George Floyd, 46, was killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin in Minnesota, US on Monday, May 25. Chauvin held his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes despite the victim telling him “I can’t breathe”. But, there are ways to help, including signing petitions launched by Change.org and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). Another positive step is to educate yourself on the history and context of systemic racism within the US – and the world.
The seven books you should read right now
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
Brilliant author Reni Eddo-Lodge makes clear in her seminal Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race that structural racism is not a problem limited to the US.
The title comes from Ms Eddo-Lodge’s own viral blog post from 2014, in which she famously declared she had had enough of reasoning with people who were “living a life oblivious to the fact that their skin colour is the norm and all others deviate from it”.
The book expands on the concept and picks apart the insidious nature of white privilege and the ramifications of racial bias in the UK.
READ MORE: George Floyd: Protesters gather outside Derek Chauvin’s house (2020-05-29) [VIDEO]
Freedom is a Constant Struggle – Angela Davis
Freedom is a Constant Struggle (2016) compiles Ms Davis’ thoughts and essays on everything from the legacy of Apartheid to the Ferguson protests.
This book also touches on the many ways in which racism has clouded feminist ideology through the years.
Inglorious Empire: What The British Did To India – Shashi Tharoor
Inglorious Empire discusses British colonisation in India as its subject.
Published in the aftermath of Brexit, it documents the systematic discrimination of a country who held 23 percent of the world’s economy, reduced to three percent by the time the British left.
The Good Immigrant: 21 Writers Explore What It Means To Be Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic in Britain Today – edited by Nikesh Shukla
Edited by British journalist Nikesh Shula, this crowdfunded book of essays includes entries from Reni Eddo-Lodge, Riz Ahmed and Vinay Patel among other.
The book centres around the narrative that a “good” immigrant is symbolised by a BAME-background Olympic gold medallist, while a “bad” immigrant is written off as a “benefits scrounger”.
Men We Reaped – Jesmyn Ward
This gut-wrenching memoir recounts the deaths of five young black men in her life over as many years – men “pinioned beneath poverty and history and racism”.
The title is a nod to a verse written by slave abolitionist Harriet Tubman following a Civil War battle in which countless black soldiers died.
They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, And A New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement – Wesley Lowery
A reporter for the Washington Post, Mr Lowery spent much of President Obama’s second term travelling around the US covering the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers.
The book includes analysis on the deaths of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and Tamir Rice and recounts the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement from the front lines.