If you are reading this blog, chances are that you know me: You know what I look like – you know that I am black and that I am an educator working in Vienna, Austria. Some of you may know that I was born and bred in Trinidad and Tobago, my ancestors came from Africa and China, with a dash of Indian and European in the mix. As such I feel that had already been well-informed about blackness and racism, as well as the effects of slavery and colonialism, especially from an Afro-Caribbean perspective. Yet, after the events of the past weeks and the global reaction to them, I feel that, in actual fact, there is very much that I DIDN’T know.
What has recently happened to Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd has been the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for many millions. Yes, senseless killings of people of colour (POC) has happened before. It is a decades-old, yes even centuries-old story. Yet, this time feels different. Just like the #MeToo and #FridaysForFuture movements, we may have reached a tipping point. And, like many educators, I have felt compelled to educate myself to examine what I can do on a personal and professional level. That this topic has superseded a still-raging worldwide pandemic goes to show that we educators cannot afford to be “racially-illiterate” or remain silent going forward, no matter our country, context or skin colour.
How have you been educating yourself? Although my growth path has only just begun, here is a tasting of the writings and sayings that have informed my thinking thus far:
Between the World and Me Ta-Nehisi Coates
Teaching while white podcast
Of course there are many many more resources. I have put together an ever-growing list on the padlet page below. Contributions and additions to this collection are welcome.
What would you include on a reading list? What resources have you used for your students? Contact me on twitter if you would like to contribute @aliciabankhofer
P.S. I will be hosting a live session this Thursday June 11 2020 at 21:00 as part of The Staffroom Unconferences. The title of my session is: How might we become catalysts for change and embed anti-racism in our classrooms? It will be a session that will combine input from myself and others, while we work towards an action plan for embedding anti-racism in our classrooms. No registration necessary. Mark your calendars and join us!