Find the article from the above picture here, and read more about it below.
Today’s post is a bit of a long one, with lots of links and resources, so please bear with me – but one that I feel is incredibly important to be here on my blog, even if I’m reiterating things you have already seen, read and bookmarked. Normally in my ‘month in review’ posts, I spotlight period dramas and books I’ve been reading over the past month – but I started my May post and felt like it wasn’t right, so have been thinking and thinking ever since I started about what I wanted it to be. I also want to clarify: this is by no means just a post for May and June, but one looking forward.
The past few weeks have been weeks of learning, conversations and thinking – about how to support Black Lives Matter, how to be an ally, how to be actively anti-racist, how to carry on doing the work once the topic isn’t ‘trending’ on social media anymore, how to think about history, what I need to do with my little corner of the internet on this blog. What I’ve learned most of all is that we have to be open to listening, learning and unlearning ideas ingrained, be ready to challenge and commit to doing more. We need to be critical of our histories and ask more searching questions.
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll have seen that I’ve been trying to share and bookmark as many resources as possible. (See my Instagram highlights for BLM Resources I have been sharing). This is what I’ll be sharing in my post today, and I also ask if you could please share with me the resources you have found and have been using, as well as social media accounts you have been following. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and one that will be ongoing.
Petitions, Conversations & Support
Find Bustle’s article “Where to donate & find mental health resources related to the George Floyd protests” here.
Find Barack Obama’s article “How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change” in The Medium (including links through to other resources to use, including at the Obama Foundation) here and a dedicated site at the Obama Foundation here.
This article at Museums Data Laundry about “Performing Solidarity” in the galleries, libraries, archives and museums sector, is an interesting read and also includes links to toolkits and documents about considering organisational change. Find it here. There are specific sections for educators and parents or carers too, as well as, of course, advice for anyone committed to equality.
Museum Detox on Twitter has also shared a thread about how not to be a performative ally, which you can find here.
Reading & Watching
Layla F. Saad wrote an anti-racist reading list for The Guardian, which you can find here. Saad quotes Audre Lorde, that “Revolution is not a one-time event”, which has stayed with me ever since I read this when thinking about ongoing commitments. You can also find an extract from Saad’s book, “Me and White Supremacy; How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World” can be found here.
Victoria Alexander shared on Twitter recommended reading for how to be a better ally here.
Celeste Allen shared a list of places to learn about Black History and racism in culture and the museum industry here.
The Everygirl has compiled a list of 29 Movies, Shows, and Documentaries to Watch to Educate Yourself on Racial Injustice, which you can find here.
David Olusoga’s BBC documentary Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners is now available on BBC iPlayer in the UK, and his series Black and British: A Forgotten History is currently being shown on Monday nights on BBC4. This is also accompanied by his book of the same name.
History & Education
Sign the Change.org petition calling for the curriculum to be changed to “Teach British children about the realities of British Imperialism and Colonialism” here.
This thread on Twitter by Erica B. explains how the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are just a fraction of racial violence with the USA – an important and accessible read. Find it here.
The Black Curriculum offers free learning resources on its website here. The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise founded by young people to address the lack of Black British history in the UK curriculum, aiming to develop a more inclusive classroom that establishes belonging and connectedness to the curriculum delivered to students.
Historic England have made “Slavery and the British Country House”, edited by Madge Dresser and Andrew Hann, free to download here. This is such an important part of country house history which can far too often be forgotten, but is fundamental to the wealth and power that created many of these buildings and collections.
JSTOR, “Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus”, Catherine Halley. This is a bank of articles for educators and learners about broader patterns of institutionalized racism which is freely available (Please note, as written in the introduction to the syllabus: some of the stories or photos used may be found disturbing by some readers). Find it here.
The Colonial Countryside Project is a child-led writing and history project examining the connections between National Trust houses and the Caribbean and East India Company. Find their website here, and also follow the project on Twitter @ColonialCountr1. They do such fantastic work and produce brilliant resources – on Twitter, they frequently post threads about country houses and their connections to empire and colonialism.
The Being Human Festival has put together a fantastic and expansive list of Black Lives Matter resources for the humanities which can be found here. They cover museums, heritage, events, reading, institutions and more.
Statues & Monuments
Rebecca Senior’s article in The Conversation “Britain’s monument culture obscures a violent history of white supremacy and colonial violence” discusses the scrutiny that should now be cast over public monuments which celebrate white supremacy and colonial violence.
David Olusoga’s opinion piece in The Guardian, “The toppling of Edward Colston’s statue is not an attack on history. It is history”, discusses the significance and the historical context of the tearing down of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol.