Racism has no place in the world, and everyone knows it's not okay. Why, then, is racism still a part of peoples' experiences? Why are protests and demonstrations happening? Why is there even a conversation about "Black lives matter"? Racism is not a partisan issue, and this is not a political book-it's a history book. The fact is that racism has been built into the very foundations this country was built on; from employment to housing and education to criminal justice. A (very brief) History of Systemic Racism looks at hundreds of years of institutional and structural racism, breaking it down into a concise series of events, laws, restrictions, policies, and practices that have led to where we are today. The journey toward anti-racism begins by arming yourself with information and understanding the history of oppression, inequity, and inequality of Black people in the U.S., and this book will give you a strong basal knowledge of systemic racism in this country.
This book is illustrated in a children's book style but intended for young adults and adults. It is my hope that parents will read this book with their little ones and further explain some of the history and concepts in a way they can best understand it. A (very brief) History of Systemic Racism is 42 pages long and 8.5" x 8.5", making it a perfect coffee table book for your living room or office!
Chris Valentine Talks to WVON 1690's Matt McGill. WVON is a radio station serving the Chicago market, which airs an African-American-oriented talk format. Let me know what you think!
Gay man (he/him)
Drawing, painting, sharing... my first book, A (very brief) History of Systemic Racism is out now!
Learning and growing daily to be a better person, ally, and activist
My new book, A (very brief) History of Systemic Racism, became a passion project of mine when the protests following the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were happening and I was unable to participate due to increased health risks from exposure to COVID-19. I was angry, frustrated, hurt, and feeling completely helpless, so I decided to channel my anger into writing. I had been on an anti-racist journey for several years already and had read a lot of amazing books from Black folx who had personally experienced different forms of systemic racism, hatred, and oppression in their lives--awesome individuals like Janet Mock, Ijeoma Oluo, Patrisse Cullors, Beverly Daniel Tatum, and Michelle Obama--but decided that I still had a lot to learn if I was going try to teach others why these protests were happening. I started asking questions of friends and family who seemed confused by the protests, learning what about the conversation was missing that made them unsupportive of the cause. What I discovered is that people didn't understand the history of systemic racism that has culminated in where we are today.
As a data analyst by day and artist by night, I have a unique ability to take overwhelming amounts of information (literally hundreds of years of American History, in the case of this book) and break it down into small bits that fit nicely together to tell a complete story. I'm certainly not an expert about racism, but I am someone who cares deeply about fighting discrimination based on peoples’ fundamental essence that they cannot choose or change. I am a cis-gender, white, gay man who is heartbroken, angry, and sick over the inequities perpetrated against people every day. Even though I cannot walk in the shoes of Black people, I am empathetic to their experience and I'm working hard to be an anti-racist ally.
I wrote this book to help others understand how deeply rooted racism is in the very foundations of the United States--strongly believing that knowledge is power. I look forward to continuing this journey with you!