Black Lives Matter: What I’m Reading & Watching

Since police killed George Floyd on May 25 and an international fight against police brutality and systemic racism began, blogging about pop culture felt highly inappropriate. So rather than writing here, I’ve spent this transformative time after Floyd’s passing trying to educate myself, check my privilege as a white woman, and learn how to do better.

In the past few days, laws have passed that give me hope that we’re living out the same kind of turning point seen during the civil rights movement. But with quarantine still in place in major cities and not much else to distract us from this moment, resting on the belief that change will come doesn’t suffice. You can donate, sign petitions, and protest, but it’s also important to take note of what you choose to consume in pop culture and how it contributes to your knowledge about race.

That’s when books, TV, and movies come into play for me. Sticking to the news cycle can be overwhelming and depressing, especially in this already unprecedented time, but one concentrated source of information at a time can leave just as impactful of an influence. So after taking in plenty of recommendations and consulting my existing TBR list and streaming queues, here are the things about Black lives and experiences or made by Black creators that I plan to read and watch, as well as a few select titles I already love. My list is obviously far from complete, and I recognize that my pop culture choices often have a severe lack of diversity. So if you have more recommendations, please let me know!

Also, I’ve linked all books to purchase points at The Lit. Bar, a black-owned independent bookstore in the Bronx. Check here for an ongoing, comprehensive list of similar stores in other areas.

Books

Nonfiction

Between the World and Meby Ta-Nehisi Coates
Coretta: My Life, My Love, My Legacy, by Coretta Scott King
Notes of a Native Son, by James Baldwin
The Source of Self-Regardby Toni Morrison
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson
Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, by Melissa V. Harris-Perry
How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whitenessby Austin Channing Brown
Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change, by Stacey Abrams
The Truths We Hold: An American Journeyby Kamala Harris

Fiction

Queen Sugarby Natalie Baszile
Real Men Knitby Kwana Jackson
With the Fire on Highby Elizabeth Acevedo
Let Me Hear a Rhymeby Tiffany D. Jackson
The Mothers, by Brit Bennett
The Boyfriend Projectby Farrah Rochon
Recommendations I’ve Read: Nonfiction 
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay 
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Homeby Tembi Locke
Recommendations I’ve Read: Fiction 
Sula, by Toni Morrison
32 Candles, by Ernessa T. Carter
Kindredby Octavia E. Butler
The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
The Wedding Dateby Jasmine Guillory 

TV Shows

When They See Us
Underground
Queen Sugar
Recommendations I’ve Already Seen:
Black-ish & The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Movies

Mudbound (2017)
13th (2016)
American Son (2019)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
Malcolm X (1992)
Selma (2015)
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)
Recommendations I’ve Already Seen:
Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk, & Becoming 

What have you been watching or reading to learn more during this time? 

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