This is a guided program you can follow along with from home to learn how to identify your privilege, recognize systems of oppression and become a better ally.
For Day 2, Joseph is challenging us to step outside of our comfort zone.
Day 2: Get uncomfortable
“On Day 1, what I had you do was take an inventory of your own privilege. Because I think that's a great step to start with on the road to being a better ally,” Joseph says, noting it is important to understand how we exist in society.
Unlearning bias is challenging because “what you're essentially being asked to do is to reframe or rethink or reimagine your own reality,” says Joseph, who emphasized this process is key to being anti-racist.
Joseph says learning to be a better ally is not meant to be comfortable, especially when confronting beliefs rooted in the oppression of others.
“If you've been taught [that] Black people aren't intelligent… that's not a true statement, but it might've been [true] in the community where you came from,”he says. “So many of us were raised in places and taught things that we've spent most of our life believing.”
Joseph also discusses other areas where he must make a conscious effort to be a better ally: “I try my best to be an ally to women, because women deal with systems, levels of oppression and trauma that I don't have to. Therefore, my lived experience doesn't necessarily allow me to understand what they're going through.”
What you should do:
The Day 2 challenge is designed to do just that. “I’m challenging all of you to watch one [movie] or documentary that I think might make you a bit uncomfortable,” he says. “Ultimately, I know that you're going to learn a ton.”
Joseph offered a short list of films to choose from for this challenge; The Black Panthers Vanguard of Revolution, Malcolm X, Moonlight and 13th.
“Let's shake it up a little bit,” he said. “Let's learn some new things.”
A more comprehensive list of film recommendations is included in his book, The Black Friend: On Being A Better White Person.
FREDERICK JOSEPH: Hey, everybody, Frederick Joseph here again, with day two of our allyship challenge. Each day, we're going to discuss one actionable thing that you can do to set you on the path of being a better ally.
On day one, when I had you do was take an inventory of your own privilege, because I think that that's a great step to start with on the road to being a better ally. Day two's challenge is getting uncomfortable. Many of us were raised in places and taught things that we've spent most of our life believing.
When we get to a point where we're learning new things or unlearning old things, it could be a bit uncomfortable, because what you're essentially being asked to do is to reimagine your own reality. That's not an easy thing. But it is an extremely important thing, because oftentimes, the things we've been taught were rooted in systems that were meant to oppress other people.
So this challenge is all about us learning from, supporting, and following people, institutions, and creative work that pushes us past the boundaries of our own conditioning and beliefs that might be rooted in racist or prejudiced systems and teachings.
I'm challenging all of you to watch one film or documentary that I think might make you a bit uncomfortable but ultimately I know that you're going to learn a ton. Lucky enough, in my most recent book, I actually have a list of things that you can watch that will help us accomplish this challenge.
So my first suggestion is "The Black Panthers, Vanguard of Revolution." My second choice is "Malcolm X." My third choice is "Moonlight." And my fourth choice is the documentary "13th." So that's your challenge for day two. Try to watch one of these works today.
It's time for all of us to be a little bit more uncomfortable than we were while benefiting from the systems that are hurting others. For more resources on allyship, check out the Yahoo allyship pledge. And you can go to Yahoo.com/allyship to find it. I'll see you all tomorrow on the road to making real change.