#Blacklivesmatter films, books & resources
Updated: Jan 28
Hello and welcome,
I write this post with the hope that at least one person will find it to be a useful source of information and resources. White folk have a responsibility to continuously and actively educate ourselves on the history and contemporary complexities of racism and white privilege. It is important to acknowledge that if we are passive in the face of discrimination, we are complicit.
So first of all, as much as I advocate the value of film, I want to say that if you are able to read and you have the funds, please consider buying and reading books written by non-white folk on the topic of racism. This can be a truly educational and inspiring action. I say action because it’s important not just to read these books but to write notes, engage with the information and apply the knowledge to your life. Below are some book recommendations (If you can, please try to buy these books second-hand on ebay, depop, gumtree etc. and if not then at your local bookstore or library, before resorting to buying from trillion dollar companies like amazon.com):
So You Want to Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo
‘In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo explores the complex reality of today's racial landscape--from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement--offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide.’
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
‘Blistering . This book is essential reading for anyone even remotely interested in living in a fairer, kinder and more equal world’ - Paris Lees
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - Michelle Alexander
‘The subtle power of Alexander's analysis of mass incarceration as a racial caste system, not as a system of crime control prove overwhelming. Geoff Dyer's Book of 2012’ - New Statesman
The Hollywood Jim Crow: The Racial Politics of the Movie Industry - Maryann Erigha
‘A convincing analysis of structural barriers and attitudes that obstruct black filmmakers in today's culture. . . . A meaningful tribute to the achievements of pioneer directors and a sharp call for studios to keep trying harder to acknowledge structural racism.’ - Kirkus Review
Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism - Nancy Wang Yuen
Reel Inequality provides a vital critique of the entertainment industry's discrimination in the context of its far-reaching influence.... Yuen provides clear ways that the industry can move forward, if enough of its stakeholders choose to take action.’ - Journal of Cinema and Media Studies
And now onto films. It only takes a quick google search, or a scroll through BFI diversity reports to find the undeniable statistics on race in Hollywood. “While minorities were about 40 percent of the U.S. population in 2017, they accounted for only 19.8 percent of film leads, 12.6 percent of film directors, and 7.8 percent of film writers, the Diversity Report found.” Moreover, any avid watcher of the Academy Awards, can see the lack of diversity with their own eyes. “In 2016, the academy had a “93 percent white and 76 percent male membership,” shocker, right? #oscarssowhite
I truly believe that films have an advantage over books, in that they are more universally accessible and they can affect us more deeply. Far more people are likely to watch a film than read a book based on recommendation. So here is a list of films written, directed and/or lead by black artists:
Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989) available at: NOWTV
The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr., 2018) available at: NOWTV
The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1997) available for: £2.49 on amazon.com
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler, 2013) available at: NETFLIX
Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton, 2019) Free for the whole of June 2020 : https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-watch-just-mercy-free-streaming-rental?r=US&IR=T
BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018) available at: NOWTV
Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi, 2016) available for: £3.49 on amazon.com
Tongues Untied (Marlon Riggs, 1989)
Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2017) available for: £3.49 on amazon.com
Get out (Jordan Peele, 2017) available for: £2.49 on amazon.com
Selma (Ava DuVernay, 2015) available for: £3.49 on amazon.com
12 Years A Slave (Steve McQueen, 2014) available at: NETFLIX
13th (Ava DuVernay, 2016) available at: NETFLIX
Paris is Burning (Jennie Livingston, 2007) available at: YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf6Cn2y2xEc
And finally, here is a list of charities, organisations, and memorial funds that you can donate to, as well some petitions for you to sign in order to make a difference:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa25fDHM - watch this to donate for FREE!
Beyond this, please contact your local MPs about issues that matter and continuously research ways to be a better ally, as I will in any way that I can.
I hope this was a helpful post and I hope you enjoy and learn something from some of the books / films I have mentioned.
Thanks for reading,
Take care of each other because together we are strong.