Anti-Racist Filmmaking: Read & Listen

industry Feb 22, 2021

[This is PART IV of the WMM Anti-Racist Filmmaking blog series. Visit for the next FOUR parts.]

The following is by no means a complete list, but it is a place to start. 

  1. Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla F. Saad
  2. White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo
  3. So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
  4. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, by Ibram X. Kendi
  5. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander
  6. How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
  7. Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  8. Women, Race, & Class, by Angela Davis
  9. The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, by Grace Lee Boggs
  10. Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century, by Dorothy Roberts
  11. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison 
  12. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm x and Alex Haley
  13. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  14. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein
  15. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  16. My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem
  17. Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?, by Mumia Abu-Jamal
  18. The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
  19. Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, Michael Eric Dyson
  20. Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out, by Ruth King

  21. Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care – Dayna Bowen Matthew
  22. Caring for Equality: A History of African American Health and Healthcare – David McBride
  23. Black & Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism – John Hoberman
  24. How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
  25. Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement – Angela Y. Davis
  26. Eloquent Rage – Brittney Cooper
  27. Black Sexual Politics: African-American, Gender, and the New Racism – Patricia Hill Collins
  28. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom – bell hooks
  29. Can We Talk about Race? by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  30. Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts
  31. Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings
  32. Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington
  33. Reproductive Injustice by Dana Ain Davis
  34. Body and Soul by Alondra Nelson
  35. Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown
  36. Divided Sisters by Midge Wilson and Kathy Russell
  37. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  38. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  39. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  40. They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery


  41. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  42. Fatal Invention by Dorothy Roberts
  43. Locking Up Our Own by James Forman
  44. The Miner’s Canary by Lani Guiner and Gerald Torres
  45. The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
  46. Citizen by Claudia Rankine (poetry)
  47. The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
  48. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  49. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  50. White Rage by Carol Anderson
  51. White Like Me by Tim Wise
  52. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  53. Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
  54. Eloquent Rage by Dr. Brittney Cooper
  55. Heavy and American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
  56. I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
  57. Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
  58. Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  59. The Next American Revolution by Grace Lee Boggs
  60. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson 


  61. This Bridge Called my Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherrie Moraga
  62. Medicalizing Blackness: Making Racial Difference in the Atlantic World, 1780-1840 by Rana A. Hogarth
  63. Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology by Deirdre Cooper Owens
  64. When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele 
  65. Road Map for Revolutionaries by Elisa Camahort Page, Carolyn Gerin and Jamia Wilson
  66. Race Matters, by Cornel West
  67. March (Books One, Two and Three), by Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
  68. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
  69. In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, by Alice Walker
  70. The Mis-Education of the Negro, by Carter Godwin Woodson
  71. Thick, by Tressie McMillan Cottom
  72. Stamped From The Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi
  73. Me and White Supremacy, by Layla Saad
  74. Black Wealth / White Wealth, by Melvin Oliver and Thomas Shapiro
  75. God's Bits of Wood, by Ousmane Sembéne

Other worthwhile lists can be found on the Harvard List and Business Insider.  

The following publications amplify Black voices, report from Black perspectives, and serve to uplift and empower BIPOC communities. 

  1. Wear Your Voice 
    A digital magazine for and by LGBTQIA+ Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) based in the United States. They publish reported articles, features, personal essays, and critical analyses of current events, politics, entertainment, culture, sexuality, health, and more. 
  2. Bitch Media
    Bitch Media’s mission is to provide and encourage an engaged, thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture.
  3. Unicorn Riot
    A decentralized, educational 501(c)(3) non-profit media organization of artists and journalists. Our work is dedicated to exposing root causes of dynamic social and environmental issues through amplifying stories and exploring sustainable alternatives in today’s globalized world.
  4. Gal-Dem
    A new media publication, committed to telling the stories of people of color from marginalized genders. With an online and print magazine, they're addressing inequality and misrepresentation in the industry through platforming the creative and editorial work of their community across essays, opinion, news, arts, music, politics and lifestyle content.
  5. Black Women Radicals
    A Black feminist advocacy organization dedicated to uplifting and centering Black women and gender expansive people’s radical political activism. Rooted in intersectional and transnational Black feminisms and Womanisms, they are committed to empowering Black transgender, queer, and cisgender radical women and gender expansive activists by centering their political, intellectual, and cultural contributions to the field of Black Politics across time, space, and place in Africa and the African Diaspora.
  6. Color Lines
    A daily news site where race matters, featuring award-winning in-depth reporting, news analysis, opinion and curation. Published by Race Forward, a national organization that advances racial justice through research, media and practice.
  7. Prism
    A BIPOC-led non-profit news outlet that centers the people, places, and issues currently underreported by national media. They're committed to producing the kind of journalism that treats Black, Indigenous, and people of color, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and other invisibilized groups as the experts on their own lived experiences, resilience, and fights for justice.
  8. The Grio
    A video news community devoted to providing stories that affect and reflect Black America. 
  9. The Root
    A digital magazine that provides thought-provoking commentary and news from a variety of black perspectives. It provides an unflinching analysis of important issues in the black community through insightful and savvy commentary from black thought-leaders.
  10. News One
    Your destination for news and information for and about Blacks in America. Filled with original stories, diverse opinions, photos, videos and polls, NewsOne is dedicated to deepening out audiences’ understanding about current events and their impact on black lives.
  11. Urban Geekz
    A groundbreaking video-centric African American, Latinx, and multicultural digital news platform focused on technology, business, science, and startups. The first-of-its-kind online publication also provides authoritative lifestyle and entertainment content.

  12. Travel Noir
    A digital media company serving millennials of the African Diaspora. Through inspired content, they help discerning travelers, discover, plan and experience new destinations.
  13. The Undefeated
    The premier platform for exploring the intersections of race, sports and culture. They  enlighten and entertain with innovative storytelling, original reporting and provocative commentary.
  14. Black Enterprise
    The premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BLACK ENTERPRISE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers.
  15. Super Selected
    An online magazine created by a fashion stylist based in NYC with a fine art background, who wanted to explore diversity in her aesthetic interests.
  16. The Network Journal
    A quarterly print and online business magazine for Black professionals and small business owners. TNJ is dedicated to educating and empowering its readers.
  17. Atlanta Tribune
    Black Atlanta's leading source for relevant, thought-provoking news and information on business and wealth-building. We educate our readers and present ideas, viewpoints and possible solutions that economically, politically and socially empower them. We are timely, accurate, credible, in-depth, progressive and always strive to make our readers think.
  18. Cuisine Noir
    The first food and wine lifestyle magazine for African-Americans. Cuisine Noir is a multicultural digital food, wine and travel lifestyle magazine that shares delicious and entertaining stories from around the African Diaspora that savor the rich and diverse history that continues to influence the way the world eats.
    Exists to create a progressive dialogue around natural hair and the women who wear it. They are reaching beyond trendy clickbait and #BlackGirlMagic to address the whole Black woman; a woman who is more educated, well-traveled and sophisticated than ever before — largely because generations before her have fought to ensure her seat at the table. Through beautiful content, thoughtful commentary, hair inspiration and resources; they’re telling the world the truth about Black women by showcasing a new standard of beauty —  and documenting their story in tangible, premium print form.
  20. BLAC
    The premier lifestyle magazine for African Americans in and around Detroit. We cover the people, places and issues of importance to our community. We strive to be inclusive of the entire African diaspora in our region, covering African descendants of various national and ethnic backgrounds.


When it comes to talking to children about racism, it is never too early. Black parents don't have a choice in waiting to talk to their kids about the constructs, implications, and consequences of racism, as they have to navigate it on a daily basis. Being an effective ally involves talking to young kids, even toddler age about racism. "If we want to raise our children to be compassionate people who participate as responsible citizens in a democracy, we need to find ways to talk with them about the thorny issues that we struggle with as a country. Race, fairness, and how to create change in a democracy are three of those issues, " writes Dr. Laura Markham of Aha Parenting.

Raising racially conscious kids demands conscious parenting. It entails recognizing that kids experience racism as well, and need our help contextualizing it. They require guidance  processing media images and messages, are eager to talk about race from their perspectives, and should understand their privilege and role in dismantling racism as citizens of the world. They need to be steered away from the white supremacist systems that keep BIPOC oppressed and feeling inferior, such as concepts around "reverse-racism" and colorblindness

Children are little sponges, and while identity is a process in flux, a child's formative experience around identity can really shape their thoughts around their place, possibilities, and purpose in this world. The Conscious Kid is an incredible educational, research, and policy organization site, dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth. They exist to "support organizations, families, and educators in taking action to disrupt racism in young children." 
They host a section for books confronting anti-Blackness by Black authors, books to help through the talking points around race, and books about Black history as told by Black people. They even dedicate a section to a glossary of anti-racist jargon of sorts, which is just as beneficial to parents as it is for kids. 


Other resources include the Instagram account HERE WEE READ, where you can find quality diverse books and educational products. Alongside reading recommendations, parents and educators alike can find detailed printable handouts and wall fixtures full of educational content made by teachers for other teachers. Tools to help adults navigate challenging conversations around race and racism with children are abound, and stereotype-free children's stories can be found on booksforlittles, covering the whole spectrum of BIPOC holidays and experiences. Julius Lester's Let's Talk About Race, poignantly illustrates the very essence of race, by suggesting "I'll take off my skin. Will you take off yours?"

We could have provided links to all the books listed above but we wanted to support the many Black owned bookstores that carry these books and much more. Oprah's List of Best Black Owned Bookstores or this list from Literary Hub, are great national resources. If you are based in Los Angeles, here is a list for you. A few other notable stores are listed below. 

Marcus Books: The nation's oldest Black-owned bookstore, located in Oakland, California. 

The Listening Tree: A children's bookstore in Decatur, Georgia, that also offers a young entrepreneurs program for kids.

Mahogany Books: Bookstore based in Washington, D.C. 

Ashay By The Bay:San Francisco Bay Area kids bookstore.

Harriett's Bookshop: Philadelphia-based store named after Harriett Tubman.

Semicolon Bookstore:Chicago's only Black woman-owned independent bookstore.

The Lit Bar:Bronx-based bookstore and wine bar.

Sister's Uptown Bookstore: Family owned and operated bookstore and community space in Manhattan.

Sankofa: Washington, D.C.-based bookstore that celebrates Pan-African culture and offers book clubs and children's events.

Hakim's Bookstore: Philadelphia's first and oldest African American bookstore specializing in Black history.

Cafe con Libros: Feminist, independent bookstore based in Brooklyn, New York.


  1. About Race
    A lively multiracial conversation about the ways we can’t talk, don’t talk, would rather not talk, but intermittently, fitfully, embarrassingly do talk about culture, identity, politics, power, and privilege in our pre-post-yet-still-very-racial America. This show is "About Race."
  2. Code Switch 
    It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for. Hosted by journalists of color, the podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. They explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story. 
  3. The Nod 
    Tells the stories of Black life that don’t get told anywhere else, from an explanation of how purple drink became associated with Black culture to the story of how an interracial drag troupe traveled the nation in the 1940s. They celebrate the genius, the innovation, and the resilience that is so particular to being Black -- in America, and around the world.
  4. The Stakes 
    A show about social change, hosted by Kai Wright. We live in extreme times—a climate on the verge of crisis, an economy built on inequality and a political system that feels like it’s falling apart. So, how’d we get to this point? And what happens next? From democracy to healthcare, from pop culture to the environment, our reporters are working to understand why we live the way we do—and why it matters. Because if we can better understand the society we‘ve got, maybe we can figure out how to create one that works for more people. 
  5. Scene on Radio: Seeing White Series
    A Peabody-nominated podcast that dives deeply into issues central to American society, exploring who we were and who we are. Recent many-part series include Seeing White, looking at the roots and meaning of white supremacy, and MEN, exploring the past and present of sexism and patriarchy. 
  6. The Heart: Race Traitor Series
    An audio art project about power and love. From Mermaid Palace and Radiotopia.
  7. United States of Anxiety
    A show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future. Each week, host Kai Wright invites listeners to gather for intimate conversations and deeply reported stories about the choices we’ve made as a society -- and the new choices we can imagine now. We’re learning from our past, meeting our neighbors, and sharing the joy (and the work!) of living in a plural society.
  8. Shine Brighter Together
    A place where we share the challenges, complexities and sheer joy of building healthy relationships and doing the heart work for Black liberation. You can expect to hear solo episodes by Monique Melton who is an anti-racism educator, international speaker and published author and creator of the Shine Brighter Together community. And guest episodes with people from different walks of life sharing diverse perspectives on relationships and diversity.
  9. Pass The Mic
    The premier podcast of The Witness – A Black Christian Collective. Tune in every week for engaging discussions and high profile interviews addressing the core concerns of African Americans biblically.
  10. Combing The Roots with Ally Henny
    An in-depth look at the issues surrounding racism, justice, and racial healing from a black woman’s perspective. In each episode, host Ally Henny explores and exposes the nature of America’s race problem drawing on history, culture, and other sources to provide thoughtful and engaging insight into a deeply contentious issue. Henny, a writer, activist, minister, and theologian is not afraid to take on controversial topics and shine a light on the issues.
  11. New York Times' 1619
    An audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling.
  12. EJI's Lynching in America 
    Equal Justice Initiative has documented the lynchings of over 4,000 African Americans between 1877 and 1950. In this series, hear how this era of racial terror lynchings continues to shape America to this day.


  13. Beyond Prisons
    A podcast on justice, mass incarceration, and prison abolition. Hosted by @phillyprof03 & @bsonenstein
  14. The Diversity Gap
    When it comes to diversity, good intentions are only the beginning. Join Bethaney Wilkinson as she explores the gap between good intentions and good impact as it relates to diversity, inclusion and equity. On The Diversity Gap podcast, we'll be learning from thought leaders, authors, creatives and more about the diversity gaps in society and culture. Our goal is to discover promising practices for closing diversity gaps in our everyday lives and work!
  15. Intersectionality Matters! By Kimberle Crenshaw
    A podcast hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory.
  16. Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
    Features movement voices, stories, and strategies for racial justice. Co-hosts Chevon and Hiba give their unique takes on race and pop culture, and uplift narratives of hope, struggle, and joy, as we continue to build the momentum needed to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. Deepen your racial justice lens and get inspired to drive action. 
  17. Pod for the Cause
    The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights launched “Pod for the Cause” podcast to expand the conversation on critical civil and human rights challenges of our day: census, justice reform, policing, education, fighting hate & bias, judicial nominations, fair courts, voting rights, media & tech, economic security, immigration, and human rights. Through this expanded dialogue, they want to spur activism that drives change in our communities and country.
  18. Pod Save the People
    Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with analysis from Sam Sinyangwe, Kaya Henderson, and De’Ara Balenger. Then he sits down for deep conversations with experts, influencers, and diverse local and national leaders. New episodes every Tuesday.
  19. Fare of the Free Child Podcast
    Focuses on Black people, Indigenouse people, and People of Color (BIPOC) families who practice unschooling and other forms of Self-Directed, decolonized living and learning. Each weekly episode examines a particular way that we’ve accepted coercive, emotionally and physically damaging habits as a normal part of adult-child relationships. With a focus on deschooling one’s self, decolonizing education, and exploring radical self-expression, this podcast both challenges and informs us to push past coercion and fear, and walk toward a model for living with children that centers community, addresses social justice issues, and believes in trusting and respecting children and ourselves. #BIPOCinSDE #raisingfreepeople
  20. Citations Needed Podcast - Episode 60 - Kitten Rescues, Lip-Syncing & Christmas Traffic Stops: Your Guide To Clickbait Copaganda


Written & curated by Sapna Gandhi

Sapna Gandhi is an actor, singer-songwriter, and content creator. In addition to TV credits such as BOSCH, SHAMELESS and SCANDAL, she has appeared in numerous shorts, features, and series, including festival darlings IN ABSENTIA (Raindance) and THUMPER (Tribeca). Gandhi has produced several series and films under the umbrella of her production company Elegant Grotesque (most recently SCRAP, starring Anthony Rapp and Vivian Kerr, and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ STRANDED ON THE EARTH, directed by Mike Bruce). She is also 1/2 of the musical duo, VATAVARAN, was born in England, raised all over the states, studied English and Women’s Studies, and trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in SF.

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