My personal interactions and real experiences with people of color are far outweighed by the negative images that have saturated my data field through the media. While I have a multi dimensional and nuanced understanding of the range of white people in my life I have a narrow definition that fits neatly in a file labeled for one race or another [...] I am fighting against the tide of stored negative data [...] Though today I am still taken aback by intrusive racialized thoughts, it's happening less often and I no longer find them bewildering or judge myself for them. How could I live in a racially organized society and not have filed away racial stereotypes? [...] Like a personal information processor my cultural iceberg stores biases and beliefs as hard data whether or not they are reliable. The good news is that as we get more complete and accurate information our ability to interpret what we observe can evolve and improve
To start to fight against my own tide of negative storage, I've been on a mission for the last 6 months or so to intentionally expose myself to more complete and accurate information of people of color. I chose to do this mainly through facebook so that every time I compulsively check it, I'm actually getting educated and actively fighting against my own racialized thoughts and behaviors.
I'll share with you the news sites/public figures/podcasts I follow and I'd love to hear what you've found useful for being exposed to points of view from more people of color.
- W. Kamau Bell (website or facebook) Stand up comic from the Bay Area, Host of TV show United Shades of America, and host of many many podcasts (Kamau Right Now, Politically Re-Active and Denzel Washington is the greatest actor of all time period)
- The Root (website or facebook) News from black thought leaders
- Color of Change (facebook) Nonprofit that exists to strengthen the political voice of black americans
- Blackish (TV Show) SUCH a hilarious show, such fantastic acting and also tackles really relevant topics like police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement
- VerySmartBrothas (website or facebook) Commentary/humor on news, race and pop culture, love their humor
- Colorlines.com (website or facebook) Journalism by a multiracial team of writers
- Franchesca "Chescaleigh" Ramsey (facebook) Comedian, actor, YouTube personality, especially love her videos on racism called 'Decoded'
- News One (website or facebook) News from a black perspective
- Luvvie Ajayi (website or facebook) NY Times bestselling author, speaker, activist
- The Edge of Sports podcast (website or facebook) I have ZERO interest in sports but this podcast mesmerizes me, the host is white but the podcast covers the intersection of sports and politics and talks a lot about race, gender, etc. I find it absolutely fascinating
This is just a start and I'm also on the lookout for more Muslim and Latino positive media and would appreciate any recommendations. The experience of diversifying my media has been incredibly eye opening and positive. I find that I know about a much wider variety of issues, I have so many more positive images of people of color and I've learned so much about my own experience as a white person trying to participate in more conversations about racism. If anyone else has had this experience or tries out the same process of diversifying your media I would love to talk more about it!
Also, in the spirit of education, plug for Ava DuVernay's '13th' documentary, on Netflix, and is centered on the criminal justice system and mass incarceration. A must watch if you're trying to educate yourself.