Providing a stage to rage
Between 1967 and 1975, a group of Swedish journalists and filmmakers set out to America to capture the country’s burgeoning Black Power movement. In 2011, director Goran Olsson gathered this footage and cut it into an electric montage documentary titled The Black Power Mixtape, 1967-1975.
Remixing this found 16-mm film into a rich mixtape of trailblazers – Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael and Angela Davis – contemporary voices – including Erykah Badu and the Last Poets’ Abiodun Oyewole – and street-level activism, the film brilliantly contextualises the movement from an outsider’s POV while introducing the values and struggles to a new generation.
The Black Power Mixtape, 1967-1975 is streaming on Amazon Prime.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
In August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. was in a cell in Birmingham jail, imprisoned as a participant in nonviolent demonstrations against segregation. From there, he wrote a letter as a response to eight white Alabama clergymen who wrote a piece criticising King and his methods, claiming that racial segregation should be fought solely in the courts.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” wrote King, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider.” Within the text, King goes on to outline why campaigning is necessary and how the process of nonviolent campaigning is a neccessary method of creating “constructive” tension.
Letter from Birmingham Jail continues to be one of the defining texts on the need for nonviolent campaigning, and still, sadly, rings true.
Read the full text here.
The Diversity Gap
Episode: “Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria”
Founded by Bethaney Wilkinson as an initiative to empower, include and inform, The Diversity Gap features interviews with “the people most impacted by diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.”
While all episodes are well worth a listen, one posted in November 2019 – titled Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria – is especially poignant today. In conversation with Dr. Beverly Tatum, author of the book with the same title as the podcast episode, the pair discuss how the question we should be asking is not “Is someone racist” but rather “Are they actively anti-racist.” They also explore concrete ideas on how to build a diverse community.
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There are many new faces and names around here, so I wanted to take a moment to say “Welcome!” and to share a bit about The Diversity Gap Project and how you can be involved. The numbers below correlate with the pics, so swipe to get the full idea. . 1️⃣ – My name is Bethaney. I’m a Black woman who lives in Georgia. I launched The Diversity Gap Project at the beginning of 2019 in an effort to better understand the space between our good intentions for diversity and the impact of those intentions. As many of us know, “meaning well” rarely translates into “doing actual good.” I wanted to know why. So I started doing research, hosting events, and creating a community to learn together. . 2️⃣ – I’m passionate about sharing what I’m learning, so the best ways to engage are to listen to the podcast, watch our most recent event on YouTube, and to join our monthly newsletter. All of these can be accessed at the link in the bio. . 3️⃣ – There is so much work to be done in the realm of diversity and racial justice. Each account you follow online has a slightly different outlook and end game in mind. We celebrate that! For The Diversity Gap, our emerging mission is to inspire racial justice through organizational change. Much of what we share comes back to a focus on organizations and the people who lead them. . 4️⃣ – If you’re looking for ways to get involved, in addition to joining this growing community of learning and practice, we are also looking for monthly donors to support this work. Every dollar given helps cover the costs of creating these resources and experiences. Link in bio to support! . 5️⃣ – A final thought: every day we are creating the future, by our action and our inaction. May you learn and be inspired to leverage whatever influence you have to dismantle racist and dehumanizing systems. It’s a tall order, but every action counts. [Lettering by @mspamelabarba] . Glad you’re here! . #thediversitygap #newleadersnewfutures #anewkindofleader #racialjustice #racialequity #socialchange . pc: @maryclairephoto
Take to the streets
This weekend, demonstrations fighting for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd continue in the UK.
London will be the host of two further peaceful protests on Saturday 6th June and Sunday 7th June. On Saturday people will meet in Parliament Square at 1pm in “peaceful protests against police brutality in the UK and US”, while on Sunday the protest will begin near the US Embassy in London to call for “justice to the multiple black people who have been killed and harmed by the police.”
Demonstrations are also set to take place across other UK cities.
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By making a stand and acknowledging that this is a global issue, something needs to happen. The peaceful protest dates will allow for us to be seen and heard. We need to do everything we can to be noticed as a collective. We are all standing together, united, in the war against racism. #blacklivesmatter #datesforyourdiary #peaceful #protest #bame #collective #racewar #freedomfighters #uk #london #makeastand #makeachange #black #together #unity #united #justice #injustice
Breaking down the structure
A critically acclaimed podcast from Brooklyn, endorsed by the New York Times and Atlantic, School Colours explores the impact of racial inequality on American cities and schools. Episode eight, for example, highlights the problems in New York City, generally considered one of the country’s most progressive cities, but with one of the worst school segregation problems anywhere in the country.
In Episode five, the podcast takes a look at the rapidly dropping school attendance numbers in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood. For the last twenty years, schools in the area have been critically underfunded and severely impacted by Michael Bloomberg’s decision to abolish school boards upon taking office as mayor in 2002. Along with other structural factors, this decline is considered alongside collective efforts by parents to reclaim local schools and their children’s future.
Listen to all episodes of School Colours here.
This Is Book Love began in 2014 as a collective of educators, artists, musicians and creatives striving to improve the lack of cultural diversity and representation in the UK with a specially selected reading list. Crossing the country as ‘Book Love, The Travelling Multicultural Book Carnival’, the organisation has visited offices, schools and libraries to help broaden literary horizons and spread awareness of issues concerning people of colour.
They also have an online shop, stocking hundreds of titles celebrating the richness of our multicultural society that is so poorly represented. Featuring writers from Jamaica, Uganda, Malaysia, China, India, Nigeria and Portugal to name but a few, it’s an excellent place to browse literature that departs from dominant white narratives.
Browse the online store here.
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#BookLoveRepresents #BuyItFromBookLove from www.thisisbooklove.com . . THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING this NEW Multicultural online bookshop that specialises in the books we love, that represent the underrepresented we love! . . . . We can have anything delivered *NATIONWIDE* within days….#BuyitFromBookLove OR check out our much bigger selection at www.thisisbooklove.com . . . . Www.thisisbooklove.com and the #BookLoveCarnival will be back travelling soon, but until then, find us online at our new online bookshop www.thisisbooklove.com . . . We do all the work to find this great stuff, so you don't have to! Those who don't see themselves, find themselves RIGHT HERE! . . . . #BookLoveReadingChair #BookLoveRepresents #BookLoveLounge #BookLoveRoadshow #BookLoveMagic #BookLoveOnTheMove #BookLoveStorytime #BookLoveTakeOver #thisisBookLoveAtschool #thisisbooklove #thisisbookloveplaylist #BooksandBeats . .
Top image: The Black Power Mixtape, 1967-1975 by Goran Olsson, 2011