Anti-Racist Learning

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12.2

Anti-Racist Learning Group

For all who want to engage actively with issues of race and racism as a part of our ongoing discipleship. We will discuss books, films, talks etc. with the goal of increasing our understanding of racism, renewing our minds, and encouraging and challenging each other. The ultimate goal is that we would play our parts in bringing God's kingdom on earth - a world free of racism, a world where all are beloved for who they are. The purpose of the anti-racist learning group is to support practical change by understanding what racism is and how it works, where it has come from and how we can be God’s agents in disrupting its power in society. The group is open to anyone 16+ who wants to engage, but requires a commitment to read/watch/listen to the resources outside the group discussion times, as much as you’re able. You won't have to spend money on resources, but you will have to do the “homework”. 

Last year... this year
In 2020 we ran two cycles
• Summer reading and discussion: Akala's Natives and Abram X Kendi's How to be an Anti-racist
• Autumn reading and discussion: Azariah France Williams' Ghost Ship: Institutional Racism and the Church of England
We also made regular shout outs to support anyone who wants to run an activity under the banner of the group

 

Anti-Racist learning Group
What's next for the group?

To kick off 2021 we propose a new cycle on Small Axe, Steve McQueen's brilliant anthology of films about black British history and culture, which are freely available on the BBC IPlayer for the next 10 months. The idea will be for you to watch the film and then join a discussion and response on Zoom. We will end each session by praying for ourselves, relevant national and international situations, and the Listening for a Change process in All Saints. 5 sessions every fortnight from Tues 9 Feb.

  1. Mangrove Discussion: Tues 9 Feb, 8-9pm

The true story of the Mangrove restaurant, a lively community hub in London’s Notting Hill that was the subject of relentless police raids during the 1970s and a consequent trial.

Click here to view on BBC iPlayer.

2. Education Discussion: Tues 23 Feb, 8-9pm

When 12-year-old Kingsley is transferred to a special-needs school, a group of women uncover an unofficial segregation policy preventing many black children from receiving the education they deserve.

Click here to view on BBC iPlayer.

3. Red, White and Blue Discussion: Tues 9 March, 8-9pm

After seeing his father assaulted by police officers, a young black man is driven to join the force, with hopes of changing racist attitudes from within.

Click here to view on BBC iPlayer.

4. Alex Wheatle Discussion: Tues 23 March, 8-9pm

The true story of award-winning writer Alex Wheatle, who spent his childhood in a mostly white institutional care home and was jailed after the Brixton uprising of 1981.

Click here to view on BBC iPlayer.

5. Lovers Rock Discussion: Tues 6 April, 8-9pm

In 1980, black youths find freedom and romance at London house parties and in the sweet sound of a reggae genre known as lovers rock.

Click here to view on BBC iPlayer.

Content note:

Some of these films may contain racist, discriminatory, very strong language, or upsetting scenes. To find out more read this: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/small-axe

To sign up for this series of conversations simply send us an email to hello@allsaintspeckham.org.uk and Asha and Mike will get back to you with all the details you need to join in.

Anti-Racist Learning Resources

Many of us at All Saints are recognising how our minds need to be transformed out of patterns of racism and discrimination and towards God’s good, pleasing and perfect will - we see something of His will for us in the picture of the awesome multi-national worshipping community in Revelation 7.9.  

There are lots of resources around that we’re finding helpful. Here are some of them - things to watch, read, listen to or follow.  This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means! One thing that can be helpful to do is look at the books, articles, programmes, music or films that any of these writers and thinkers quote - that will increase your list right away.

Do let us know if there’s something you’ve found particularly helpful as we hope to refresh this list from time to time.

 

* To read *

(Please consider a provider other than Amazon to order any books - there are significant concerns about their treatment of workers and they have been identified as ‘aggressively avoiding’ taxes. We've included some suggestions in the links we have used.)  

books

Ben Lindsay’s bookWe need to talk about race: understanding the black experience in white majority churches’  is a great read at whatever point you’re at on this journey. There was also a great event at St Paul’s Cathedral of the same name back in 2019, and a video is available here on YouTube. It’s well worth a watch with a number of brilliant contributions. [Jenny]

Azariah France-Williams  has written this profound, important book, Ghost Ship, specifically addressing institutional racism in the Church of England. Azariah and Anna spent time training at All Saints many years ago but some of you might remember them.  All Saintser Nich Bull blogs about the book here and Revd Darius Weithers, who many All Saintsers will remember from his time at All Saints, also references this book in this powerful article . [Jenny]  

Owen Hylton has written the book Crossing the divide- a call to embrace diversity. Owen is the pastor of Beacon Church in Brixton. As someone born into a black West Indian family and living in Britain, Owen brings a brilliant perspective from his own life-experience and his walk with Jesus of how God’s Kingdom and therefore God’s Church are indeed for all nations. This is an author who is not writing theory, but lives out the great insights he gives here. [Jonathan M]

There have been lots of really good poetry collections published recently exploring experiences of migration and racial discrimination. Top of my list would be Roger Robinson’s A Portable Paradise (purchase), which is both moving and funny. Another excellent collection is Jay Bernad’s Surge, which is focussed around the New Cross fire of 1981. Both may contain some strong language [Mike].

* To watch *

The Unwanted - The Secret Windrush Files

I found this an utterly shocking and deeply saddening documentary.  It’s not an easy watch but it opened my eyes to one of the ways in which racism has been a horrific, systemic part of our nation’s history.  [Jenny]

The Unwanted: The secret windrush files
Black and British BBC Series

Programmes by the historian David Olasauga are also excellent. He’s been at the forefront of the BBC’s ‘Black and British Season’, which can be found here. Specifically his 4-part history documentary ‘Black & British: A Forgotten History’ is both eye-opening and very powerful, while Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners explores the UK Government’s compensation of slave owners in the 19th century. The biggest ever Government payout up until the bailout of the banks in 2008. [Mike]

* To listen to *

Have you heard George’s podcast?  [Available on BBC Sounds]  This is a brilliant listen - I particularly found the live episode here thought-provoking. George looks at racial discrimination in education, the criminal justice system, and other parts of society through his experience growing up in North West London, and his profession and calling as a poet.   [Jenny]

Black Berea is another excellent podcast put together by Black British Christians in London.  This episode specifically speaks about the killing of George Floyd and the aftermath. [Jenny]  

 

listening sliders (1)

We would love to hear your recommendations; what have you read or listened to? What did you think about it? Why would it be good for others to read or hear? If appropriate we will add it to the list above. Do contact us with any thoughts.