You don’t have to travel to widen your knowledge of human experience. You can read. It’s cheap (and even free if you have a library card).
Fellow white people, if you’re wondering what you can do to be an anti-racist, this is one place to start. Diversify your bookshelf and your reading list. Don’t read things only by people who look and experience life like you.
Read books by black writers.
Don’t stop there. Read books by people of all races. From different countries. Read books by women. Read books by LGBTQIA+ folk. Read books by people with disabilities. Read books that have been translated from other languages. Do this with both fiction and nonfiction. Make the tiny extra effort to make your reading cover as wide a collection of life experiences as possible.
And if you’re not a big reader, fine, apply this to other forms of media. Films, tv shows, podcasts, blogs. This is easier than it ever has been.
This is just one thing you can do, but there are many more. Do the research. Call out racism in words and actions even if it’s uncomfortable. It often will be. It doesn’t matter. Use your privilege. Use your voice.
Reading will not solve the problem. It will not make you perfect. You will still fuck up. But the more you know about how other people experience life, the better you can pick apart your own assumptions, biases, and embedded racism. And if you think you don’t have any of that, you’re wrong. We all do.
Your own experience will be so much richer when you consume a wide range of stories. This kind of reading is its own reward. But it’s also important.
Do the work. Black lives matter.
I have a friend who is a leader in the nursing field and in my book club. She told us that when new nurses ask her for advice she tells them to read as much as they can, fiction, nonfiction, biography, anything because it helps understand different experiences and makes a more empathetic person/nurse. I think her logic applies to anyone
It sounds like you are in her camp too. ❤