Learning Resources

The following is a list of educational resources for learning more about the topic of racial justice. They are categorized by media type – books, films, and web.

Books

  • Growing Up in America: The Power of Race in the Lives of Teens

    by Brad Christerson, Korie L. Edwards, and Richard Flory

    People’s experiences of racial inequality in adulthood are well documented, but less attention is given to the racial inequalities that children and adolescents face. Growing Up in America provides a rich, first-hand account of the different social worlds that teens of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds experience. In their own words, these American teens describe conflicts with parents, pressures from other teens, school experiences, and religious beliefs that drive their various understandings of the world.

  • Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History

    by Thomas Norman Dewolf

    In 2001, Thomas DeWolf discovered that he was related to the most successful slave-trading family in U.S. history, responsible for transporting at least ten thousand Africans. This is his memoir of the journey in which ten family members retraced their ancestors’ steps through the notorious triangle trade route – from New England to West Africa to Cuba – and uncovered the hidden history of New England and the other northern states.

  • It's the Little Things: Everyday Interactions That Anger, Annoy, and Divide the Races

    by Lena Williams

    Although we no longer live in a legally segregated society, the division between blacks and whites never seems to go away. We work together, go to school together, and live near each other, but beneath it all there is a level of misunderstanding that breeds mistrust and a level of miscommunication that generates anger. This is Lena Williams’ honest look at the interactions between blacks and whites – the gestures, expressions, tones, and body language that keep us divided.

  • Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II

    by Douglas A. Blackmon

    In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history – when a cynical new form of slavery was resurrected from the ashes of the Civil War and re-imposed on hundreds of thousands of African-Americans until the dawn of World War II.

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

    by Michelle Alexander

    The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status – denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.

  • This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century

    by Mark Engler and Paul Engler

    From protests around climate change and immigrant rights, to Occupy, the Arab Spring, and #BlackLivesMatter, a new generation is unleashing strategic nonviolent action to shape public debate and force political change. When mass movements erupt onto our television screens, the media consistently portrays them as being spontaneous and unpredictable. Yet, in this book, Mark and Paul Engler look at the hidden art behind such outbursts of protest, examining core principles that have been used to spark and guide moments of transformative unrest.

  • Towards the "Other America": Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter

    by Chris Crass

    Towards the “Other America”: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter is a call to action to end white silence and a manual on how to do it. In addition to his own soul-searching essays and practical organizing advice in his “notes to activists,” Chris Crass lifts up the voices of longtime white anti-racist leaders organizing in white communities for Black Lives Matter.

  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race

    by Beverly Daniel Tatum

    Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, asserts that we do not know how to talk about our racial differences: whites are afraid of using the wrong words and being perceived as “racist” while parents of color are afraid of exposing their children to painful racial realities too soon. Using real-life examples and the latest research, Tatum presents strong evidence that straight talk about our racial identities – whatever they may be – is essential if we are serious about facilitating communication across racial and ethnic divides.

Films

  • 13th

    directed by Ava DuVernay

    In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.

  • From the Back of the Line

    directed by Toby Shearer

    From the Back of the Line aims to increase awareness of the impact of U.S. immigration policies on families, and to add dimensionality to the national public discourse surrounding the U.S. immigration system. The film documents the struggles of individuals caught in low-priority deportation procedures, parents raising mixed-status families, and high school and college-aged students who have lived in the United States since childhood.

  • Slavery by Another Name: The Documentary Film

    directed by Sam Pollard

    Directed by Sam Pollard, produced by Catherine Allan and Douglas Blackmon, written by Sheila Curran Bernard, the tpt National Productions project is based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Blackmon. Slavery by Another Name challenges one of our country’s most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The documentary recounts how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced labor emerged in the American South, keeping hundreds of thousands of African Americans in bondage, trapping them in a brutal system that would persist until the onset of World War II.

  • Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North

    directed by Katrina Browne, Alla Kovgan, and Jude Ray

    In Traces of the Trade, Producer/Director Katrina Browne tells the story of her forefathers, the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. Given the myth that the South is solely responsible for slavery, viewers will be surprised to learn that Browne’s ancestors were Northerners. The film follows Browne and nine fellow family members on a remarkable journey which brings them face-to-face with the history and legacy of New England’s hidden enterprise.

  • Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?

    This four-hour series crisscrosses the nation uncovering startling new findings that suggest there is much more to our health than bad habits, health care, or unlucky genes. The social circumstances in which we are born, live, and work can actually get under our skin and disrupt our physiology as much as germs and viruses.

Web

  • 11 Things White People Can Do to Be Real Anti-Racist Allies

    by Kali Holloway

    This article shows the responses of several influential people of color when asked how white people can help in fighting against racism.

  • 7 Things Travelers Can Do to Support Racial Justice

    by Amanda Machado

    This article discusses ways of keeping racial justice in mind while travelling.

  • Campaign Zero

    Campaign Zero is a police reform campaign that aims to reduce police violence in the United States. The website has lots of information about the problem and proposed solution, along with research and reports. You can view a summary of their solution here (this specific PDF is no longer available on their website, but we’ve provided it here since it effectively summarizes the information).

  • #CharlestonSyllabus

    This is a list of resources put together in response to the June 2015 attack on Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The list contains resources about topics such as racial identity, white supremacy, slavery, race and religion, and racial violence.

  • Intersectionality: A Reading List

    This is a list of resources about intersectionality that was put together by blackfeminisms.com. The list contains books, academic articles, blogs, and audio/video resources.

  • Islamophobia Is Racism

    This is a list of resources put together for learning about anti-Muslim racism in the United States.

  • News and Opinion Perspectives of Some People of Color

    by Joel Gilbertson-White

    This is a list of links to news, opinion, and culture sites by people of color.

  • Raising Race Conscious Children

    This blog has regular updates about current events, along with explanations from parents about how they talk with their children about race.

  • #StandingRockSyllabus

    This is a list of resources organized primarily to help people learn about the issues behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, but also to educate about the bigger picture of Indigenous histories and politics. It also includes a timeline of United States settler colonialism.

  • Teaching Tolerance

    This is a website by Southern Poverty Law Center that provides materials to educators for the purpose of “reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations, and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation’s children”.

  • Teaching Tolerance: How White Parents Should Talk to Their Young Kids about Race

    by Melinda Wenner Moyer

    This is an article that talks about how and why parents should talk to their kids about race.

  • Do Something About It: Instantly Watch These Films Directed by Women and People of Color

    by Joey Nolfi

    This is a list of recent films directed by women and people of color.

  • We Need Diverse Books

    This website advocates for having more diversity in books, and it has links to reading lists.

  • What White Children Need to Know About Race

    by Ali Michael and Eleonora Bartoli

    This is an article that focuses on the ways in which schools should be teaching children about race in a positive way.

  • whiteaccomplices.org

    This website describes ways that white people can push themselves and take more risks in the fight for racial justice.