Don’t Stop Talking About Race


Racial injustice. White privilege. Systemic racism. Black Lives Matter. Anti-racist. Microaggressions. Whether you are watching the news, scrolling through Instagram, or catching up with an old friend, current events in the U.S. have brought these conversations to the forefront of nearly every American household. Everyone is talking about race.

But for many white people, myself included, some of these phrases and their meanings are new. They might even make us feel confused or downright uncomfortable. So what do they all mean, why are people talking about them in 2020, and what does any of it have to do with my life?

Trust me, I didn’t get it at first either, and as a white woman I’ll never fully understand the issues that the Black community faces. But here’s the deal: people are hurting. As parents committed to raising human beings of character, how can we do anything other than listen to what they are saying, try to understand, and, at the very least, care?

So if you’re new to these conversations like me, here are some resources that I’ve gathered to get you started:


  1. Lies My Teacher Told Me– This is a great place to start, especially if you are passionate about American history. It is not specifically a book about racism but addresses the history behind many of the issues that are hot topics today and will give you a completely new perspective on how we have gotten to where we are as a nation.
  2. So You Want to Talk About Race– Definitely check this book out if you’ve ever had questions about race that you were afraid to ask. Author Ijeoma Oluo discusses modern day racial concepts and gently brings readers up to speed on issues that desperately need to be reckoned with like the “N” word and privilege.
  3. Homegoing– If you process events better through fiction, this is the book for you. It follows the lives of several generations of two Black families, taking you from the slave trade on the Gold Coast through current day in the U.S., brilliantly exposing the way Black history still impacts present-day lives.
  4. The New Jim Crow– For the more statistic-oriented reader, this book is an analysis of the issue of mass incarceration in America, the history of how our prison system grew, and the effect it has on the Black community.
  5. I’m Still Here– Published in 2018, this contemporary book by Austin Channing Brown gives readers a look at the life experiences of a Black woman living in America today. She repeatedly challenges our understanding of what diversity really means through thought-provoking and relatable personal stories.

Social Media

  1. @eji_org– Founded by Bryan Stevenson (of Just Mercy below), Equal Justice Initiative was formed to challenge “racial and economic injustice.” The Instagram account not only sheds light on current injustices but recalls judicial and social wrongs in our not so distant past, forcing readers to “confront our history.”
  2. @rachel.cargle– An activist, writer, and lecturer, Rachel doesn’t shy away from discussing uncomfortable issues and uses her platform to educate, inspire, and push people to be better humans. My favorite aspect of her Instagram is what she calls Race Discussion Mapping where she breaks down misguided or outright racist comments from her followers in order to reeducate her audience on topics like internal biases and tone policing.
  3. @theconsciouskid– Described as an organization focused on “Parenting and education through a critical race lens,” their social media highlights current racial issues and clarifies how they specifically effect our children and our role as parents.
  4. @nicolewalters– Mom, wife, CEO, and reality TV star, Nicole documents her daily life with a healthy dose of racial perspective and humor. Checking out her social media is like hanging out with the best friend you didn’t know you had.
  5. @averyfrancis– Avery is an HR specialist focused on inclusivity in the workplace. As a racial and diversity educator, she uses her Instagram page to inform her followers about racism through photos, personal insights, and (my favorite) quick swipe-able tutorials. Her “mini guides” include insights on how to support Black employees, how non-Black people can be allies, and offensive phrases to avoid.


  1. 1619– This series takes you through Black history in America by listening to African American voices, revealing the roots of racism in the U.S. and exposing the cost of slavery on contemporary society.
  2. Higher LearningHosts Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss current events and politics from an African American point of view. They are engaging, funny, and informative.
  3. Unlocking Us– Professor and NYT Bestselling author Brené Brown has conversations with people of various backgrounds and experiences in order to challenge her (and our) worldview. Of particular interest are her interviews with authors and racial educators Austin Channing Brown and Ibram X. Kendi.
  4. Code Switch– This podcast is hosted by people of color and focuses on racial issues. They not only dive into historical fact, but also discuss pop-culture and current events by analyzing their racial origins and societal impact.
  5. Black Wall Street 1921– This podcast highlights the seldom discussed history of the Tulsa Race Massacre, exposing the atrocities faced by the Black community there at the hands of a white mob and examining the implications and consequences of what took place.

TV and Movies

  1. Just MercyBased on a book by the same name, this film explores the life and career of Attorney and Civil Rights activist Bryan Stevenson, diving into his experiences with the criminal justice system and grappling with its treatment of Black Americans. It is currently free via Apple TV+.
  2. 13th -Available with a Netflix subscription, this documentary delves into the story behind mass incarceration in America and expertly exposes how politics and capitalism contribute to racial injustice.
  3. The Next Question­– This web series produced by author and activist Austin Channing Brown (can you tell I’m a fan?) takes your average daytime talk show up about ten notches to a place where racial issues are discussed openly, and tough topics are faced head on. Episodes feature guests of varying expertise and engage viewers by encouraging introspection as well as activism. Check it out at or Youtube.
  4. Nick News Presents: Kids, Race, and Unity­– This is a good way to ease into discussing race with your children at home. Though it premiered in June, the show is still available in its entirety on Youtube or The Nick App. For younger kids, check out Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, presented by CNN and Sesame Street, available on for free and HBO Max with a paid subscription.
  5. The Hate You Give– This movie, available on Hulu, follows the life of a teenage girl who is faced with finding balance and belonging within the distinct communities where her life takes place. Struggles between rich and poor, black and white, come to the forefront in this compelling movie centered around a devastating incident of police brutality.

What it comes down to is this: Research shows that being Black in America today means you are significantly more likely to live in poverty, receive a lower quality education, be unemployed, and wind up incarcerated (among other things). Now you as a member of this society must decide: Do you believe Black people earned this place in society due to some inherent weakness, or is it possible that our systems unfairly oppress and exploit them?

If you are unsure about the answer to that question, please use this time of civil unrest to educate yourself by not only listening to those who are asking for our help, but really hearing their voices. We would never teach our children to ignore someone in need, so let’s be examples for them by talking about race and using our new knowledge and resources to become allies of the Black community and join in the fight for racial justice.


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