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Brief Published: 9 Jun 2020

Demand for Anti-Racism Edu-Resources Booms Amid BLM Protests

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Anti-racism protests in the US and UK are causing a boom in demand for educational resources addressing race

Anti-racism protests in the US and UK have caused a surge in demand for educational material tackling race. Far from being a singular short-lived movement, we expect a lasting impact on self-learning initiatives and educational systems on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • Reading Up on Anti-Racism: Currently, 16 of the top 20 books on the Amazon bestseller list are about race, racism and white supremacy. Books like White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, amongst other bestsellers, are now in such high demand that many are temporarily out of stock and only available in e-book or audio form.

    Author Reni Eddo-Lodge has urged people reading her book, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, to match the price of purchase with a donation to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. It’s a timely reminder for brands and consumers that to support the Black Lives Matter movement more widely, additional financial support should be considered when consuming anti-racist content.

    Books on racism are also dominating Amazon’s children’s bestsellers list, as parents invest in informing their children – demonstrating the cross-generational demand for this education. Look out for our upcoming post on The Brief, in which we’ll explore how parents are teaching the youngest generation about racism.
  • Demand Hits Audio: The two top spots on the US Apple podcast charts are currently 1619 by The New York Times, which examines the history of American slavery; and NPR’s Code Switch, which explores race and identity. As consumers are choosing to learn via multiple mediums, brands should leverage a range of streams when publishing vital anti-racism information.

    Spotify’s 2018-launched educational resource hub Black History Is Now is promoting audio like the Black History Salute playlist, and the podcast You Had Me at Black. Spotify employees were encouraged on Black Out Tuesday (June 2) to take time out to educate themselves – a move that demonstrates how brands can action anti-racism initiatives within their company culture. In future, we anticipate companies instituting mandatory education for their staff.
  • Educate for Free: Films and documentaries have been made available to stream for free to make anti-racism education more accessible. Warner Bros. announced that viewers can rent the film Just Mercy – which dramatises the true story of African American Walter McMillian’s wrongful murder conviction ­– for no cost through a variety of streaming services.

    Oprah Winfrey is set to host a two-night town hall on June 8 and 9 addressing racism in America. The show will be aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network and simulcast across all channels on Discovery’s cable networks.

    Educational platforms, like US medical empowerment brand Allbodies, are likewise offering free enrolment for classes on the intersection of race, gender and gynaecology in America. While consumers should not expect Black creators to educate them without payment, free resources are a good way to encourage people to embark on their anti-racism education.

For more on education as activism, see Progressive Protagonists in The Gen Alpha Moment and 10 Teen Causes to Watch.

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