A Beginner's Guide to Racial Bias. And a Challenge.

A Beginner's Guide to Racial Bias.jpg

I recently posted on Facebook that I have been through a years-long process of unlearning my inherited behaviors and attitudes about race in the United States. Here's what I said:

I have been scared of Black men for no reason. I have thought that affirmative action hurts White people. I have thought that racism means overt violence or discrimination and that, therefore, I am not racist. I have thought that I can't be racist because I have Black friends. I have used Black colloquialisms when I want to be "sassy." I have made negative assumptions about people from pretty much every ethnic or racial background. For too long, I was blissfully unaware of the breathtaking inequalities in access to things like education, healthcare, housing, fair treatment under the law, basic dignity.

It is embarrassing to type this out, but it needs to be said. I have spent nearly 15 years unlearning things that I thought were true about history and about myself. And I'm still working on it.

That's why, if you want to learn about racial bias, I think I can be a good resource. I've been through the unlearning process myself.

So, if you're interested in learning more, or in teaching your kids differently so that they don't have to unlearn it, let's chat. I have so many articles saved that I've found personally helpful.

If you were surprised to see the bold, violent, unmasked faces of White Supremacy on full display in Charlottesville, let's talk, let's learn together, and let's get to work.

After several people contacted me about resources, I figured it might be helpful to compile a list. About three years ago, I realized I could "save" articles on Facebook, so I scrolled back through everything I had saved, and there were over 60 articles on race. Here they are.

And here's your challenge: Scroll through and read the titles. Select 5 to read. Think about them for a few days. And then talk to somebody about them. The process of unlearning commonly held "truths" and coming to terms with our biases is long and slow, but absolutely critical. People's lives depend on it.


1. This is meant for White people. PoC know the data and stories in these articles all too well.

2. I couldn't access any of the articles I had saved from the Washington Post because you have to pay now. There were some good ones.

3. This is NOT an exhaustive resource. It is a sampling of what one person has found helpful. There are many other resources out there if you want to delve deeper.

4. The articles in this list are the ones that most clearly pertained to race, and, in particular, to White people's perceptions of Black people. 

5. The articles are not organized or listed in any particular order.

The List

The tyranny of a traffic ticket: How small crimes turn fatal for poor, minority Americans.

When Play Is Criminalized: Racial Disparities in Childhood

The Sugarcoated Language Of White Fragility

Preserving My Children’s Innocence Is An Act Of Preserving White Supremacy

Why Talk About Whiteness?

10 Insidious Ways White Supremacy Shows Up in Our Everyday Lives

Racial Bias, Even When We Have Good Intentions

Are We Raising Racists?

Letter To My Son

It’s Time for White Parents of White Kids to Bring the Resistance Home

The Political Significance of Being Inconvenienced

Children’s books featuring kids of color being themselves. Because that’s enough.

Stealing a Bag of Potato Chips and Other Crimes of Resistance

The geography of inequality: Segregation is normalized but must be put to an end

These kids were geniuses — they were just too poor for anyone to discover them

The Good, Racist People

Even walking is more dangerous if you're black

I Don’t Discuss Racism With White People

Young Black Men Share Heartbreaking Stories About Growing Up in the US

Your School Shapes How You Think About Inequality

10 things black people fear that white people simply don’t

My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up.

28 Black Picture Books That Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses or Basketball

How to talk about race with your kids

18 Books Every White Ally Should Read

Implicit Bias in the Time of Trump

‘We Stories' aims to get white families talking about race, racism through children’s books

 Black and Brown Boys Don’t Need to Learn Grit; They Need Schools to Stop Being Racist 

Why ‘Transcending Race’ Is a Lie

Inside 'Environmental Gentrification'

Report: Black And White Americans Are 'Worlds Apart' On Views Of Race

We’re All a Little Biased, Even if We Don’t Know It

A Toilet, but No Proper Plumbing: A Reality in 500,000 U.S. Homes

Preparing children for critical race consciousness: a resource for parents and teachers

The racial wealth gap: How African-Americans have been shortchanged out of the materials to build wealth

Honestly, Sometimes I'm Uncomfortable With My Children Making White Friends

Cute Little Black Boys Do Grow Up To Be Black Men, PART II — And Now, They Are Ten

Six Words: 'With Kids, I'm Dad. Alone, Thug'

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

Stop Condemning My Bitterness, Start Condemning The System

Yes, Black America Fears the Police. Here’s Why.

Advice for White Folks in the Wake of the Police Murder of a Black Person

Concrete Ways to Be an Actual Ally to Black People

The Skin I’m In: I’ve been interrogated by police more than 50 times—all because I’m black

Where to start: 12 small steps for white families who want to be a positive force for change on racism

Why “black-on-black crime” isn’t a valid argument against criticizing police brutality

Is silence on social media an expression of privilege?

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism

Something more is required of us now. What?

Racism’s Psychological Toll