been doing race literacy work since 2015.
My race literacy journey has been pretty solo for
the most part.
I've read books, watched documentaries, and attended classes, but I haven't had a consistent support system in place to turn to with questions or a place to go to when I wanted feedback on my thought process to see where White supremacy was showing up. I'd usually Google my issue and comb through materials until I had an answer.
As I speak up more and more against White supremacy, a lot of White people message me privately with thoughts or questions. They're afraid to go public with their Qs or comments for fear of being criticized, appearing insensitive or ignorant, or - most distressing to them - hurting people of Color.
I completely understand all of this as I've been there -
and continue to be there on my race literacy journey.
But our silence is privilege and it keeps White supremacy in place. I know you know this to be true; otherwise, you wouldn't be interested in a race literacy book club.
So I'm creating a book club for us to start, or continue on, our race literacy journey.
I'm focusing on White women + White trans women because the way we hold the trauma of racism in our bodies tends to be different than White men or White trans men.
We tend to have debilitating guilt and shame. Piles and piles of it.
We need to work with our guilt and shame so we can move beyond it.
Part of this process includes recognizing, accepting, and owning our huge role in upholding White supremacy. For the most part, the vast vast vast majority of White women have never stood with people of Color to end racism. Our allegiance and loyalty have always been to White supremacy.
So we need to work through our trauma around this and the grieving process that comes with it.
For too long, we've expected people of Color (especially women of Color) to soothe us, assure us that we're "a good White person and not racist", and do our emotional work.
I've done this too many times to count.
It's not a person of Color's job to do our emotional work.
It's our job.
This book club is for us to do this work so we can work through our trauma, ask race-related Qs, explore how we're falling into White supremacist conditioning, and then get to work dismantling White supremacy.
I'll be learning with you. If you're newer to race literacy work, you'll quickly learn that there is always more to learn about the experiences of people of Color, always more aspects of our White consciousness to examine, always more to discover in terms of how the White supremacist machine is working against people of Color.
And there's a point when you absolutely know enough to start speaking up against racism and stand up to White people in your communities who shut down people of Color in meetings, decisions, etc.
From what I've experienced, race literacy work takes 5 Cs:
We'll be working with all of these in the book club.
Book Club Details
Below are the details for the book club. The sign up form is below the details.
When: The 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month.
Time: 8-9pm est / 7-8pm cst / 5-6pm pst
Where: Zoom. The Zoom link will be provided in the sign up confirmation email + reminder emails.
Will Book Clubs Be Recorded: No. I want you to feel as safe as possible so you can ask Qs and share your thoughts/feelings.
Do You Have to Attend Every Book Club: No, you can come and go as you choose.
That said, one of the 5 Cs of the race literacy journey is Commitment. The more you come, the more you'll learn about yourself and how White supremacy is showing up in your life. Attending sporadically isn't likely to have much impact especially if you're newer to race literacy.
Is this Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Work: No, this is race literacy work. DEI work focuses on organizational structures. Race literacy work, although a crucial component of organizational work, has an individual component because it requires that
we look at our internalized racism.
Race literacy work must be done by White people; otherwise, DEI initiatives in organizations will likely fail because the roots of racism aren't being addressed.
Books We're Reading in 2023:
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
We move slowly through the content based on attendance and the nature of addressing race-based trauma. After you sign up, feel free to email me to find out exactly what book we're currently reading.
I hope you join us!