Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy

Atria. Feb. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9781982151270. $27. SOC SCI
Racial justice educator and spiritual activist Ricketts offers tools for healing and liberation that anyone can use, with questions directed to individuals based on their identities and their comfort with social justice. This book is about internal work, especially work that is necessary for white people to undertake in order to avoid performative activism. It also calls for individuals to lean into the ways in which we uphold white supremacy by participating in racist institutions, so that we can all contribute to a more just society. Ricketts acknowledges that people might be scared to start engaging in antiracist work, and afraid of making mistakes. With that in mind, she offers an approachable entry point to key concepts and terms, such as intersectionality. A section on emotional violence caused by gaslighting or silence is particularly impactful. The glossary she has compiled, along with her careful notes about how she does not speak for everyone, illuminate many of the discursive and action-based errors people with privilege make when they do not take the time to learn before asking, speaking, or acting.
VERDICT Meticulously researched, compassionate, and bold, this book should be read immediately and frequently returned to as a textual companion for the ongoing, reiterative work of antiracism.
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