“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, also know as, W.E.B Du Bois
Normally my content is focused primarily for Black consumption but today, I’m going to make an exception…
Due to recent events, I’ve had tons of friends and followers reach out to me asking for good resources they can use to better understand what W. E. B. DeBois once referred to as “the color line.”
Which, to be completely honest…
Dealing with this “rush of activism” has been kind of bittersweet for me… On one hand, it’s exciting to see so many people eager to understand White Supremacy and how they can dismantle it. However, on the other hand, as somebody who has spent much of my free time re-educating myself and “doing the hard work” (with little to no guidance), I can’t help but feel a little ‘uugghh,’ with this new “awakening,” that’s sweeping large parts of White America.
I say that in hopes that it doesn’t discourage those of you, who are just now opening your eyes, from “doing the hard work…” I understand that dismantling White Supremacy can only happen when White people like yourself begin to wake the fuck up to the realities of this country, so trust me, I’m glad your eyes are beginning to open… However… Me pointing out the fact that you kind of overslept a bit, isn’t a cheap shot, or a “low blow” designed to conjure up some White Guilt… Nah… Me pointing to the clock of injustice and reminding you that your ass is late is just the reality of the situation…
And since I took it here…
For those of you who are new to the movement… You should ask yourself, why now? Why are things different for you this time around? Why didn’t the murder of Tamar Rice motivate you like George Floyd Jr’s? Why didn’t you join Kaep the first time he took a knee during the National Anthem to protest police brutality? Why didn’t you join us (and Palestine) as we filled the streets calling for justice for Mike Brown and to defund and demilitarize the police? Why didn’t Trayvon Martin’s life matter as much as George Floyd Jr’s? These are the questions you need to start asking yourself… And if you can’t answer these questions, or even have the courage to face these questions… you need to find a new movement.
For those of you who are brave enough to face these questions, you’ll ultimately come to two possible realizations… That either you were completely ignorant to the true history of this country and the plight of African-Americans… Or, that Black life didn’t mean as much to you then as it does to you right now… I know for some that’s a tough pill to swallow but, again, it’s simply the reality of the situation…
Now that you’ve had your “awakening,” it is your duty to do whatever is necessary to fight the good fight and counter all the years you’ve spent living in ignorance. A lot of your time will be spent unlearning all the bull shit Western society has baptized your mind in.
Which leads me back to the main purpose of this post…
What Your Anti-Racist Reading List is Missing
As the anti-racist movement continues to gain more popularity (can’t believe I just said that), I’m beginning to see more and more news outlets and magazine publications share what is now referred to as “anti-racist reading lists.” These reading lists feature books and resources that are considered to be key building blocks to understanding racism here in America and can be used to live an anti-racist life.
A few of these anti-racist reading lists Include:
- 7 Anti-Racist Books Recommended by Educators and Activists
- Anti-Racist Reading List from Ibram X. Kendi
- Do the work: an anti-racist reading list
Now, I want to be clear…
Anti-racist reading lists such as these feature books that are essential to one’s re-education, and I highly recommend reading some, if not, all of them at some point in time in your life. However, lists such as these are incomplete if they don’t address two important areas; ancient African history, and the science and evolution of skin pigmentation.
The Science and Evolution of Skin Pigmentation
In the West, we tend to tie specific character traits to people we don’t even know based solely on their ethnicity, or race. We do this because we’ve been indoctrinated in a divisive social construct that gives a person’s race a set of superficial privileges, at the expense of others.
The main problem we have here is that the social construct of race as we know it is all bull shit… Why is it all bull shit? Because we’re all apart of the same species, Homosapien Sapien… Not only that, but we all share one common ancestor, so believe it or not, some of your ancient ancestors are African regardless of how White you may think you are… And because of this fact, a person’s race or skin color means absolutely nothing outside of the social construct Western society places on it.
I’ll give you a quick example of how this ignorance manifests itself in today’s society… A common thing a racist bigot might tell you is that “iF gOd WaNtEd Us To Be ToGeThEr, He WoUlD’vE mAdE uS aLl ThE sAmE cOlOr!”
MF’s who believe shit like that aren’t just ignorant of the historical facts I presented above about Homosapien Sapiens, but they also lack a simple understanding of how biology works… In biology, there’s a concept called the biological species concept which basically states, that organisms belong to the same species if they can interbreed to produce viable, fertile offspring… It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to spell out what the rest of that means… All anyone has to do is, point to people like Obama, or Jennifer Beals, or fucking Lenny Kravitz to prove that God did intend for us to “be together.”
The true liberation of African-Americans and others oppressed by White Supremacy can only come with the eradication of the social construct of race…
The concept and social construct of race can not survive in a mind that truly understands the science and evolution of human skin pigmentation. This is why it’s imperative that all anti-racist reading lists have books and resources that explain this history and science in great detail.
Until you (White people) understand the evolution and science behind the pigmentation of the human skin, you’ll never truly eradicate the unconscious programming of White Supremacy that has shaped much of your reality. You’ll always approach the liberation of African-Americans as “their fight” or see yourself as an “ally in their fight,” instead of someone who is standing up for the equality of the human race.
Ancient African History
This might be the most important and most glaring issue I see in a lot of anti-racist reading lists. The books people are sharing in their anti-racist reading lists are fantastic sources on Black history here in America, and provide great detail as to what some of our ancestors had to endure. However, do not confuse our history in bondage as the only history our ancestors left behind.
Quick message to my African brothers and sisters…
We have the oldest history of any people on the face of this planet. And if I can just keep it 100, not only is it the oldest, but it’s also the most fascinating history in the world. To this day, humans have not had the intellect, nor imagination to create something as remarkable as Heru-em-akhet… Or even mimic the brilliance that gave us the Great Pyramids of Giza… If we continue to disregard this history we’ll never truly see ourselves for who we are.
If we continue to act as if we only come from slaves… as if we’re our ancestors wildest dreams… as if our ancestors knew nothing and contributed nothing worth wild to the world… We will never truly shake the inferiority complex that has shackled so many of our brothers and sisters’ minds… Not only that, but we’ll always be at the mercy of the White man’s ignorance.
Back to my White folks
Many of you grew up with what I call, “The White Man’s Burden Complex.” Since most of Africa’s history has either been claimed by invaders or erased and replaced with that of the so-called Negro, many of you believe African-Americans come from a land of nothingness. This ignorance is what fuels the anti-blackness sentiment we’ve seen all across the world, from here in America all the way to fucking China… It’s what fuels the ‘White Savior Complex,’ that had many of you eager to visit Africa on that one mission trip you did a few years ago… It’s what fuels and supports the ideology of White Supremacy that has successfully raped, and ravaged most of the world… But to understand all of this we must travel back into time…
Quick History Tip
In 1899, an English man named Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem titled, “The White Man’s Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands.” In this poem, Rudyard basically argues that it’s the job of the White man to civilize the backwards African. That basically, Africans were lost and that it was the White man’s “burden” to lead them into so-called Western civilization.
Of course this was all bull shit, and actually goes against recorded history which supports the fact that it was our ancestors in Africa who civilized the White man, two times… Once in Kemet when our ancestors educated the Greeks, and again in Spain when the Moors brought Europe out of the Dark Ages…
But because of the White man’s ignorance of Africa’s former greatness, our ancestors had to suffer the horrors of European colonization. For those who don’t understand what that means, European colonization is code for European Imperialism which ushered in an era of genocide, rape, and murder this world has never seen before.
The only way White people can rid themselves from this ignorance is to learn the truth about Africa, and her rich history prior to European and Arabic colonization.
Let Me Wrap This Up
Below are books that cover the two areas I think most anti-racist reading lists are missing. I hope these resources act as bricks you use to shatter the ignorance that once blocked you off from your fellow brothers and sisters for far too long.
The Iceman Inheritance: Prehistoric Sources of Western Man’s Racism, Sexism and Aggression by Michael Anderson Bradley
About: (Provided by Goodreads) The Iceman Inheritance is the most glaring admission about the European’s attempt to dominate the world through racism.there are a large number of books on this subject but the writers tend to hedge on the subject by inferring that in spite of the atrocities and the racism brought to this world by the Caucasian race, they have given the world some order, some technology and arts and letters of lasting benefit.what the authors of these books do not take into consideration is that in spite of the contributions that benefit the world, Europeans in their attempt at world domination created a disastrous climate for the world’s people.
Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini
About: (Provided by Goodreads)
Superior tells the disturbing story of the persistent thread of belief in biological racial differences in the world of science. After the horrors of the Nazi regime in WWII, the mainstream scientific world turned its back on eugenics and the study of racial difference. But a worldwide network of unrepentant eugenicists quietly founded journals and funded research, providing the kind of shoddy studies that were ultimately cited in Richard Hernstein’s and Charles Murray’s 1994 title, The Bell Curve, which purported to show differences in intelligence among races.
If the vast majority of scientists and scholars disavowed these ideas, and considered race a social construct, it was still an idea that managed to somehow make its way into the research into the human genome that began in earnest in the mid-1990s and continues today. Dissecting the statements and work of contemporary scientists studying human biodiversity, most of whom claim to be just following the data, Saini shows us how, again and again, science is retrofitted to accommodate race. Even as our understanding of highly complex traits like intelligence, and the complicated effect of environmental influences on human beings, from the molecular level on up, grows, the hope of finding simple genetic differences between “races”–to explain differing rates of disease, to explain poverty or test scores or to justify cultural assumptions–stubbornly persists.
Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color by Nina G. Jablonski
About: (Provided by Goodreads) Living Color is the first book to investigate the social history of skin color from prehistory to the present, showing how our body’s most visible trait influences our social interactions in profound and complex ways. In a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion, Nina G. Jablonski begins with the biology and evolution of skin pigmentation, explaining how skin color changed as humans moved around the globe. She explores the relationship between melanin pigment and sunlight, and examines the consequences of rapid migrations, vacations, and other lifestyle choices that can create mismatches between our skin color and our environment.
Richly illustrated, this book explains why skin color has come to be a biological trait with great social meaning— a product of evolution perceived by culture. It considers how we form impressions of others, how we create and use stereotypes, how negative stereotypes about dark skin developed and have played out through history—including being a basis for the transatlantic slave trade. Offering examples of how attitudes about skin color differ in the U.S., Brazil, India, and South Africa, Jablonski suggests that a knowledge of the evolution and social importance of skin color can help eliminate color-based discrimination and racism.
The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D. by Chancellor Williams
About: (Provided by Goodreads) The Destruction of Black Civilization took Chancellor Williams sixteen years of research and field study to compile. The book, which was to serve as a reinterpretation of the history of the African race, was intended to be “a general rebellion against the subtle message from even the most ‘liberal’ white authors (and their Negro disciples): ‘You belong to a race of nobodies. You have no worthwhile history to point to with pride.” The book was written at a time when many black students, educators, and scholars were starting to piece together the connection between the way their history was taught and the way they were perceived by others and by themselves. They began to question assumptions made about their history and took it upon themselves to create a new body of historical research. The book is premised on the question: “If the Blacks were among the very first builders of civilization and their land the birthplace of civilization, what has happened to them that has left them since then, at the bottom of world society, precisely what happened? The Caucasian answer is simple and well-known: The Blacks have always been at the bottom.” Williams instead contends that many elements—nature, imperialism, and stolen legacies— have aided in the destruction of the black civilization. The Destruction of Black Civilization is revelatory and revolutionary because it offers a new approach to the research, teaching, and study of African history by shifting the main focus from the history of Arabs and Europeans in Africa to the Africans themselves, offering instead “a history of blacks that is a history of blacks. Because only from history can we learn what our strengths were and, especially, in what particular aspect we are weak and vulnerable. Our history can then become at once the foundation and guiding light for united efforts in seriously planning what we should be about now.” It was part of the evolution of the black revolution that took place in the 1970s, as the focus shifted from politics to matters of the mind.
Africa: Mother of Western Civilization by Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan
About: (Provided by Goodreads) In lecture/essay format, Dr. Ben identifies and corrects myths about the inferiority and primitiveness of the indigenous African peoples and their descendants.
Stolen Legacy by George G.M. James
About: (Provided by Goodreads) Challenging the notion that civilization started in Greece, this uncompromising classic attempts to prove that the true authors of Greek philosophy were not Greeks but Egyptians. The text asserts that the praise and honor blindly given to the Greeks for centuries rightfully belong to the people of Africa, and argues that the theft of this great African legacy led to the erroneous world opinion that the African continent has made no contribution to civilization. Quoting such celebrated Greek scholars as Herodotus, Hippocrates, Aristotle, Thales, and Pythagoras, who admit to the influence of Egyptian studies in their work, this edition sheds new light on traditional philosophical and historical thought. Originally published in 1954, this book features a new introduction.
The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality by Cheikh Anta Diop
About: (Provided by Goodreads) Now in its 30th printing, this classic presents historical, archaeological, and anthropological evidence to support the theory that ancient Egypt was a black civilization.
Precolonial Black Africa by Cheikh Anta Diop
About: (Provided by Goodreads) This comparison of the political and social systems of Europe and black Africa from antiquity to the formation of modern states demonstrates the black contribution to the development of Western civilization.
One Last Thing
Having an anti-racist reading list means nothing if you don’t know what to do with it, or how to apply this newfound knowledge to your everyday life. On top of that, self-driving education can be tough especially when it involves rigorous dedication and serious self-discipline. Check this quick read by the brilliant Lauren Michele Jackson where she explains what an anti-racist reading list is really for.