Like many, folks here at BBP have been following the events that have unfolded since the murder of George Floyd whilst in policy custody on 25 May 2020.
The news of George’s death at the hands of the police quite rightly caused global outcry. But let’s be clear, there was nothing ‘new’ about this news. The systemic racism which permeates all corners of our societies has long caused the suffering, oppression and execution of people of colour as they go about their everyday lives. This is not confined to the US; here in the UK, black people are more than twice as likely to die in police custody than white people.
George’s death was not a surprise to those who have long been aware of the racism in our police institutions. But it was a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement to say ‘enough is enough’. The scenes of protest and solidarity that we’ve seen across the globe since have been incredible.
The Bristol Bike Project has long stood by the values of justice, equality and solidarity. Words are only part of the picture though, and the fact that our membership is vast majority white highlights that we still have a long way to go to unpick the structural and systemic racism inherent in our own organisation.
This begins with education and listening to the voices of people and communities affected. So we thought we’d do a bit of a survey of BBP-ers and crowdsource a resource list for learning around anti-racism and allyship. Last week we put the question to our members – what resources are you using to educate yourselves on these topics. The response that came back was pretty epic! Check it out below… (we hope you find these useful. If you want to send us any more recommendations, we’re all ears!).
It doesn’t stop with education. Action is vital, and while it can feel overwhelming we must begin to take solid steps to break this toxic grip of white supremacy.
We are committed to interrogating the lack of diversity in our membership. We will reflect on the black lives matter movement currently and what learnings we can bring to our organisation. We’ll co-create some solid actions to address the lack of diversity in our own membership. And we’ll discuss what we can do to centre this throughout all our discussion and decision-making.
As a co-op, we are also committed to transparency so we will ensure our conversations are had publicly. We will share and promote the work we do, problems we face and solutions we’re trying. We will call in other coops and help open up this dialog as much as we can.
We’re not going to pretend we can shift the make-up of our membership overnight. Indeed to do so would be tokenistic. Real and lasting change takes deep internal reflection and may be slower, but is more likely to untangle the systems of oppression that exist within our organisation.
#blacklivesmatter #whitesilenceisviolence #solidarity #actionnotwords
Bristol Bike Project resources list on anti-racism and allyship
- 13th, by Ava DuVernay. Documentary exploring the history of racial inequality in the US, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. Watch on Netflix.
- White Fragility, by Dr, Robin DiAngelo. Discussion based on her book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism”. DiAngelo explains the phenomenon and discusses how white people can develop their capacity to engage more constructively across race. Watch on YouTube.
- Being An Active Bystander, by Pearn Kandola. Webinar focussed on racism at work and creating safer workspaces. Watch on Vimeo.
- When they see us, by Ava DuVernay. Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story. Watch on Netflix
- Sitting in Limbo. A shocking drama inspired by the Windrush scandal. After 50 years in the UK, Anthony Bryan is wrongfully detained by the Home Office and threatened with deportation. Watch on BBC iPlayer.
To read (short reads)…
- 12 Ways to Be a White Ally to Black People, by Janee Woods. Read on The Root.
- Gal-dem. A platform committed to sharing perspectives from women and non-binary people of colour (https://gal-dem.com/).
- The March, written by Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and illustrated and lettered by Nate Powell. An autobiographical black and white graphic novel trilogy about the Civil Rights Movement, told through the perspective of civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman John Lewis.
To read (long reads)…
- Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Natives: race and class in the ruins of empire, by Akala
- How to be an antiracist, by Ibram X Kendi
- Aphro-ism, by Aph Ko & Syl Ko
- White fragility: why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism, by Robin DiAngelo
- Brit(ish), by Afua Hirsch. (Short intro on YouTube).
- So you want to talk about race, by Ijeoma Oluo
- Me and white supremacy, by Layla Saad
- Girl, woman, other, by Bernadine Evaristo
- The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
- Ain’t I a woman, by Bell Hooks
- Don’t touch my hair, by Emma Dahiri
- Sister Outsider, by Audre Lorde
- How to be less stupid about race, by Crystal M Fleming.
- White privilege, by Kalwant Bhopal
To listen to…
- About race, with Reni Eddo-Lodge. Featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism, this podcast looks at the recent history that lead to the politics of today. Listen here.
- Code Switch, A podcast looking at the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting. Listen on NPR.
- Busy Being Black, with Josh Rivers. Podcast exploring how to live in the fullness of our queer black selves. Listen on Spotify.
- All my relations. A podcast to discuss our relationships as Native peoples– relationships to land, to ancestors, and to each other. Listen here.
- 1619, with Nikole Hannah-Jones. An audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling. Listen on New York Times.
- Justice in America, with Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith. Podcast looking at criminal justice, with a focus on its impact on poor people and people of color. Listen on Stitcher.
- Higher Learning, with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay. A podcast looking at the biggest topics in black culture, politics, and sports. Listen on Spotify.
- Bristol Radical History Group: https://www.brh.org.uk/