As live in Denmark I have never been properly taught American history and African-American rights and racism. That also means I have learned the majority of what I know about the subject from literature and movies.
I recently finished The Hate U Give, which follows a girl from a black ghetto right after a black teenager has unfairly been killed by a policeman. It deals with a 16-year-olds daily struggles as black and a whole community’s anger and feeling of the police more being against them than with them. It really made me realize some things about many black people’s situation in the US.
The story has really been stuck in my head and it gave me the idea to recommend some of my other favorite books, movies, TV shows and music about the racism in the US.
“Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision. You gone have to ask yourself, “Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?” – Kathryn Stockett, The Help
The Help book is set in 1962, Mississippi and follows three different women each with the wish to change the way women view one another. White 22-year-old Skeeter has big dreams for the future but is held back by her mother’s wish for her to get married and fit in her gender role. Aibileen, a black made, is raising her 17th white child, while dealing with the trauma after her own son’s death. Minny, Aibileen’s friend, is a small, fat, sassy woman, who is well-known for her incredibly cooking skills.
This book is very focused on the relationship between white women and their black maids. It is such a strong story and definitely my absolute favorite on this whole list.
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” – To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill A Mockingbird is also set in Southern America in the 1960’s. It follows the two children Scout and Jem and their father, Atticus. They live in a very small town and when Atticus, who works as a lawyer, decides to take a case defending a black man the whole town is in shock. This show some of the early stages of white people standing up for the black’s rights and the consequences of that in a very small community.
It is very beautiful book, and the fact that it is told by a child only makes it more real. A classic for a reason.
Now onto one album I really love.
The songs in this album are filled with pain and especially Behind the Wall hit me so hard. I listened to it while reading The Hate U Give, it fitted that book so well and almost made me cry. Listen to this album!!
“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” – Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
Besides the movie adaptations of The Help and To Kill A Mockingbird which are both hella amazing and you should all really watch (!!) I have two other TV recommendations.
I just wrote a review for this one so I won’t go in too much detail, but we follow three black women who work for NASA. We watch how they are oppressed by basically everyone and their fight so be respected as intelligent women. It absolutely amazing, you can check out my review for it here.
Dear White People
This new Netflix show is about a mostly black group of students at an Ivy-league college as they deal and protest against different kinds of discriminations that happen at their campus. There has been a lot of controversy around it, but I honestly thought it was great. The students are led by anger and white students are mostly shown as racists fuckheads, but sometimes I believe that is needed to show a point, and I love the show. I would definitely encourage you all to watch it.
That was all I had. I would love to get some recommendations from you guys, as I love to learn about this very important issue.