South Asians For Black Lives: Resources to Develop Your Anti-Racism and Racial Consciousness

Cindu Thomas-George
4 min readJun 11, 2020

In the last week, South Asian Americans have shown up in a big way to the fight against anti-Black racism. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have worked to incite an awakening and call for racial justice within the South Asian community. This awakening is apparent on Instagram, with thousands and thousands of South Asians using the #southasiansforblacklives hashtag. When I first started using the hashtag #southasiansforblacklives on Instagram, it was a lonely space, with only one or two other people sharing the hashtag. In the last week, this hashtag has been a vital way for thousands upon thousands of South Asians to connect and engage in virtual activism and allyship with Black Americans.

As someone who has been committed to disrupting anti-Black bias for over fifteen years, I feel hopeful with the new South Asian American voices and bodies that have joined this movement. This is the time for us to work collectively as a community to help dismantle the system of anti-Black racism. In order to do this, it is imperative that our activism goes beyond posting and hashtag. Additionally, it is even more important that we as a community make a commitment to keep showing up to this fight when it’s no longer trendy to do so. If you are posting and vocalizing your care and concern for Black lives now- I hope that you will be doing so in two months, one year, and even five years from now. This moment in history will pass and when it does, it’ll be even more important to show up in solidarity for our Black neighbors, friends, colleagues, and citizens.

To help ensure that we as South Asian Americans are prepared to fight anti-Black racism from an informed perspective, I am sharing resources that can help equip us to be agents of change who can be effective in disrupting anti-Blackness within our own families and South Asian communities. These resources have helped me to be able to examine my own anti-Black biases and develop my own racial consciousness and anti-racist lens and I hope they will do the same for you.

Feel free to email me at cindu@shaktitraining.com with any questions you might have.

In Solidarity,

Cindu

Timely resources that can help guide South Asian allyship:

How to talk to South Asian family members about systemic racism and South Asian privilege

Informational Letter to the South Asian Community

Deepa Iyer’s “South Asians and Black Lives” article

Huff Post “Indians Debt to Black America”

Brown Girl Magazine article

Mapping our Social Change Roles in Times of Crisis (Deepa Iyer article)

Organizations to learn From:

Race Forward

Southern Poverty Law Center

The Building Movement Project

Equity Justice Initiative

White Privilege Conference

Teaching Tolerance

Equity Literacy Institute

Othering and Belonging Institute

World Trust

National Conference of Race and Ethnicity

Donate to these organizations that are working to change anti-Black policies and laws:

Until Freedom

Black Futures Lab

Color of Change

Real Justice PAC

Black Lives Matter

Black Owned Accounts to Follow on Instagram:

Ibram Kendi

bell hooks

Tanehesi Coates

Alicia Garza

Tamika Mallory

Tarana Burke

Kamau Bell

Charles Blow

Angela Rye

Kimberle Crenshaw

Layla Saad

Renie Edo Lodge

Austin Channing Brown

Ijeoma Oluo

Minda Harts

Janice Gassam

Black Lives Matter

South Asian Social Media Accounts to Follow:

South Asians for black Lives

Malaylees for Black Lives (for my Malayalee folks)

Hari Kondabolu

Readings that have helped develop my own anti-racism/racial consciousness:

The Accidental American by Rinku Sen

Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram Kendi

Who We Be: The Colorization of America by Jeff Chang

Dear White America by Tim Wise

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Joy Degruy

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Black Looks: Race and Representation by bell hooks

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehesi Coates

How to an Be Ant-Racist by Ibram Kendi

NY Times 1619 Project

We Too Sing American by Deepa Iyer

Waking up White by Debby Irving

My Life As Undocumented Immigrant by Jose Vargas

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

Who Gets to Be Afraid in America by Ibram Kendi

Complicating White Privilege by Paul Gorski

Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus

America, This Is Your Chance by Michelle Alexander

Media to Watch:

Movies, Shows, and Documentaries to Educate Yourself on Racial Injustice

Hasan Minhaj’s “We can not stay silent about George Floyd” video

Deconstructing White Privilege with Robin DiAngelo

How Can We Win?

10 Ways to Fight Anti-Blackness

Anti-Blackness in Indian Communities

Disrupting Colorism in South Asian Communities

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Cindu Thomas-George

Cindu Thomas-George is the Founder and Principal Trainer of Shakti Diversity and Equity Training and a tenured Professor at the College of Lake County.