What You Can Do in the Wake of Charlottesville

The other day I was talking to an old friend from high school when he said something that struck me.

“I don’t want to be angry about this for a few weeks and then it all blow over after a few months.”

We were talking about Charlottesville and sharing a moment of frustration and disappointment in our country. At first, I was a bit offended by his comment. I thought, how could you only be angry about this for a few days or weeks. Personally, I feel like I am always angry about the treatment of marginalized people in America. 

But here I am, roughly two weeks post Charlottesville and well, I’m not as angry anymore. I’ve gotten complacent, I slipped back into being less informed on the aftermath and more informed on what the Kardashian clan is doing (plz don’t judge me). 

So, I’ve spent the last few days thinking about what I can do, what we can do together and I think it starts with two things: education and communication. 

The internet is a fantastic place to start both of these things. Hashtags like #FergusonSyllabus and #CharlottesvilleCurriculum are great places to begin. But conversations can only go so far in 140 characters. So, I’ve compiled a list of books I’ve read, am reading or plan to read on race and social justice. Pick your favorites, encourage your friends to read them, have discussions around the texts, journal your thoughts. Post thought provoking quotes on social media. Whatever it takes. We have to keep the conversation going. 

Start below. 

1. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Jeff Hobbs

2. You Can’t Touch My Hair, Phoebe Robinson

3. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates 

4.  The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander

5. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

This list is only the beginning and far from complete, but if you’re unsure where to start. Just start here. 


Have you read any of these books? Are there any I missed? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. Don’t forget to tweet me your thoughts and follow me on Instagram

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