Daily News Site & Reports
Colorlines blog published by Race Forward is a daily news site where race matters, featuring award-winning investigative reporting and news analysis. http://www.colorlines.com
Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Report with Recommendations https://chicagopatf.org/
Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform Final Report: Part 1 https://www.illinoispolicy.org/6-highlights-from-illinois-criminal-justice-commissions-final-report/
Report of the Task Force to Study Reparations, approved by the 216th General Assembly (2004) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) https://www.presbyterianmission.org/resource/report-task-force-reparations/
The Doctrine of Discovery. The 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) called the church to confess its complicity and repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery. Calls for review of its history and writing a report on the doctrine to be submitted to the 223rd General Assembly (2018). https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/racial-ethnic-and-womens-ministries/gender-and-racialjustice-ministries/doctrine-of-discovery/
I Am Not Your Negro Stunning documentary film mines James Baldwin’s published and unpublished written works and interviews that are timely for today. In his final years, Baldwin had envisioned a book about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King.
13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay that explores the “intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States.” Titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which freed the slaves and prohibited slavery (unless as punishment for a crime).
Detroit Fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots in which a group of rogue police officers respond to a complaint with retribution rather than justice on their minds.
Eyes On The Prize I (1987) & II (1990) Narrated by the late Julian Bond, Eyes on The Prize I & II is a 14-episode documentary that first aired on PBS over two seasons in 1987 (Part I) and 1990 (Part II). Part I focuses on America’s civil rights movement, starting with the Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954 and concluding with the marches to Selma in 1965. Part II, “America at the Racial Crossroads,” picks up in 1966 and ends with 1985. Local PBS affiliates often air Part I of the series during Black History Month.
Articles, Sermons and Talks
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack Peggy McIntosh looks at some of the daily effects of white privilege. http://bit.ly/1hWFvRu or a longer essay called, White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies” (1988) http://www.collegeart.org/pdf/diversity/white-privilege-and-male-privilege.pdf
Blessed to Be a Blessing, sermon by Victoria Curtiss on transforming the curse of racism, based on 1 Peter 3:8-12. http://www.fourthchurch.org/sermons/index.html
Raising a Black Son in the U.S. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/28/raising-black-son-america. Jesmyn Ward’s narrative as a fearful parent for her son.
From White Guilt to White Responsibility, by Hannah Adair Bonner. White guilt paralyzes us and maintains the norm. White responsibility motivates us and disrupts the norm. http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/6153/from-white-guilt-to-white-responsibility
Revolutionary Hope: A Conversation Between James Baldwin and Audre Lorde http://mocada-museum.tumblr.com/post/73421979421/revolutionary-hope-a-conversation-between-james
Charleston and Our Real Problem with Race by Bryan Stevenson https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/24/bryan-stevenson-on-charleston-and-our-real-problem-with-race
Criminal Justice Reform
Getting Involved in Criminal Justice Reform
Getting Involved in Criminal Justice Reform – Attachments.pdf
Training in Antiracism
Chicago Regional Organizing for AntiRacism (CROAR), http://www.croar.org; facebook.com/chicagoroar. Provides resources and support to organize, train, and support Chicago-area institutions that are striving to address white supremacy and dismantle systemic racism through training, coaching, and consultation.
Self-assessment on your own implicit biases: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/index.jsp.
Race: The Power of Illusion – helps set the terms that any further discussion of race must first take into account. Ideal for human biology, anthropology, sociology, American history, American studies, and cultural studies.
- Episode 1 – The Difference Between Us examines the contemporary science – including genetics – that challenges our common sense assumptions that human beings can be bundled into three or four fundamentally different groups according to their physical traits.
- Episode 2 – The Story We Tell uncovers the roots of the race concept in North America, the 19th century science that legitimated it, and how it came to be held so fiercely in the western imagination. The episode is an eye-opening tale of how race served to rationalize, even justify, American social inequalities as “natural.”
- Episode 3 – The House We Live In asks, If race is not biology, what is it? This episode uncovers how race resides not in nature but in politics, economics and culture. It reveals how our social institutions “make” race by disproportionately channeling resources, power, status and wealth to white people.
Jay Smooth, Moving the Race Conversation Forward Expands on the analysis in the report by Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation of the media’s failure to consider systemic racism. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjGQaz1u3V4
Race Forward: https://www.youtube.com/user/racialjustice Is systemic racism really a thing? Yes — and Race Forward has produced a video series to show how racism shows up in our lives across institutions and society such as drug arrests, housing, deportation, mass incarceration.
Unequal Opportunity Race short video produced by the African American Policy Forum to demonstrate how inequality is built into the very framework of our society through laws and institutions throughout history; and that affirmative action policy initiatives can help equalize opportunity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBb5TgOXgNY
Allegories of Race and Racism TEDX Talk: Camara Jones, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNhcY6fTyBM
MTV News Decoded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDUekTyDABY
Museum Exhibitions and Curriculum
Whitney Plantation, Wallace, Louisiana. www.whitneyplantation.com Opened in 2014 for the first time in its 262 year history as the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery. Through museum exhibits, artwork, restored buildings and hundreds of first-person slave narratives, visitors gain a unique perspective on the lives of Louisiana’s enslaved people.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Cincinnati, Ohio. http://www.freedomcenter.org celebrates the heroes who created the secret network through which the enslaved could escape to freedom, the Underground Railroad and relates this story to the contemporary efforts of Modern Abolition, inspiring everyone to take steps for freedom today.
National Civil Rights Museum Memphis, Tennessee. Established in 1991, located at the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Mission is to share the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement and explore how this significant era continues to shape equality and freedom globally. https://www.civilrightsmuseum.org
The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) advances knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere through partnership with Native people and others. Works to support the continuance of culture, traditional values, and transitions in contemporary Native life. Operates three facilities: Washington, D.C., New Your City, and Suitland, Maryland. http://www.nmai.si.edu
Go Tell It on The Mountain by James Baldwin.
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Explores the tragic echoes of history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X
Martin and Malcolm and America: A Dream or a Nightmare by James H. Cone. Examines two of the most influential African-American leaders of this century. Reveals two men whose visions were complementary and moved toward convergence.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Strength to Love by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As Dr. King prepared for the Birmingham campaign in early 1963, he drafted the final sermons for Strength to Love, a volume of his
A Gift of Love: Sermons from Strength to Love and Other Preachings (King Legacy) by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Includes classic sermons from Strength to Love, along with two new preachings. Presents his fusion of Christian teachings and social consciousness, and promote
Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (King Legacy) by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Vincent Harding. In 1967, Dr. King laid out his thoughts for America’s future, including the need for better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, and quality education.
Why We Can’t Wait by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Offers a penetrating analysis of the events and pressures that propelled the Civil Rights movement from lunch counter sit-ins and prayer marches to the forefront of American consciousness.
Letter From a Birmingham Jail: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King, Jr. Serving a sentence for participating in civil rights demonstrations, King pondered a letter from fellow clergymen urging him to drop his campaign of nonviolent resistance and leave the battle for racial equality to the courts. In response, he drafted this statement against social injustice that focused the world’s attention on Birmingham and spurred the March on Washington.
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama. Written prior to his presidency, Obama calls for a new kind of politics that builds upon those shared understandings that pull us together as Americans. Candid about his family life and his time in the Senate.
Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama. A compelling memoir about the son of a black African father and a white American mother who searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American.
We Are the Change We Seek – Speeches of Barack Obama by Barack Obama. Collection of Barack Obama’s 27 greatest addresses, 2002-2017 on issues of war, inequality, race relations, gun violence and human rights.
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Novel set in New Jersey in the United States, where Díaz was raised, and deals with the Dominican Republic experience under dictator Rafael Trujillo.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Morrison’s first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender.
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. The nameless narrator describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York to become the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of “the Brotherhood,” then retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Novel that re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, seamlessly weaving the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. Follows one woman’s ferocious will to escape slavery.
The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander
Argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from the lawyer who founded the Equal Justice Initiative. An early case drew Stevenson into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Memoir and Biography
The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. The first of three autobiographies of
My Bondage and Freedom by Frederick Douglas. Foremost spokesman for American blacks, both freed and slave. Second autobiography written after ten years of reflection following his legal emancipation in 1846 written during his career as a speaker and newspaper editor.
The Measure of Our Success; A Letter to my Children and Yours by Marian Wright Edelman. Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund recounts her experience and vision in essays addressed to her own and all children, and parents to help chart a course for children based on traditional values – self-reliance, family, hard work, justice, the pursuit of knowledge and of brotherhood.
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs. Author tells
Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. Irving tells her own journey of discovery and shifting worldview as a white person about race and racism.
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson. Jefferson was born in 1947 into upper-crust black Chicago. The Talented Tenth positioned themselves as a third race between whites and “the masses of Negros,” with the motto “Achievement. Invulnerability. Comportment.” On privilege, discrimination, and the fallacy of post-racial America.
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela. An international hero who moved South Africa away from apartheid and toward multiracial government and majority rule. Mandela tells his own story of his extraordinary life of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.
Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northrup. Basis for the Academy Award-winning film “12 Years a Slave” as the true story of Solomon Northup, born and raised as a freeman in New York then sold into slavery in the deep south. These are the true accounts of his twelve hard years as a slave.
I Never Had It Made; An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson by Jackie Robinson & Alfred Duckett. In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first black man in history to play in the major leagues of baseball. His own candid, hard-hitting account of what that took, plus the highs and lows of his life after baseball.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Henrietta was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine. She remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. Tells of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing.
Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward. Shines a light on the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, where in four years, Ward lost five young men dear to her, to drugs, accidents, murder, and suicide. These young men died because of who they were and the place they were from, with a history of racism and economic struggle.
100 Greatest African Americans; A Biographical Encyclopedia by Asante Molefi Mint. Distills examples of greatness from four centuries of African American history. Criteria used: the person’s significance in the progress of African Americans toward full equality in the American social and political system; self-sacrifice and the demonstration of risk for the collective good; unusual will and determination in the face of great danger or stubborn odds; and personal achievement.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. Mischievous young boy grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth – born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother when such union was punishable by five years in prison.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. Former marine and Yale Law School graduate offers a firsthand account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town and looks at the struggles of America’s white working class. Troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Black Boy by Richard Wright. Account of the author’s journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. It is at once an unashamed confession and a profound indictment—a poignant and disturbing record of social injustice and human suffering.
Without Sanctuary; Lynching Photograpy in America by James Allen, Hilton Als, Congressman John Lewis, Leon F. Litwack. The lynching of 3,436 blacks, 1882 – 1950 were recorded, more went unreported. Many times a professional photographer took pictures that were often made into postcards and sold as souvenirs to the crowds in attendance.
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil Way to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon. Account of the American period following the Emancipation Proclamation in which convicts, mostly black men, were “leased” through forced labor camps operated by state and federal governments.
Harriet Tubman; The Moses of Her People by Sarah Bradford. Recalls the courageous life of Harriet Tubman, one of the best-known “conductors” on the Underground Railroad. Recalls the former slave’s grim childhood; her perilous experiences leading slaves into Canada; her efforts as a Civil War nurse, cook, and scout for the Union Army; and her post-conflict endeavors to aid and educate former slaves.
When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson. Demonstrates that all the key programs passed during the New Deal and Fair Deal era of the 1930s and 1940s were created in a deeply discriminatory manner.
Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen. Exposes the secret towns that used everything in the 20th century from legal formalities to violence to create homogenous Caucasian communities.
The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Reveals the influence that the idea of black criminality has had on urban development and social policies. Chronicles the emergence of deeply embedded notions of black people as a dangerous race of criminals by explicit contrast to working-class whites and European immigrants.
The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson. From 1915 – 1970, almost six million people migrated from the U.S. South to other parts of America. Dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves, while following the lives of three unique individuals.
Cultural and Sociological Perspectives
But I Don’t See You as Asian: Curating Conversations about Race by Bruce Reyes Chow. Addresses thoughtless words and diversionary tactics . Lists the kinds of statements often used against persons of color in a predominantly white culture.
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson. Provocative and deeply personal call for change. Argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.
Killing Rage: Ending Racism by bell hooks. Twenty-three essays written from a black and feminist perspective, tackle the bitter difficulties of racism by envisioning a world without it. Addresses topics such as psychological trauma among African Americans; friendship between black women and white women; anti-Semitism and racism; and internalized racism in movies and the media.
Privilege, Power, and Difference by Allan G. Johnson (2nd Edition). Examines systems of privilege and difference in our society to see the underlying nature and consequences of privilege and their connection to it.
The End of White Christian America by Robert P. Jones. Political and cultural consequences of a new reality that is no longer demographically or culturally a majority white, Christian nation. Forecasts ways that white Christians in America might adjust to find their place in the new America—and the consequences for all if they don’t. “ Combination of history, sociology, religious studies, and political science.
Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice (4th Edition) by Paul Kivel. Offers framework around neoliberalism and interpersonal, institutional, and cultural racism, stories of resistance and white solidarity, tools for how white people can work as allies for racial justice, and information about specific cultural groups such as Muslims, people with mixed heritage, Native Americans, Jews, recent immigrants, Asian Americans, and Latino/as.
No Is Not Enough, Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein. Acclaimed journalist and activist argues that Trump is a logical extension of the worst, most dangerous trends of the past half-century—the very conditions that have unleashed a rising tide of white nationalism the world over. Understand how we got here, and how we can, collectively, come together and heal.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein. Shows how Milton Friedman and his followers of free-market economic revolution have repeatedly harnessed terrible shocks and violence to implement their radical policies.
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, by Wes Moore. Two kids named Wes Moore, born blocks apart within the same year, both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods with difficult childhoods. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence. How did this happen?
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by Natalie Y. Moore. Chicago-native Natalie Moore shines a light on contemporary segregation in the city’s South Side; through the lives of people who reside there. Shows the impact of Chicago’s historic segregation – and the ongoing policies that keep the system intact.
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine. Recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive.
Working Toward Whiteness: The Making of the American Working Class by David R. Reedier Combining classical Marxism, psychoanalysis, and the new labor, examines the formative years of working-class racism in the United States, underpinned by a complex series of psychological and ideological mechanisms that reinforce racial stereotypes.
I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street by Matt Taibbi. In 2014, a black man named Eric Garner died on a Staten Island sidewalk after a police officer put him in an illegal chokehold during an arrest for selling bootleg cigarettes. Illuminates issues around policing, mass incarceration, the underground economy, and racial disparity in law enforcement.
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: and Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum. In any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides.
From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists. This surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. The new struggle against police violence may reignite a broader push for Black liberation.
and Theological Resources
True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary. Brian K. Blount, General Editor, Cain Hope Felder, Clarice J. Martin and Emerson B. Powery, Associate Editors. Sets biblical interpretation in the context of African American experience and concern. Calls into question many of the canons of traditional biblical research and highlights the role of the Bible in African American history.
African American Heritage Hymnal; 575 Hymns, Spirituals and Gospel Songs by Rev. Dr. Delores Carpenter and Rev. Nolan E. Williams, Jr. Compendium represents the common repertoire of African American churches across the U.S. Traditional hymns and songs notated to reflect performance practices found in the oral tradition of the American black church. Litanies outlining an African American church year with an index of scriptural and thematic cross-references.
Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation by Jennifer Harvey. Argues for a shift in how justice-committed white Christians think about race, calling for moving away from the reconciliation paradigm and embracing instead a reparations paradigm. Shows necessity of bringing “white” racial identity into clear view to counter oppressive social structures.
Race & Reconciliation: Confessions of 1967 & Belhar. by Cliff Kirkpatrick. Being Reformed study leaders guide and participant book. Explores the themes of reconciliation, unity, and justice. Claims the ministry of reconciliation in a world and church deeply divided by race, nation, gender, economic status, and religion.
Living the Gospel of Peace: Tools for Building More Inclusive Community. by Eric Law. Booklet teaches respectful communication guidelines, mutual invitation, community bible study, and power analysis and how these can build communities free of racism, sexism, and other systems that divide us. https://www.pcusastore.com/Products/7027004014/living-the-gospel-of-peace-tools-for-building-more-inclusiv.aspx
Race in a Post-Obama America: The Church Responds by David Maxwell., Foreward by Otis Moss, III. Definitions and history around racism in the U.S., current thoughts on institutional racism, and specific actions individuals and churches are taking. Includes questions for reflection and discussion.
All God’s Children: A Biblical Critique of Racism by Steven L. McKenzie.
Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness
Microaggressions in Ministry: Confronting the Everyday Violence of Everyday Church by Cody Sanders & Angela Yarber. Addresses subtle slights, insults, and indignities directed at race, gender, and sexuality in the church. Microaggressions, often unintentional, occur on a regular basis in education, the workplace, and daily life. Equips congregations with tools for assessment and action to create stronger, more welcoming faith communities.
Faithful Resistance: Gospel Visions for the Church in a Time of Empire by Rick Ufford-Chase. Fourteen authors contribute their ideas for ways to move the Christian church to a place of faithfulness in the midst of the empire.
America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis. Offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians–particularly white Christians–urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing.
Race Matters, by Cornell West. Addresses a range of issues, from the crisis in black leadership and myths surrounding black sexuality to affirmative action, the new black conservatism, and the strained relations between Jews and African Americans. Confronts the prejudices of all his readers and insists they share a common destiny. Carries a redemptive passion grounded in the tradition of the African-American church.
White Fragility – Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Antiracist educator DiAngelo spells out the defensive moves white people make when challenged racially and how they function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent meaningful cross-racial dialogue. She also offers what we can do to engage more constructively.
Presbyterian Women’s Becoming the Beloved Community Resource Package. PW’s antiracism resource packet designed to help people engage the issue of racism, both individually and collectively. Includes tools for understanding and dismantling racism, as well as DVD, articles from The Thoughtful Christian’s study pack, and more.
Facing Racism Study Guide: The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recognizes that the task of dismantling racism is a long-term struggle that requires discernment, prayer, and