Another name. Another black person who lost their life because of police brutality. For eight minutes and 46 seconds, we watched Derek Chauvin kneel on Floyd's neck. We watched Chauvin suffocate Floyd, ignoring the pleas that he couldn't breathe and how he didn't want to die. For eight minutes and 46 seconds, we watched this man's life fade away.
The video is shocking and disturbing. Unfortunately there are countless other videos like this. Every few months there is a new hashtag honouring the life of another black person brutally killed because of racism. Ahmaud Arbery was only out jogging in his neighbourhood when he was chased down and killed by three men. But it was almost two months later after a video of his murder was leaked that these men were arrested and charged. Why is this? Why are the murders of black people repeatedly ignored?
It has taken the death of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd for many to stop and recognise the plight of black people and the racial injustice many suffer every day. Their deaths have sparked the conversations many have avoided having because it was 'too uncomfortable'. Their deaths are encouraging people to use their voices to call out racism.
I am a teacher so I often avoid posting things about political issues because I fear it won't seem 'professional'. However, as a black woman, I could not stand by and remain silent. As teachers, we have opportunities many others do not. We have the opportunity to educate young minds and use our voices for positive change.
Most of us invest in books to help our professional development: whether it's books offering strategies for reading or books on how to approach different learning styles in the classroom. So with many of us teaching BAME students, I believe it is necessary for teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of racial injustice in order to develop their practice and approach. I asked EduTwitter to share anti-racism book suggestions and I was amazed and touched by the responses. It was nice to see the teaching community coming together to share ideas or just acknowledge their ignorance about the topic and wanting to do more to develop their understanding.
Here are 15 books recommended by teachers (1-3 are my personal suggestions):