The Black Women I Look to For Guidance on Race

Monday, July 6, 2020

As the conversation about race continues, I want to call attention to the black women who have had a significant impact on my perspective about race and the systemic oppression that people of color face in America.  Ignorance is no longer an option for this world.  We are all aware of the injustice, and if we refuse to accept and refuse to act, this moment will have been for nothing.  As I am not a black woman, my experiences with race are secondary, and I acknowledge that by sharing these resources and asking you to go explore and be educated by these incredibly strong, integral women that I look up to.

Portrait of Rachel Cargle by Dena Cooper


Rachel Cargle is an activist, lecturer, writer, thinker, and intellectual.  Her commitment to educating the world about racial injustice is endlessly courageous, and empowering.  

"The point of anti racism work isn’t a practice in white self improvement; The point of anti racism work is to upend the systems of grave injustice that have been braided into the 'normalcy' of this country’s fabric, into it’s morals, into it’s institutions, into the air we are all breathing."

- Rachel Cargle


Rachel has a column about race in Harper’s Bazaar, lectures called, Dear White Women, and Unpacking White Feminism, and a platform for unlearning American history as white imperialists have taught it to us, called, The Great Unlearn.  She also runs a therapy fund for Black women and girls through the Loveland Foundation.


Instagram @rachel.cargle

Twitter @RachelCargle


Portrait of Ijeoma Oluo by Dena Cooper


Ijeoma Oluo is a critical thinker, writer, speaker, and activist centered around feminism and social justice.  Her bestselling book, So You Want to Talk About Race, is essential reading for understanding white privilege and how to dismantle it through tough conversations.

“The problem isn’t just that a white personality might think black people are lazy and that hurts people’s feelings; It’s that the belief that black people are lazy reinforces and is reinforced by general dialogue that believes the same, and uses that belief to justify not hiring black people for jobs, denying black people housing, and discriminating against black people in schools.”

- Ijeoma Oluo


Ijeoma has written for The GuardianJezebelThe StrangerMedium and The Establishment.  So You Want to Talk About Race, is her contribution to the collective conversation about race relations worldwide.  Her message to us is that conversations surrounding race are difficult, but necessary because white comfort is not more important than black safety.


Instagram @ijeomaoluo

Twitter @IjeomaOluo


Portrait of Tarana Burke by Dena Cooper


Tarana Burke is a women’s rights activist and the founder of the Me Too movement.  She has worked as an activist and social justice advocate for over 25 years.  

"There has to be a shift in culture. We have to have conversations about systems that are in place that allow sexual violence and racism to flourish."

- Tarana Burke 


Tarana started Just Be in 2006 as a youth organization focused on the health and well being of young women of color.  Just Be gave rise to the Me Too movement which continues to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly Black women and girls from low income communities, find pathways to healing.  Her latest organization, Girls for Gender Equality, is dedicated to providing resources for females to help close the gender-equality gap.  While most of Tarana’s work has been centered in gender equality, she consistently holds a special space for black and brown girls who exist at the intersectionality of many issues that plague our society in regards to race.  She has used her platform to share stories about race and how women of color are effected by sexual violence disproportionately, making the issue about sexual abuse a race issue.  


Instagram @taranajaneen

Twitter @TaranaBurke

Please feel free to add any resources you've found particularly helpful or any suggestions you have that you'd like to share.  And thank you for having the courage to educate yourself.  

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by mlekoshi