What’s next? A curated list of resources for waking up

After my TEDx talk, one of my kids asked me, “Mommy, did you win?”

She thought it was a contest, I was up against the other speakers, and at the end of the night, a victor would be announced. And then, that winner would go on to “compete” on the national TED stage.

I had to explain that no, this was just a one-time deal, there are no winners or losers (we were *all* winners, weren’t we?) (cymbal crash) (groan) — that it was just one night, giving one talk, and now it’s over.

And today, it’s available online.

But it’s not exactly true that it’s over. And today I want to ask the question plenty of my friends, family, and acquaintances have asked me: What’s next?

Hmm, what IS next anyway?

For me, the main Next Thing is the daily work of raising black children in a white supremacist culture. As two formerly sleeping white folks who are trying hard to wake up, my husband and I need education. We need resources, tools, and information. I have accumulated just enough knowledge to see how much I have left to learn.

If you find yourself asking this same question after watching my TEDx talk, here are some of the voices I’ve been listening to. Maybe it could be a start for you, too.



Austin Channing Brown – prophetic truth-teller

Christena Cleveland – Duke Divinity School professor, hopeful and consistent calling a better world into being

Francesca Ramsey – host of the fantastic Decoded video series from MTV

Awesomely Luvvie – Nigerian-American writer and blogger who is funny as hell and also can teach you a thing or two

My Black is Beautiful which is from Procter and Gamble of all things, but if they’re willing to have this conversation then I don’t care who it comes from.



Safety Pin Box – A subscription box for white people who want to be allies in the fight for white liberation. A for-profit company whose proceeds benefit black women-owned businesses. They have various subscription levels and even a kids’ box!

White Ally Toolkit emphasizes empathetic listening for racism skeptics, which is vitally important — and very difficult to do the closer I come to a dim understanding of what my black kids will face.


Between the World and Me – Ta Nehisi Coates (also please read everything he writes for The Atlantic)

What Does It Mean to Be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy – Revised Edition (Counterpoints) – Robin DiAngelo

So You Want to Talk About RaceIjeoma Oluo (preorder but she’s a brilliant writer)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness — Michelle Alexander

Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson

salt. – Nayyirah Waheed (poetry!)

AmericanahChimamanda Ngozi Adichie


*Note: Some of these shows may not be suitable for children or sensitive folks.* Use your discretion.

Get Out film by Jordan Peele

Dear White People – Netflix

Insecure – HBO

*I mean because of mature language and subject matter, not because it’s hard as a white person to hear how you might be ignorant or misinformed about the experience of people of color. These resources should make you feel uncomfortable and maybe a little offended. That’s the point. Get uncomfortable so you can grow.


These resources are just scraping the surface, of course. What tools have helped you on your white ally/wokeness journey? Please share in the comments.

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