This is a guest post by Belinda, who writes of herself, "I'm a white, early-20s person from Australia, working, studying, and moving between Sydney, Melbourne and London. I lurk around swpd without saying too much, but I'd like to be able to say more."
I nominate my own behaviour here. Repeatedly on this blog, and all too often in real life, PoC are requested to, or feel compelled to, school ignorant WP on topics of racism and privilege. Just how obnoxious and exhausting that kind of work can be has been discussed a lot on this blog, and on others.
It seems to me the irony and insult of that dynamic is that so many PoC, now and throughout history, have already written and published extensively on the topic. These writers have effectively volunteered to educate white people, or to share their experiences of racism, or to further the ideas, language, and dialogue needed to combat racial privilege and disadvantage. These authors are academics, activists, historians, journalists, artists, etc, etc. There is a vast body of work out there. (macon has covered a related topic here -- about PoC who understand and write on whiteness, but don't get much credit for it).
How many white people here have bothered to read any books written about racism and privilege by non-white authors? Or even by white authors?
I know I haven't read many at all. While I think swpd and other blogs about race are invaluable for learning, as they allow communication between people who otherwise would never interact, I feel they are best used in addition to other resources (including real-life communication and conversation). I can only speak for myself, but I feel much more confident when speaking up or acting about something when I feel I have a strong understanding of it.
I'd love to know if anyone can suggest authors or books they have read that are relevant to topics discussed on this blog. While I am building up a long, long reading list of my own that I'm slowly getting through (before anyone says it, yes, I know how to use Google -- and my local library ), I guess I'm asking for anything that anyone has read that has had a profound or changing effect on them, or that any PoC have felt a strong identification with. Or that are just illuminating or educating. Anything from university subject readers to poetry.
I know a lot of people in general like to read books that family, friends, or others recommend to them, not out of laziness I think, but out of a sense of sharing. I like reading things that I know have touched others.
I'd love to hear any suggestions, especially as this is an international collective of people (I'm from Australia). Perhaps it could end up being a good newbie resource too?