One of the main reasons why I adore Bookstagram is because you get the chance to be involved in some really fantastic projects and I am truly HONOURED to have the opportunity to read and review this pocket-sized paperback all about how to be an anti-racist ally.
It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a crazy year but during this year, we have also witnessed racism at the very heart of the justice system through the power of social media making it easier than ever to demonstrate the injustice suffered by marginalised people every day.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that witnessing these videos and stories shared via social media, has driven me to want to do better; to help in any way I can. Whether that’s educating myself on the racial inequalities through reading different accounts, diversifying the type of media I listen/watch or having the courage to question/call out people’s behaviour and thinking…
Being white myself, I will never be able to fully relate to the experiences of BIPOC but what I can do is use my privilege to help raise awareness and make change in the 21st century.
Who is Sophie Williams?
Sophie Williams is an author, and an anti-racism activist in the UK, who loves thinking and talking about intersectional identities (especially race and gender) and how they shape our experiences of the world.
Sophie is also the Co-Founder of Culture Heroes, a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising non-white representation at a senior level in the Advertising and the Creative Industries.
In 2019, she left full time employment to set up Blanket Fort – a micro agency providing high-quality, bespoke Marketing and Production support to businesses. This incredible woman has worked on marketing campaigns for hit TV shows such as, Sex Education, The End of the F***ing World, and The Crown.
Her social media accounts are not only empowering but also her non-bulls**t post and witty humour educates us as followers on how to be an anti-racist ally and that is what her new book Anti Racist Ally: An Introduction to Action & Activism also sets out to achieve:
Anti Racist Ally: An Introduction to Action & Activism
First of all, this book is the perfect little book companion. Being only 176 pages long, you can literally devour this book in one sitting and carry it around with you should you need to.
Themes within in the book vary from intersectionality and becoming an economic ally, to tips on how you can be an ally within your social circles, your workplace, at home and in your community.
“Don’t ever feel like you’ve done your part.”
The chapter that really stood out for me was Sophie’s discussion of what racism looks like now. Sophie highlights how ‘modern-day racism is less black face and racial slurs and more insidious, coded and systemic discrimination.’ I think this is such a potent topic because some may think that just because racial slurs are used less in today’s society, that racism no longer exists. But as Sophie points out, racists now have to find different ways to be racist, and that usually takes form as institutional and structural racism.
I would consider this book as essential reading for those (like myself) who are privileged enough to ‘go through life without thinking about, or being made aware of their race’; who want to help make a difference but feel like they don’t know where to start.
Sophie lists some incredible ways that you can help make a change in how marginalised people are treated/viewed, including choosing to buy from BIPOC creators, making donations, demanding more from brands who have failed to make change and keeping the conversation going.
I agree with Sophie that the fight for racial equality is most definitely a marathon and not a sprint, and that ‘conversations around race and racial injustice can churn up a lot of messy feelings’, and that there may be times where we feel uncomfortable/confused but that’s GOOD. Messy feelings proves that we are playing our part in making a change.
Anti Racist Ally is out on the 15th October 2020 and you can pre-order your copy here. I would also highly recommend following Sophie on Instagram as her posts are so honest and informative and they make perfect reading to remind us daily why the fight for equality continues.
Her second upcoming book is Millennial Black. It’s a look at how black women’s intersectional identities (blackness PLUS womanness) shape their experiences of work, the unique challenges they face, and what can be done to make it better. Millennial Black will be published as a hardback, ebook and audiobook by HQ (Harper Collins) in April 2021.