Marie Forleo introduction

Hi!

I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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On February 23rd, Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down by two white men while he was going for a jog. On March 13th, EMT Breonna Taylor was shot eight times by the police in her home. On May 25th, George Floyd was slowly suffocated to death by a white police officer. 

Right now it is absolutely crucial that white people do the work to dismantle the systems of white supremacy. We have to commit to taking long-term action. So what does that look like? Where do we even start? 

Like many people right now, I’m in active learning mode.

Team Forleo and I are about to embark on our annual two-week company closure and, as we prepare for this break, we’ve been compiling and sharing anti-racism books, videos, and podcasts with each other on Slack. 

At first, I wanted to share that list with you on the blog, but here’s the thing…

Black educators have already done this work. They’ve been doing it for years. It’s not my voice that matters. It’s theirs. Instead of publishing yet another list, I’d like to tell you what I’m personally reading right now, and give you a few already-compiled resource guides created by Black people.

This reading list by Arielle Grey is a great place to start. She writes, “[A]n important part of learning about racism is realizing that no reading list can do the work for you. Learning and excommunicating your internalized racism is a lifelong process that requires intense self-study and determination.”

I’m personally reading How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and highly recommend it. It’s an eye-opening, powerful examination of racism in America.

If you’d like to dive deeper, Tasha K. Ryals compiled this shareable anti-racism guide. It includes suggested pre-reading, memoirs, essays, and resources on immigration, indigenous studies, Latinx studies, and more.

This guide on anti-racism for beginners, now under the leadership of Tiffany Bowden, PhD, is also tremendous.  

It has articles, definitions, terms to understand, books to read, Black educators and leaders to follow, and other ways you can take action.

Yes, it’s a lot. I understand that these lists may feel overwhelming at first, especially if you’re just getting started. But learning and taking action is non-negotiable. I encourage you to click, pick, and go. Remember, clarity comes from engagement, not thought.

If you’re feeling frozen — like you want to help but you’re afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing — here are five additional resources to check out.

How Can We Win
This 6-minute video featuring writer Kimberly Jones is powerful, heartbreaking, and vitally important. If you’re brand new to the work of anti-racism, please watch this.

8:46
In this thought-provoking 20-minute standup, Dave Chapelle speaks candidly about the murder of George Floyd, celebrity responsibility, and being Black in America. 

Stream to Donate
Want to donate but don’t have a dollar to spare? This 24-hour hip-hop livestream by Revive Music donates all their ad revenue to Black Lives Matter. 

Less Caption. More Action.
Entrepreneur and B-School alum, Gabrielle Thomas, is leading an initiative to help empower Black entrepreneurs. Through her website, you can offer a free service, mentorship, education, event ticket, or opportunity on your podcast, newsletter, blog, or social media platform. Gabrielle will match you with a Black business owner who needs your skillset. And if you’re a Black business owner who’d like to be matched, click here.

Freedom Festival
Magogodi Makhene and her partners created an arts-filled virtual festival that’s happening July 12-19. They say, “We want to activate everyday citizens to purposeful behavior and inspired action. Our work is rooted in love and fueled by the arts.” It features art, community, workshops, and music. Until then, the founders are also offering a free 30-Day Anti-Racist Challenge on Instagram. 

There can be no significant change in the world unless we first have the courage to change ourselves. In order to change ourselves, we must first believe we can.

The importance of this moment cannot be understated. 

We need all hands and hearts on deck. This is a turning point, in an infinite number of ways. It’s hard to express how profoundly I’ve been changed, and how grateful I am to be present at this time. It’s long, long overdue. 

With enormous love and respect,

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86 comments

  1. Diving in. Thank you for putting this together, Marie.

    • Marie

      Our team is 100% committed to this journey Bryce. Thanks for being here. ?

  2. Thank you for including the acknowledgement in the explaination. As children black people are taught that we have to work twice as hard to be seen and heard, so doing the work is what we are used to. It gets exhausting to always have other copy, steal and take credit for our work. Thank you for not appropriating the diligence of these educators. This list is amazing, they did a wonderful job and your platform is impactful. This is how real change happens.

    • Marie

      Thanks for your comment Asha. ? We’re fully committed to do what we can to help bring about change, together.

  3. Lenard Gieni

    When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.

    — Katherine Ponder

    Seems to me that both sides of this issue need to learn this

    • Lizette Cobbs

      Forgiveness comes once the activity that needs forgiving stops. The injustices are STILL HAPPENING to our community and being perpetrated by the infrastructure that governs our day to day life, impossible to avoid. Forgiveness without CHANGE and addressing the real issue here does nothing because then the cycle continues. And no amount of eloquently worded quotes will change this. Trust me, it’s disheartening at the least for myself and my community to have to continue these discussions and need to protest and organize JUST to get basic acknowledgment as human and be able to live our lives in peace. But its necessary, so we’ll do it.

      Thank you so much for putting this together Marie. It’s much appreciated 🙂

      • Laurie Soldinger

        Very well said! I will help fight for change, and only then can we all begin the forgiveness process. ♥️

      • Heather- Team Forleo

        Lizette, thank you for sharing your words, perspective, and time here today. We’re committed to change and to continue doing the work.

      • Aimee

        Wow, Lizette. Beautifully said. 🙂 Thank you!

      • Jillian

        Yeesssss, my mind was racing with what to say because although I understand the power and necessity of forgiveness, the timing of the suggestion didn’t feel right. Then I read your comment and was like, “right, that’s it”.

    • Lenard, many of the blacks in my circle have moved beyond forgiveness into action. We understand that the systemic racism in America was not something that whites living today had a hand in creating. We understand that whites in America have benefited from these systems that have oppressed my community in ways that most whites will never have to experience simply because of the color of their skin.

      Since none of us had the power to choose our skin color, we are now focused on taking action that influences the political, criminal, and economic systems in this country. Because history has proven that these three systems have created the most harm to the black community and its ability to build and sustain wealth in this country.

  4. Yolanda Barnes-Glass

    Thank you for taking such an intentional role in anti-racism!!

    • Marie

      Thank YOU Yolanda ?

  5. This is fantastic. Thank you.

  6. I’m glad you came to the decision that you did not need to create another anti-racism guide. It would be helpful for your accountability if you had described this as another almost-mistake and a learning moment that you had to be taught by others. I’m sure that several people in your audience, as I did, took the time to email you about why creating another anti-racism guide as you originally intended was unnecessary and possibly harmful. I hope you keep offering transparency about your process.

  7. Ellen

    Thank you, Marie (as always)!

  8. Thank you for the information. God Bless

    • Trez

      I’m disappointed to see this Marie. A curated list of interviews you’ve done with People of Color to be put on display alongside a Marxist ideological based guide. I’m black and absolutely attest to the need for activism to foster equality but this is not the way – this is conscious clearing political correctness. Please consider having Black men like Columbia’s a John McWhorter or Brown’s Glenn Loury on your show to discuss these issue. Sincerely and with peace and love, Trez

      • Trez

        *conscience clearing
        …Oh, and Please also consider Ayishant Akanbi as a potential guest – she has incredible perspective and is a successful black entrepreneur.

        • Heather- Team Forleo

          Trez, we appreciate you sharing those suggestions with us. Thank you.

      • Erika G

        Thank you for this, Trez. I was having the same thoughts. I very much appreciate Marie taking these steps to educate herself, her team, and help her followers. AND, there are many different perspectives out there – especially other Black people’s voices – that are helping to move us all toward equality and justice. Marie or Team Forleo, if you are reading this, please consider Trez’s recommendations and more non-Marxist thinkers. Its a deep pool and you’ve just gotten your toes wet!

      • Jillian

        I didn’t see any reference to her own work in the list. She linked out to other people’s work and stated clearly in the intro that her intention was to put the light on those already doing the work and not herself.

  9. Rebecca

    I am frustrated for my children. We never talked about colors and most of our neighbors are not from America with all different colors. It is racist to single out a race for good or bad. So I don’t see how it is helping the issue by singling out a color to interview or honor with a history month. This generation of children could have been the ones that do not judge on color. But now with all this focus on one color, the damage has been done. We are responsible for our own opinions. If you have racism that you need to work through, then do it without judging others and then we can continue the progress that has been done for 50 years.

    • Nieda Washington

      What progress? The reason why “BLACK PEOPLE” have the “shortest” month of the year to help educate others on black history and our heritage is because, we learn your(white/non black) history all the time. Tell me, how much do you teach your children about “black people”? That we still live in a Country where the color of our skin often dictates the amount of pay we will receive for equal labor. Please, tell me how it feels to be passed up for promotion not because of capability to do a job or even for lack of education, but the color of your skin. You can pretend as if these things do not exist, you can pretend to teach your children that color does not matter, but that only exist in households that are not black. We have to be aware of our surroundings at all times and skin color is a constant reminder of that. Please, let’s not be oblivious or act as if people are not being discriminated against because of color. So, if you have an issue with “BLACK PEOPLE” having a DAY, MONTH or PHRASE to celebrate and remind us of our unique greatness. Then my dear, I suggest you pick up and read what Marie is putting down.
      Be an agent for change and gain some knowledge before you speak hurtful reckless things if you really want to see change!
      -Blessings!

      • Laurie Soldinger

        Amen! And why would anyone want to shelter their children and teach them to be colorblind? The damage is done because your children can only avoid repeating history if they learn from it? I can only imagine how many homeschooled or sheltered children will miss these important lessons and feel completely lost and unprepared for the real world one day.

        • Michelle Miller

          Making unfavorable generalizations about homeschoolers in the comments section of an article about anti-racism clearly demonstrates the underlying issue of how some people view others, who are by any means different from themselves, in a particularly negative way. My “sheltered” homeschoolers are very involved in their community, interacting respectfully with the wide diversity of people they encounter. Perpetuating generalizations, especially negative ones, about any particular group of people is not appropriate. In fact, this way of thinking has contributed to the social problems our country has been facing for decades.

        • Jillian

          I actually home school my children for this very reason, to make sure they aren’t sheltered and that they aren’t tied to a curriculum that still does not properly teach American history and culture. I use home schooling as the chance to teach my children all that I was denied and had to learn the hard way when I was much older.

      • I was JUST thinking about this today! It WOULD be great to have more black history taught in schools and to have more than one month to learn. I think it’s sad that I never knew until this year about Juneteenth or that I never knew about Japanese internment camps during WW2 or that I never knew about soooo much about other communities and cultures within the U.S. until I became a middle-aged adult. I’ve truly gotten a LOT out of listening and learning and look forward to more opportunities.

    • Rebecca, it is the privilege of whiteness to not see “colors” and rather to see everyone as the same as you are. The reality is that not only are they not the same as you are, and further they are not treated as the same by society. People aren’t just “colors” but they are reduced to this designation by societal constructs designed to oppress and worse. This oppression is necessary to create the privilege of whiteness, also a social construct. Those that are designated by birth with the right to enfranchise themselves into the societal construct of whiteness and to benefit from it (determined by society by “color”) have had their humanity denied, their history erased, and their culture demonized and impugned. This is why there has been a need to reverse this historical and ongoing activity by creating at least a month to celebrate black history, in particular. Because you don’t see colors, you are living outside of the reality of our society. You can elect to not see the differences and the differences in societal treatment to maintain your comfort and justify privilege. Just recognize that all do not have this choice and, in part, for this reason, we must create opportunities for underrepresented people to see themselves. Our societal constructs still work to ensure that virtually nobody sees “color” for the remaining 11 months of the year. It’s not a world without color that we need to live in. We need a world where color does not subject someone to oppression or worse.

      • Edit meant to say: Those that are designated by birth “without” the right to enfranchise themselves into the societal construct of whiteness and to benefit from it (determined by society by “color”) have had their humanity denied, their history erased, and their culture demonized and impugned.

        • Sally

          You misunderstood Rebecca’s meaning. Not “seeing” color isn’t about being colorblind or surpressing ones race or culture. It’s about integrity of action and behavior. Not seeing color means to treat people the same and not purpetuate an “us vs. them” narrative. Because change that means anything, actually accomplishes something, requires the narrative to change to a We/Us. We are Americans. We value integrity. We value equal opportunity. We value merit. We can come together to create change.

      • Jillian

        Thank you.

  10. Thank you for compiling this list and taking the time to speak up.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      We appreciate you being here, Granita.

  11. Thank you for the resources Marie, I saw Ibram X Kendi on what Oprah recently put together. Thanks for the reminder, I just got his audio book. I love to read and to listen. In listening mode, myself right now. So I can continue to do my part to help. Grateful Marie and Team Forleo. Rest and refresh come back stronger than ever. Sending light and Love. God Bless!

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      We hope that Ibram’s book is helpful for you, Lori. We appreciate your kind words and well wishes for our break. Thank you for being here with us.

  12. Lizette Cobbs

    I guess you’re an expert on our communities, right? An insider… We’re just chillin”, right? Forget slavery and the fact that we’ve been trying to rectify the impact that this atrocity of an institution has had on our community for years and fighting AGAINST the very entity (government) which should be protecting us and helping us to make it right, as they were the ones who wronged us in the first place. Also, Black people, not Blacks. We aren’t crayons.

  13. Oh, Marie!
    Thank you for ALL of this! Love these resources and so appreciate you and all you do….I can’t tell you how much, truly!
    xox

  14. N.Washington

    Thank you Marie for having the guts to stand up and do something, to say something, to help educate and share on your platform.

    It’s sad to see so many of you who say that you are unsubscribing, because she posted something about anti-racism and how you could do your part to bring change.

    If WE don’t stand up, then WHO?
    Whether you like it or not. CHANGE IS COMING!

    Thanks again Marie! ?

    • Marie

      N.Washington thank YOU for being here. For responding. For your heart, your patience, your kindness. I /we (meaning our team) are fully and deeply committed to using what we’ve got to help create that change. We’re in this for the long-term. Really, really appreciate you. ?

    • This sent goosebumps all over me! N. Washington ” If WE don’t stand up, then WHO? Whether you like it or not. CHANGE IS COMING!” Wow! Thank you for these powerful words. I too feel the exact same way. Change is the inevitable way – and with the majority of us working towards the good/the right/the moral/the just – the change will be for the better. It brings beautiful tears to my eyes to hear my son telling anyone at our dinner table when even the hint of a racist remark is suggested, this 13-year old will speak up and let them know that racism is not allowed in our home. I hear him over the microphone when gaming online with his peers – “don’t be racist!” – my heart swells with the hope and the possibility that this change will be beautiful. I am standing with you <3

  15. Regina Toney

    Roger,
    You are woefully ignorant and racist!
    Seek help!

  16. THANK YOU, Marie! I’m sharing to my network now.
    I’m reading “White Fragility” now and just ordered “How to be an Anti-Racist”. Thanks for using your platform for so much good.

  17. Morgan

    This is wonderful Marie! I look forward to learning, growing and most importantly taking action. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Let’s lean in! ♥️

  18. Marie,
    This is a tough subject for many people, especially those who believe that Black Lives Matter does not really impact them. I have to say that the recent upsurgence of awareness is a step towards a more humane world. Humans are constantly battling good over evil, we have done so for thousands of years. The issue at hand right now is Black Lives Matter, it matters because this subject is woven in to the very fiber of American history and it can not be ignored. America will not and can not heal itself until it deals with its nefarious beginnings. America was born of violence and oppression so when it continues we should not be surprised. No one can remained untouched by the ugly stain of racism. Yet, everyone can start to cleanse our minds, bodies and spirits of systematic bias, unfounded prejudice and unGodly violence against each other and ourselves.
    We must take a stand to educate ourselves, to understand how this oppressive culture negatively impacts us all and to start to address the biases that lead to unfair treatment for many. In order for this to happen we need all hands on deck, no matter the cost.
    Thank you for choosing to stand for a transformed world. No one is asking anyone to be perfect, but we can all do our best to be better humans.

    • Marie

      Hi Tiffany, thanks for taking the time to share so much here. I resonated with everything you wrote, and this line hit my heart. “No one can remained untouched by the ugly stain of racism.”

      I agree too, we need all hands on deck here. Yes, being better humans. That’s what this is about. Thank you again. Sending you and your family SO much love ?

  19. Very Good!!!!

  20. Dawn Simmons

    I’m not a racist and I know it. Don’t need this one, Marie. I’m at the airport and just gave an African American mom my Apple plug to charge her phone. Gifted. She needs it for her trip because she forgot hers. I didn’t give it to her because of her color, but because she seems like a super person, a Mom frazzeled from packing quickly to get three young kids to the airport on time. Please be reminded that nearly 3/4 of a million people died to end slavery.

    • Joi

      Dawn…Honestly it’s great you’re able to treat people with kindness and compassion. However, you do realize Marie doesn’t post just for you personally, right? There are so many others who need this to get to where you are. Peace and blessings to you.

    • Leanne

      Yes and what colour were most who fought and died to end slavery?
      You get it, Dawn. We have so badly lost sight of the bigger picture.
      Prayers for the division to be healed so working class people can come together and push back against our mutual oppressors, the global banking class/political elite!

    • Amy Inkster

      Hi Dawn,
      You are able to see the humanity in others as you go about your day and that’s wonderful. Now we need to work together to dismantle systems that actively dehumanize People of Color so that everyone can live with dignity. Niceness and generosity won’t eradicate systemic racism. Courage, vulnerability and sustained action will.

    • Susan Kim

      You can be a nice person and do kind things everyday and still perpetuate implicit racism – explicit or overt forms of racism are not the only flavors available. Claiming to be devoid of racism is to deflect any role in the journey towards equality. Worse, by deflecting, one tacitly upholds the status quo that allows systemic racism and unjust systems to thrive. … Possible to sit with this idea for a moment? Is it really so hard to say “I do my best to do good, I see and hear that people are dealing with injustice. I may make missteps along the way, but I will do my best to learn more and to actively help”. Truly, you will lose nothing by staying open to the possibility that you could learn how to be a stronger ally. This would be much more productive than simply claiming to be “one of the good ones” who has no need for further education. Claiming to “not be racist” is another way that folks turn a blind eye to the daily issues faced by BIPOC; it’s a really convenient and hurtful way to diminish the issues.

  21. Thank you so much for putting this together and sharing it. I am also sharing with our church’s pro-reconciliation/anti-racism task force. There is much work to be done.

  22. Robin

    Stop seeing color, just see the person. It’s that simple, why make a big problem. See the person and get on with your life.

    • Amy Inkster

      Hello Robin,
      Not seeing color is only possible for those of us who are privileged. It’s a big problem because our Black and Indigenous friends, neighbors and fellow citizens are being disproportionately targeted and dehumanized in our educational, social, medical and justice systems. BIPOC’s do not have the luxury of ignoring how the color of their skin as it relates to every aspect of their lives. White supremacist patriarchy is a White person’s responsibility to fix. Just as men need to change their behavior so that women can be safe, we white folks need to change so that BIPOC’s can be safe.

  23. Suzanne

    So sorry you feel this isn’t your problem. I challenge you to try to prove yourself right after taking a moment to even read one of the resources here or listen to one of the videos and actually LEARN something, rather than spew ignorance that you’ve picked up from other close-minded people and regurgitated it here to inflict pain on others. Hurt people hurt people and I hope you do yourself the favor of realizing your privilege. Also, calling people snowflakes when you’re the one so clearly bothered by others saying that their lives MATTER is really something.

    • Jillian

      Suzanne, I always find this phenomenon so fascinating! White people are offended that black people are offended, but somehow only their feelings are justified.

  24. James Hamilton

    As a police officer, I learnt that there are 3 sides to each story. His side, her side and the truth. The truth is often found in the middle ground between the other two stories. The problem with only listening to one side means that you will never know the truth.

    To find the truth, you must put as much time and effort into learning both sides or your concussion will be biased.

    And as we are looking to stop racism, we must acknowledge that racism is not limited to only colour and it is definitely not just a black and white thing. There is racism against, brown and yellow and men and women and young and old and disabled, etc…

  25. Kaleb Woolever

    Thanks so much for this! KW

  26. Leanne

    Only truth can heal. Because to heal is to make whole.
    Nothing can be whole without ALL context included. That is truth.
    My hope is for a real movement that doesn’t divide us.
    Try, try again.

  27. Thank you Marie and team, I really appreciate this. I’m committed to learning and looking forward to learning more about how I can take an active part. HM

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      We’re committed to learning and showing up too, Hanna. Thank you for being here with us as we all learn.

  28. Nyah

    This is awesome! Thank you. 🙂

  29. To echo what many have already said, thank you for posting this list. I truly feel that the people who are clinging on to the “all lives” rhetoric are not interested in changing, therefore they will not read the resources nor educate themselves about the movement.
    However, I think this guide and others like it, help the people who genuinely want to understand the problem and be a part of the solution.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Thank you for your words, Lakaye.

  30. KHALIDA MUHAMMAD

    MARIE! THIS IS VERY INFORMATIVE AND ITS SO APPRECIATIVE OF THE TIME AND EFFORT TAKEN TO PUT THIS TOGETHER! YES THIS ROAD TO CHANGE WILL TAKE ALL OF US TOGETHER TO DECIMATE THE RACISTS MENTALITY NECESSARY FOR NOW AND THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY OF PEOPLE OF COLOUR!
    THANKS! GOOD ON YOU!!

  31. Tahlee

    Thank you so much for putting this together. I have always worked at applying anti-racism in my own words and actions, but have always felt like I’m lacking the words and knowledge to spread this message properly to others when I see it and hear it. These resources are just perfect to get that deeper understanding to not only be more diligent in my own life, but guide to others as well. Thank you.

  32. Maria Eleonora Bailey

    As a human with black skin, what I keep asking myself is

    Why are we still having discussions around different races with race is only 1: the Human race?

    Why thought leaders that have been sharing their studies around humanity and spirituality haven’t shared that anti and pro are actually the same things, you’re focusing on racism and not the solution of it.

    Where learning more is it a change?

    The commitment we all should be doing is on looking inside identification what makes ALL OF US part of the problem and decided (not following any guide) our next INDIVIDUAL actions and steps.

    Reflect about your concept of power. About your concept of sharing. What do you understand as being a human? How does it serve you when you’re interacting with another human and how does it not serve you? Now…what do you want to do differently?

    As always Marie and team, I appreciate your work, effort, commitment but this time I think most of us are just looking at and focusing on the wrong problem.

    Our problem is not bringing races together but growing ourselves as humans.

    With appreciation,
    Mah

    • Rober Bonzer

      Interesting, earlier today there were 290+ posts, now only 60+, and one of mine is missing. Is it possible that contrary views are unwelcome even if (especially if) they challenge superficiality of thought and lack of rigor when it comes to logic? Without either knowing me, or responding to my perspective, ad hominem attacks were offered rather than any attempt at dialog based on my first post. So some context:
      At work, I recently met a black supervisor, he is one of only a few of my supervisors that I find rational, intelligent, and with a compatible disposition, and with whom I enjoy chatting. After we became friends, I took a chance and made mention of his vitiligo. I held my arm against his and said, “You’ve got places that are whiter than I am. Isn’t it amazing, after thousands of years of different civilizations, that there are still so many people in the world hung up on just that outer millimeter of our bodies?”
      He replied that I was the first caucasian ever to say that to him, but that I was correct, and asked if I would believe that he had been ridiculed, not by whites, but by other blacks for his condition. I said, “Sure, trading insults and razzing is part of every type of group, as members jockey for position, status, and recognition.”
      So. Consider a)the human condition of group affinity (and group dynamics), b) the mild pejorative of being “thin skinned” and c) the broader context of ethnic differences and a couple of chromosomes. The point I sought to make in my “disappeared” post was that BLM notwithstanding, the focus on race (skin color) is misplaced. The focus should be on developing individual responsibility and community values, and how anyone/everyone can help. Guilt is not a strategy (Dean Yeong).

      • Heather- Team Forleo

        Robert, our Team is committed to ensuring that voices are heard and expressed here as long as they are kind, respectful, and constructive. If a comment is removed it is because we believe it hasn’t met those parameters. There is an allowance for discourse, but we will not allow comments to remain that we believe don’t meet those parameters. If your comment is missing, that is why.

        • Roger Bonzer

          My reply was all of that, and even better IMO, because I invited discussion despite the post to which I replied meeting none of your criteria. I did not engage in name-calling, she did. I did not claim I knew what was in her heart, but she claimed to know that I was motivated by racism. Heather, you know not of what you speak.
          Roger

  33. Where do I begin? This virtual resource touched into my inbox, before my 5 inch feet even hit the floor. I rarely post publicly but somehow I suspect my 55 years lived as an African American woman, now raising two sons, and witnessing my nephew navigate this landscape is causing me to speak up. I read some of the comments here, and am both saddened and hopeful; both emotions occupying and dwelling inside the same space. I went to a predominantly white school. I was one of 7 blacks who attended my high school in the eighties. It was disbelieved by the school officials that we occupied the residence inside the city limits to legally attend that school. Thus, we were followed home by school security guards, regularly. Other days, I walked home, only to be called the “n” word from white passerby in cars. I had objects thrown at me and my bbf (best black friend) as we walked home. Fast forward, four years ago, my son, walked as well, not home, from high school –but into a Walmart. Once inside, he stood in line, swiped his atm card, and spent $1300 of his hard earned dollars, monies earned from waiting tables. He was detained by wayward Loss Prevention staff accusing him of stealing the very same flat screen he stood in line to buy. He was compliant, and polite, as he has been taught, but none-the-less, railroaded. He was forced to go into the underbelly of the retail store, denied his civic rights, and where he was given a citizens arrest, and a notice to appear by police. We had to get an attorney to fight the scam of ‘shopping while black.’ One week later, he had to present to be booked and released at the local jail. The same jail that recently housed Felicity Huffman for her college cheating, where she served a mere 7 days because that’s white privilege. Prior to, my son never even had a jay walking ticket. Coincidence? We were never even issue an apology. I own a million dollar ranch style house that sits overlooking the entire SF Bay Area. I have two horses. While cleaning up litter on my property, during this pandemic, I was stopped by an ‘assuming’ white woman who curtly asked if I would ‘go and ask the home owner if she and her kids could pet the’ horses.’ She looked right passed me. Never did it occur to this woman that I was both the home and horse owner. I get some folk don’t consider themselves ‘racist.’ I get it, that word doesn’t resonate; it’s like gum, on the sidewalk – you don’t want it to stick. But, I do think, in many respects white folks just haven’t had to be as ‘woke,’ as they are now. It took George Floyd being kneed to death by a rogue cop on video, while we were shut in during a pandemic for an awakening. It took two Atlanta ‘assumers’ to kill a jogger, and to conclude Ahmaud’s life meant nothing, that he served no value to anyone. This is why we chat that we (black lives) matter. We are saying it to you, and reminding ourselves. Black folks don’t get to have the same ignorance about white folks. White folks can be and do just fine knowing nothing about the nuisances of being black. It is not the same the other way around. It is Black folks who have to do all the figuring out: how to ‘properly present’ their hair for acceptability in interviews, how to shop so as to not be seen shoplifting, ‘how to talk so that we sound a certain type of way,’ ‘how to make sure that we drive right so as to not be stopped.’ It’s all too exhausting, and borderline dehumanizing. When my sons don’t have to have ‘the talk’ on how to stay alive when interacting with the police, maybe then this conversation will cease, but until then let’s roll up our sleeves, have the tough conversations and heal more than just this pandemic. Thank you Marie and team for using your space to educate.

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Saundra, your words leave us all better than we were before we read them.
      Thank you for taking the time to not only share them here, but to allow us to bear witness to them. We’re so sorry you had to relive those moments in your heart and mind as you wrote. You didn’t have to and you still did.
      We appreciate your presence here and in the world.

  34. Kirstie

    MF and Team Forleo,
    Bravo on being brave enough to put yourselves out there and share this. We need more (white) people to get comfortable with the systemic racism in this country and get deeply uncomfortable to fix it. I spent my daily evening walk all last week listening to over 6 hours of TED talks specifically curated by the TED team on racism – and I will confess that there were some uncomfortable, shocking and deeply disturbing realizations about my own thinking. I am not ashamed to share that. I believe we all need to share our truths to make this work!

  35. Jillian

    Roger, I was thinking about this because I hear many white folks laser focus on this very point every time they’re confronted with the reality of racial inequality and this argument always felt like it was missing something, but I never dug deep enough to figure out why. So I’ll leave you with the questions that you should ask yourself: 1. We so easily talk about black on black crime in black neighborhoods, but we glaze over the glaring evidence of racism…black neighborhoods. These are the modern remnants of segregation. The fact that we still have neighborhoods that are completely black or completely white is the evidence of racism in our country. That negates/voids/invalidates so-called black on black crime. If there are only black people in a neighborhood, who else is there to commit crime upon? 2. What do we call it when white people kill white people? Oh, that’s just crime. Why can’t it be the same for black people? Again, another way black people are held to account for things that white people aren’t. 3. When we’re discussing how black people are murdered by police in astounding numbers, far beyond that of white people, that is the fact, that is the discussion. If you have data that everyone else doesn’t have that says that white people are murdered by cops in equal numbers as blacks, please provide that information. But pivoting to another manifestation of racism (crime in poor black neighborhoods) doesn’t disprove racism. It only provides an additional example of the problem. Now, I’m just a white person that’s 17 years into my process of exterminating the racism from the inner crevices of my conditioning, so if anyone disagrees with this assessment, can refine it or wants to provide more info to back it up, bring it on! Thank you for this wonderful community.

    • Ilonka

      Here is an interesting article from John Worther. : https://quillette.com/2020/06/11/racist-police-violence-reconsidered/

    • Sondra

      I appreciate you response that I felt hard for me to write with words . There are a lot of needs in this world . Facing these needs as a whole community is definitely needed. Any human who supports death or suffering of another wishes that same fate to themselves . Grief is a process and this has gone on too long so now the action each individual takes within themselves will be the turning point. Universally …EGO ASIDE

  36. Misha

    I understand the efforts to truly create equal opportunities for all, to seek justice. What I don’t find productive is the division that is being created in the process. When one challenges certain ideas that are now trending, it is a definitive proof of their privilege or racism. We are basically resurrecting the idea of original sin that one cannot redeem themselves from. Being constantly told how we’re part of the problem and we must look deeper to find our racism and that this process never ends. How is that productive?

    When you talk about dismantling systems of white supremacy, which systems specifically are you seeking to dismantle? And what do you want to replace them with?

    When has it become normal to call all white people white supremacists? This term is now used in such way that completely lessens its impact. Just like calling people nazis very loosely, it’s counterproductive.

    This used to be a definition of white supremacy:
    White supremacy, beliefs and ideas purporting natural superiority of the lighter-skinned, or “white,” human races over other racial groups. In contemporary usage, the term white supremacist has been used to describe some groups espousing ultranationalist, racist, or fascist doctrines. White supremacist groups often have relied on violence to achieve their goals. (Britannica)

    These labels I see everywhere are polluting civil discourse and create more division in my opinion.

    • Roger Bonzer

      ditto

  37. As always, great work on this Marie and Team! I will be getting into some of these resources myself. Even though I am African American and deal with racism regularly, there is a lot to learn about the deeper manifestations of systemic racism in this country.

  38. Wow. Just WOW. Marie, you and your team’s transparency and leadership are EVERYTHING.

    Thank you for taking the initiative to put this guide together and share it so generously with us.

    I’ve embarrassingly felt somewhat paralyzed in my own overwhelm and white privilege guilt stories, left completely unconfident on where to even genuinely begin.

    Going in with eyes and heart wide open. Time to move.

    Thanks, again, for all the ways you and your team show up!

  39. Ellice

    Maria,
    I appreciate you understanding our plight. Waking up grateful for another day, getting prepared by taking a shower and doing all of the other important daily habits to present ourselves to a society that is suspicious of us and hates us just for existing. There are many other people who have treated me kind, but there are certain questions, like, “where do you live?”, or the assumption that I’ve never played certain sports, like tennis, when I show up on the court. Often feeling like I don’t fit in some of the predominately ‘white’ social and professional settings. On the other hand, I truly do enjoy the company of my own black people who are warm, friendly, intelligent and so much fun!
    Great books to read are ‘The Miseducation of the Negro’, ‘The Warmth of Other Suns’ and ‘The Invisible Man’.

  40. Barbara

    Thank you??

  41. Julie Crawford

    Such an amazing list of great resources, thank you so much! I’d like to add that it is also great to read fiction by black authors, there are a lot of brilliant modern books out there- Here are a couple links to Oprah and Penguin Books if anyone is interested:

    https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/books/g26187205/best-books-black-authors/?slide=1

    https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/the-read-down/books-by-contemporary-black-authors

    I would like to politely disagree about the Dave Chapelle video- I watched it, but he is so misogynist and derogatory about women that I couldn’t look past that….. I’d recommend Trevor Noah instead. His frequent videos (on Instagram these days) are incredibly insightful.

  42. Christyn Caraballo

    This was very informative and I cannot thank you enough! Thanks so much for supporting #BLM. I always love reading your blogs and weekly emails. Keep working your butt off girl!

    Much Love,
    Christyn <3

  43. I just watched the Kimberly Jones video. Holy shit. That’s all. Holy shit.

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