Explore resources – from petitions to books and courses – to help you get involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, and educated about the history of black oppression.
In recent weeks, protests have erupted across the globe in response to the killing of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis, USA. The death of Floyd acted as a tipping point for centuries of pent-up anger at systemic injustice and racism to boil over, not just in America but across the world.
What started as a movement protesting police brutality in the States has evolved into a global reckoning with white privilege, racism, and colonialism.
FutureLearn stands with our black colleagues and learners. We are striving to make ourselves more inclusive and diverse, as well as to host more courses on black liberation, and improve black access to education. Read our CEO Simon Nelson’s statement.
For black people globally, this has been yet another emotional and traumatic time – both due to systemic oppression finally being surfaced and seeing institutions and colleagues trying (and often failing) to belatedly grapple with the issue.
There are resources out there that can help black learners feel supported – and non-black learners to become better allies. We’ve collected some of the most useful below.
Support your mental health
According to the Mental Health Foundation, black people are more likely to suffer mental health issues than their white counterparts, and also more likely to face discrimination in mental health services.
This is largely due to a legacy of institutional racism and oppression that leaves many black people not only locked out of economic systems – but also adequate healthcare.
- MIND has local groups, some of which are BAME specific.
- Black Thrive is a South London-based group aiming to address mental health inequalities experienced by London’s black communities.
- Sharing Voices is a charity dedicated to reducing mental health inequalities for BAME communities.
- The National Alliance on Mental Health has a list of organisations designed to help black mental health in North America.
- The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) offers advice on aboriginal mental health issues.
- The Black Health Alliance is a community-led charity working to improve the health and well-being of black communities in Canada
Donating to causes fighting to help improve the lives of black people in the community – as well as in the penal system – is a good way to contribute.
- The Bail Project – a non-profit organisation that pays bail for low-income Americans.
- The American Civil Liberties Union – donate to help legal battles and advocacy.
- Donate directly to Black Lives Matter.
- Donate to BLM UK.
- Donate to the official George Floyd memorial fund.
- Donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
- Donate to the Free Black University – to combat the decolonisation of education.
- Donate to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
If you’re unable to donate, signing a petition might be the next best thing. We’ve highlighted petitions calling for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor (murdered by a police officer in her sleep in Louisville), and Belly Mujinga, a transport worker who died of COVID-19 after being spat at in London.
- Sign the petition for justice for Belly Mujinga.
- Sign the petition for justice for George Floyd.
- Sign the petition for justice for Breonna Taylor.
Whether you want to learn more about the rich history and culture of black people, or you’re looking to learn more about the history of oppression black people have suffered – and the inspirational opposition to it through the ages – there’s a wealth of books, films, and courses that can expand your understanding.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
This book on the reality of structural racism in Britain has shot to the top of the best-seller charts – making Eddo-Lodge the first black author to top the charts in the UK.
Musician, activist, and academic Akala charts the historical legacy of British racism and colonial oppression.
Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Author Coates explores American racism in the form of a letter to his 14-year-old son.
Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis
A groundbreaking exploration of the intersection of related oppressions – how the system works to keep down women, blacks, and workers, all at once.
Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene Carruthers
Exploring the history of black liberation back to the Haitian Revolution, Carruthers appeals to her readers to make black liberation more queer, more feminist, and more radical.
13th by Ava DuVernay
In this documentary, director DuVernay contends that slavery in the United States was replaced by systemic oppression of black people – through the prison system, the war on drugs, and longstanding police and public violence.
The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 by Göran Olsson
A collection of news footage – shot in the late 1960s and early 70s by Swedish national television – that acts as a unique portrait of the black activists at the forefront of the radical civil rights movement. Featuring interviews with Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, and Huey P. Newton.
I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck
This documentary collects author James Baldwin’s observations on American history and racial injustice, including his thoughts on civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Understanding Diversity and Inclusion from Purdue University
Unconscious bias is as much a factor in discrimination as overt racism. On this course, you can learn to tackle ethnocentric mindsets and create inclusive environments.
Cultural Diversity and the City from the European University Institute
This course explores the importance of racial and cultural diversity in shaping the identity of a thriving city.
Empire: the Controversies of British Imperialism from the University of Exeter
The University of Exeter’s short, free course examines the British Empire, including how it exploited race, religion, and propaganda to hold sway over a third of the Earth’s population.