On a Friday
Drumroll Please!

Not the Usual

It's Monday. Usually I'm here bright and early on a Monday . . . to help you Start Your Engines. But I'm not feeling much like that today, really.  It's just feels too dark right now. (Even though the sun is shining brightly in my corner of the world this morning.)

I'm just too sad.
And too tired.
And it doesn't feel right . . . to Start Your Engines and all.

But I will do this instead.
I will encourage you to pay attention.
To listen.
To learn.

It's time we . . . 



"Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corruption because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice."
        --- Robert Kennedy


If you, like me, live a life of privilege, I encourage your to do something right now to understand your privilege. Open your mind to seeing and accepting what life gave you . . . just for being born white. Educate yourself. Open yourself. 

Start here.


Then read.

Don't know what to read? The NYTimes published An Antiracist Reading List over the weekend. (If you can't read the article, let me know and I'll figure out another way to send you the list of titles.)  Ibram X. Kendi put this most excellent list together.  He is a professor and director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University, is the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and the newly-released How to Be an Antiracist.

I've just started reading his How to Be an Antiracist, which is apparently sold out of most major online book stores at the moment.  (I had no trouble purchasing and downloading the ebook version, however.)

I'd also recommend Robin D'Angelo's excellent (and brain-exploding) book White Fragility. And also The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. I read both last year -- and still think about them nearly every day. They are powerful books that will challenge your world and the way you think it works.


And listen.

We need to listen to new teachers -- to the voices of people with lived experiences of racial oppression, people whose realities are different from our own. It's not easy to do this -- it's painful to learn how the systems really ARE rigged and to understand how complicit we are in perpetuating these systems. But it's important that we do it.  It's the only way anything will change.

Maybe start by listening to Brené Brown's Unlocking Us podcast this Wednesday. Her guest is going to Ibram X. Kendi -- and I can't wait.


Put your money where your mouth is.

There are always multiple ways to support a movement. Maybe you aren't ready to pound the pavement in protest -- but maybe you can make a donation in support of organizations who are trying hard to make a difference and fight racism.  Here are a few to consider:

Southern Poverty Law Center


Black Lives Matter

Color of Change

Equal Justice Initiative


One more thing . . . Here's a list of 75 Things White People Can do for Racial Justice. This article was published on Medium. I don't have a paid subscription to that service, but I do know they allow a few reads for non-subscribers each month. It's a new month -- so check it out.

Bottom line: There are lots of things we CAN do for racial justice. I hope you'll join me and . . . do something.


"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
          --- Maya Angelou



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Another resource


Thank-you Kym. I'll be reading and absolutely at the very least putting my money where my mouth is.


Excellent links. Thank you.


I first saw that video a year or so ago and it is one of the most powerful things I've watched to explain privilege, Dale and Hannah and I were actually discussing it yesterday. Thank you for the book recommendations, too. It's hard to know what to do but we have to try and make a start.


I was at a loss about what to do over the weekend, so I also downloaded and started reading How to Be an Antiracist. It gives me some hope that so many people want to read the book that it's selling out. Thank you for Kendi's Antiracist reading list and and places to donate. I'm not ready to join crowds demonstrating, but I can and will give to those who are trying to make a difference, and I will definitely be listening to Kendi on Wednesday. I have much to learn and thank you.


Like you, I started reading How to be an Antiracist. I've see that video before and it still brings tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing all the links.


I've had How to Be an Antiracist on my night stand for a few months; now is when I really need to start reading it. I'm trying to do as much as I can given the circumstances. I didn't feel comfortable joining a protest over the weekend (because of the virus), so I sent some money to the Minnesota Freedom Fund -- which, I understand, has been so overwhelmed with donations that they've asked folx to donate elsewhere. I've also long supported the SPLC and ACLU as well the Anti-Defamation League. I'd like to do more concrete things when I can, but for now, I can certainly throw money at the problem if it'll help.


Thanks for this post, Kym! Great information... there's so much to learn and do. We really do need to change... to think and act everyday.


Great suggestions Kym. Thank you.

Carolyn Seymour Thomas

Thank you, Kym, for the phenomenal resources. I'd love to add the title Raising White Kids by Dr. Jennifer Harvey. It speaks to the disservice we are doing to ALL when we raise our white children to be color blind. I was lucky to hear her speak a few years ago in Denver. It was one of the richest 90 mins I've ever had with an author. Highly recommended (and a good companion to White Fragility).


Thank you for including EJI in your list. My sweet girl (whose wedding is in shambles, but is marrying the right guy, so it will be ok) starts there in August. We are so proud.


I cannot recommend Ibram X. Kendi enough! I have read both of those books and they are life changing! Thank you for the links (especially the Kendi list!!)

I have been reading MLK's riot speech and there is so much there... but this especially is standing out to me: A riot is the language of the unheard.

Yes, yes it is.


How to Be an Antiracist should be taught in the schools as should The Warmth of Other Suns and a myriad of other antiracist books (and novels, too!). While the riots are terrifying the fact that the message is FINALLY getting through is heartening. Thank you, Kym for more resources and information.


Great lists, Kym, thank you! For non-fiction, I highly recommend Layla Saad's Me and White Supremacy. and Austin Channing Brown's I'm Still Here, too. I saw a list of fiction titles, too, and need to remember where I put it!


A most excellent post. That video is powerful.

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