Starting the Conversation

Discussions on racial inequities can be difficult. Many people struggle with these conversations, often having no idea where to start or what to say. But they are critical conversations to have with your family, friends and yourself. Because getting started can be hard, books, podcasts, movies, documentaries and other media can be great openers for conversation. Here are several resources you can turn to.


Pod Save the People with DeRay McKesson

Mr. McKesson heads up Campaign Zero’s Police Use of Force Project which investigates the way police force policies enable police violence in communities. It is one of the more comprehensive databases on police use of force in the United States.

Emory University’s Buried Truths Podcast

This podcast series is conducted by the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory University. Both a class and ongoing history and journalism investigation of the Jim Crow South, Season 1 of the podcast explores the case of Isaiah Nixon, who in 1948 tried to exercise his right to vote and paid with his life. 

TED Talks: Talks to Help You Understand Racism

This playlist includes interviews and talks with leading experts like Dr. Bernice King, Alicia Garza, Bryan Stevenson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and others on topics like deconstructing racism, raising a black son in America, racial violence, and racism and voting.

New York Times 1619 Project

A Pulitzer Prize-winning podcast and series, 1619 Project examines the legacy of slavery in America. New York Times correspondent, Nikole Hannah-Jones, is the creator of the project.

Documentaries and Movies

13th (2016)


Directed by Ava DuVernay, this documentary explores how racial inequity fuels the county’s mass incarceration levels. She also directed Selma (2014) on Dr. King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

Based on James Baldwin’s book, this movie shares the story of a young pregnant woman who sets out to prove that her childhood friend and lover is innocent of a crime that he did not commit.

LA92 (2017)


Using authentic footage, this documentary is a look back at the Los Angeles 1992 riots that followed the acquittal of four police officers who were caught on tape beating Rodney King, a black motorist.

Just Mercy (2019)

A movie about Bryon Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. The movie tells the story about Stevenson, a lawyer, appealed the 1988 murder conviction of Walter McMillian, an innocent black man.


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)

In this book, Coates writes a memoir as a letter to his teenage sons about his experiences as a Black man.

How to Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi (2019)

In this book, Kendi examines racism through power, biology, ethnicity, body and culture.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (2019)

Elwood Curtis accepts a ride in a car that later turns out to be stolen. Sentenced to the Nickel Academy, a juvenile reformatory school based on a real-life Florida reform school, he must survive in what turns out to be a “monstrously racist institution.”

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2017)

Sixteen-year old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating her two worlds-her black neighborhood and her mostly white suburban high school. When she witnesses a fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, she is forced to question how hard it is to walk the line between these two worlds.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone (2017)

Summoning the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., 17-year old black high school senior, Justyce McAllister, is set for the Ivy League when he is a participant in a bloody run-in with the police. In a series of questioning letters to King, Justyce wonders what separates him from the “THOSE black guys” and who he is.

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