No one needed my voice to chime in on Martin Luther King Jr. Day other than to signal-boost voices of Black activists.
Every year I am reminded of the time I played a show with my old band and one of us got in a physical fight with someone in the crowd who made a racist joke on this holiday. That's not cool any day, but especially not MLK Day. I'm not into fighting, but defending racial justice is something I'll pretty much always accept throwing punches over.
Speaking to my white readers here, I'm not suggesting you jump directly to physical violence, but now (or literally any moment) is a good time to think about what you would do to defend the kind of justice Dr. King fought for. That means taking the time to educate yourself on the history of his work and others in the civil rights movement beyond the whitewashed version that is taught in school. It means interrogating how racism intersects with issues of class, reproductive health, gender, etc. and how that plays out in your daily life.
It's the bare minimum I can do as a white person is to educate myself. Bare fucking minimum. And I know from practical experience that the more I learn, the more I can act accordingly and try to be a better accomplice in dismantling white supremacy.
Below are some texts that I have found useful including a couple of things on Twitter that are worth your time.
Thanks for reading.
A new podcast investigating the plot to kill Dr. King. Draws from archival recordings as well as new interviews. I've only listened to the first episode so far and have already learned a LOT.
Practical racial equity strategies. I initially found his account via this video.
And they made another one for kids!
"The daily newsletter to dismantle white supremacy." They recently compiled a shortlist of writing and speeches that honor the full legacy of MLK.
A Black and woman-owned bookstore in Los Angeles but you can also order from them online.