At a time when our English Department community is already facing the challenges caused and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also want to reflect and act on recent events in the US and the UK surrounding police brutality, institutional racism, and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
The whole UK university sector, including King’s, needs to address issues such as the BAME awarding gap, the continuing presence of Prevent on our campuses, the need to decolonise the curriculum, the lack of people of colour in permanent faculty positions and leadership positions, and the level of surveillance and oppression faced by BAME students.
As an English Department, we want to stand together to work in solidarity towards racial liberation and we also want to do what we can to provide resources to centre these issues for our students.
Below is a list of various resources that we hope will provide support for those of you who have already been dealing with the impacts of racism or white supremacy directly, and information for those of you who are engaging with these issues in newer ways.
- Below is a list of some texts that centre black lives, including black joy, black excellence, and black struggles:
- Butterfly Fish, Irenosen Okojie
- Surge, Jay Bernard
- Taking Up Space: The Black Girl’s Manifesto for Change, Chelsea Kwakye & Ore Ogunbiyi
- Jazz, Toni Morrison
- Selected Poems, Danez Smith
- Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far, Stormzy
- Soul Tourists, Bernardine Evaristo
- Selected Poems, June Jordan
- Notes of a Native Son, James Baldwin
- NW, Zadie Smith
- Burgerz, Travis Alabanza
- That Reminds Me, Derek Owusu
2. Some specific support for people of colour:
- Here is a list of resources created by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) for BIPOC to support them as they deal with generational trauma, grief, stress, PTSD, anxiety, fear, loss and more
- Black Students Talk (BST)
BST is a peer support group that provides safe, supportive and therapeutic spaces for black* (African, Caribbean, Mixed-heritage) students at King’s to meet, share, learn, and manage our mental health & wellbeing at university.
- Additional UK mental health resources for People of Colour:
– Lambeth and Southwark Mind
– The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network
– NHS BME Support
– 13 mental health resources for black people trying to cope right now
– A Comprehensive List Of Mental Health Resources For Black Women
3. Below is a list of some texts that engage with the multiplicity of issues that are central to the concerns and demands of the #BlackLivesMatter movement:
- Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, Akala
- Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, Afua Hirsch
- Black and British: A Forgotten History, David Olusoga
- The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain, Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie, and Suzanne Scafe
- Are Prisons Obsolete?, Angela Y. Davis
- Black Lives Matter Reading List
- Reading for Racial Justice (free to read through August 31st, 2020)
4. Additional Resources for white folks:
This is a working document for scaffolding anti-racism resources. The goal is to facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and eventually accomplices for anti-racist work. These resources have been ordered here in an attempt to make them more accessible.
“Staying in your own emotional lane while waking up to racial injustice: A list of self-reflection prompts for white people who are coming to the work now and want to do it better” by our very own Dr Jane Elliott.
Featured Image: Alisdare Hickson (Creative Commons License)