Staying Apart, Together: History has its eyes on us
Editor's Note: This is a preview of USA TODAY's newsletter Staying Apart, Together, a guide to help us all cope with a world changed by coronavirus. If you would like it in your inbox on Tuesdays and Saturdays, subscribe here.
How is everyone doing?
We are in the middle of an Earth-shattering period of American history. I've said it before, and I think over the next days and weeks I'll keep saying it. It's incredibly difficult for us, especially for black Americans, to see police brutality and violence constantly in the news, to hear about tragedy on a daily basis and to feel hopeless. I hope that after a tough, important week, this newsletter can deliver you a few good things.
Today I offer you a viewing guide for shows and movies from black perspectives, more resources for helping combat racism, as well as some distractions if you need them. Take this weekend to rest, if you can. We are on a long road, and breaks are important. And I'll be here twice a week to help.
Subscribe to Staying Apart, Together here.
As a TV critic I often offer TV and film recommendations for your binge-watching pleasure, but this weekend I'm handing over the mic to experts on media and race.
With the help of pop culture and film academics, my colleague Rasha Ali compiled a list, of impactful TV shows and movies you can stream to help you on your journey in understanding the jarringly different life black Americans live because of racism.
"People may feel like if they like a certain rapper or watch a certain show that means they're not racist, but it's deeper than that," says Todd Boyd, chairman for the study of race and popular culture at the University of Southern California, told Rasha. "Pop culture has to be understood in the proper historical and political context – otherwise, it's just images detached from anything substantive."
These shows are not necessarily pedantic or educational, but rather offer stories you might not have seen before.
Here are a few choices from the list:
- 'Do the Right Thing' (1989)
- 'Fruitvale Station' (2013)
- 'Moonlight' (2016)
- 'Dear White People' (2017)
- 'When They See Us' (2019)
- 'Black-ish' (2014)
Add the full list to your streaming queues here.
Anti-racism in everyday life
It's not just the videos on the news that led to systemic racial inequality. There are plenty of more mundane factors.
USA TODAY Network paper Bergen Record interviewed experts about the work required to confront racism in everyday situations. Some important excerpts:
But community leaders say that through their actions, people who are not of color can do a lot to make a difference over time. The key is to understand that just believing in social justice isn't enough; to affect change, white people have to be actively anti-racist.
"The feeling has been that white people needed to go into poor back communities and fix those poor black kids, but that's not really where the fixing needs to happen," says Bonnie Berman Cushing, a family therapist, racial justice organizer and educator. "(Political activist) Stokely Carmichael, James Baldwin and Malcolm X all said, 'White people, if you want to do something about racism, go 真人百家家乐官网网站home and heal your own communities.'"
The conversation about race is often awkward, but it's worth having for the sake of people of all colors, says Jessica Goodman, a mother of two who co-leads a committee on diversity and equity at her child's school. "I think of the impact on my son's psyche of seeing the pain caused when kids in the classroom are disciplined differently, and the damage it does to him and other children, white and black."
Fear of saying the wrong thing can keep well-intentioned people on the sidelines, she says, but it's important to "do something and get started," she says. "Our discomfort can't be any worse."
Read the full piece here.
I shared a list of 100 ways to help if you are staying at 真人百家家乐官网网站home, but if you plan to protest in person, you should read these two stories first.
Our news team developed a visual breakdown of what to wear, what to bring and how to stay safe.
Meanwhile USA TODAY Tech explains online and other tech resources for protesting safely, from how to find a protest to whether or not you should bring your smartphone.
Today's (off-topic) reads
Some other stories from my colleagues this week that are good reads, if that is what you're looking for this weekend.
- If you are still struggling to get certain groceries, we have a guide on easy substitutions to make from Entertainment Editor Anika Reed, whose Instagram has the best 真人百家家乐官网网站home cooking creations I have seen outside Bon Appetit.
- We're still in a time of economic uncertainty, and USA TODAY Money answers questions weekly about personal finance. I've found it really helpful and soothing. This week they tackle a big one: Is it a good time to buy a house and move?
- Self-care, relaxation and taking time away from the news are all important to our mental health right now. My friends at Reviewed.com offer a list of items that can aid these goals at 真人百家家乐官网网站home.
- If you're in the mood for a celebrity memoir to read, here's comedian Nicole Byer on her new book.
I highly recommend hugging a furry friend as a form of self-care if possible. My dog Apollo's self-care is to snooze on his security pizza.