As part of Kaya’s dedication to join in the movement for systemic change and for Black Lives, we want to share resources for articles and tools that have been helping us learn and act at this time. We plan to make on-going posts like this and invite you to send us any resources or books / articles that have been especially meaningful to you at this time. Connect with us on social media: @kayapress on Instagram and Twitter, or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna Lee, Kaya Press intern
• Letter for Black Lives: Various translations of a letter to send to families. Personally, I found this source helpful to familiarize myself with the language to spark a discussion, rather than sending a letter directly.
• Neela mentioned Hilton Als’ piece on Toni Morrison and The Bluest Eye in the New Yorker, and I was curious, read it, and it was fabulous! Thanks for the recommendation!
• Jenna Wortham’s Op-ed in the NY Times was lovely to read — I am a big fan of the podcast Still Processing that she hosts with Wesley Morris, so it was great to read among many other op-ed pieces on Black Lives Matter in the NYT.
• Also this piece, from Danez Smith, in The New Yorker about the Minneapolis protests was powerful. I was not familiar with their poetry, but after reading this, I’m going to read it!
• I am currently reading Cornel West’s Race Matters and rereading Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues”, along with watching the James Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro.
• Also, I am reading an academic article on Asian Americans’ relations to (white and black) America at large by Claire Jean Kim, called “The Racial Triangulation of Asian Americans”, originally published in the journal Politics & Society in 1999.
Jhani Randhawa, Kaya Publicity and Development Associate
• Anna included lettersforblacklives.com. The same letter is translated into Punjabi by #SikhsForBlackLives (which I’ve shared with some of my family, but like Anna, felt encouraged by the letter as a tool for chatting one-on-one rather than sending the letter)
Selections of Readings on Allyship:
• Sa’ed Atshan & Darnell Moore, Reciprocal Solidarity
• Sara Ahmed, Declarations of Whiteness: The Non-Performativity of Anti-Racism
• Vijay Prashad, The Karma of Brown Folk
• Eve Tuck & K. Wayne Yang, Decolonization is not a metaphor
• Harleen Kaur offers resources to reckon with the tangle of racism in pedagogy (and connects these with Deepa Iyer’s map of roles in a social change ecosystem).
• Gabrielle Civil’s Experiments in Joy workbook
• Trauma-informed, nonviolent communication practitioner Meenadchi’s workbook on decolonizing nonviolent communication.
• Meenadchi also has an excellent list of BIPOC centered resources on transformative justice and communication tools for building conscious allyship.
• Recently, Dominique Norman’s essay “Breaking down my mom’s white feminism with Black labor” really resonated with me (as I work with my Anglo-American mom and Kenyan-Punjabi dad to confront, problematize, and decompose both their “post-racial” pathos & how/where i’ve internalized or been shaped by it).
• Abolition Can’t Wait
Dillon Sung, USC PhD Student in American Studies and Ethnicity and 2020-2021 Kaya Press Research Assistant
• Came across this article pushing back on re: Letters to Our Families.
• Not sure if this was directly relevant, but a reminder of another apparatus of control, re: Family Welfare Systems.
• As part of our on-going conversations, Dillon said this: “The spectacle of Black deaths and people’s responses to it certainly heightens our awareness of these mechanisms, but the discourses, socialities, capital generated in the world as we live it are foundationally animated and enlivened by anti-Blackness. To that end, we (the proverbial non-Black we) should be horrified by everything all the time–not only of the generative discourse produced during a heightened moment of rebellion in response to Black death–and so, how do we respond…? I don’t know… but reading Fred Moten helps me think about it (and his contemporaries in Black studies, afro-pessimism / black optimism).” Check out: “The Sub-prime and the Beautiful”, originally published in African Identities Journal.