SUGGESTED LEARNING RESOURCES ON RACE AND SYSTEMIC RACISM
The Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma supports community learning about race and systemic racism. To facilitate this learning, we have compiled a list of books, podcasts, and videos addressing these issues. We hope you will find these resources helpful. We have included many resources to appeal to different needs and interests. Please don’t be overwhelmed by the number of items in the list. Pick what interests you. If you don’t know where to start, we recommend starting with So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oulo.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi (2015). Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. His book Between the World and Me won the National Book Award in 2015. Coates is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.
“In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?” Between the World and Me has won numerous awards.”
DiAngelo, Robin J. (2018). White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Robin DiAngelo is an academic, lecturer, and author and has been a consultant and trainer on issues of racial and social justice for more than twenty years. She formerly served as a tenured professor of multicultural education at Westfield State University.
"The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.”
Kendi, Ibram X. (2019) How to Be an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent. He will also become the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University.
“Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.”
Oluo, Ijeoma (2019). So You Want to Talk About Race
Ijeoma Oluo is a writer and speaker whose work on race has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Elle, The Guardian, and more. She has twice been named to The Root 100 and received the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award from the American Humanist Society. She lives in Seattle.
“In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.”
Tatum, Beverly Daniel (2017). Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations about Race (2017)
Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., is president emerita of Spelman College and in 2014 received the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, the highest honor presented by the American Psychological Association. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Walk into 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? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America.”
Tisby, Jemar and Moore, Lecrae (2019) The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism
Jemar Tisby (B.A., University of Notre Dame, Mdiv Reformed Theological Seminary) is the president of The Witness, a Black Christian Collective where he writes about race, religion, politics, and culture. He is also the co-host of the Pass The Mic podcast. He has spoken nation-wide at conferences and his writing has been featured in the Washington Post, CNN, and Vox. Jemar is a Ph.D. student in History at the University of Mississippi studying race, religion, and social movements in the twentieth century.
Lecrae Devaughn Moore, mononymously known as Lecrae, is an American Christian hip hop recording artist, songwriter, record producer, and actor.
“The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don't know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.
The Color of Compromise:
Takes you on a historical, sociological, and religious journey: from America's early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War
Covers the tragedy of Jim Crow laws, the victories of the Civil Rights era, and the strides of today's Black Lives Matter movement
Reveals the cultural and institutional tables we have to flip in order to bring about meaningful integration
Charts a path forward to replace established patterns and systems of complicity with bold, courageous, immediate action
Is a perfect book for pastors and other faith leaders, students, non-students, book clubs, small group studies, history lovers, and all lifelong learners
The Color of Compromise is not a call to shame or a platform to blame white evangelical Christians. It is a call from a place of love and desire to fight for a more racially unified church that no longer compromises what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality. A call that challenges black and white Christians alike to stand up now and begin implementing the concrete ways Tisby outlines, all for a more equitable and inclusive environment among God's people. Starting today.”
Wilkerson, Isabel (2010). The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Isabel Wilkerson, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns, the New York Times bestseller that tells the story of the Great Migration, a watershed in American history. Her second book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, is forthcoming from Random House in August 2020. For The Warmth of Other Suns, Wilkerson won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pen-Galbraith Literary Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
“From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.
Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.”
What's CODE SWITCH? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, this NPR podcast tackles the subject of race head-on.
My podcast episode From Katie Couric with Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan, and Bryan Stevenson about Just Mercy
Still Processing, a New York Times culture podcast with Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morrison
Seeing White - a Scene on the Radio podcast
Jemele Hill is Unbothered, a podcast with award-winning journalist Jemele Hill
Hear To Slay, “the black feminist podcast of your dreams,” with Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom
Pod Save The People, organizer and activist DeRay McKesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with analysis from fellow activists Brittany Packnett, Sam Sinyangwe, and writer Dr. Clint Smith III
The Appeal, a podcast on criminal justice reform hosted by Adam Johnson
Justice In America, a podcast by Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith on criminal justice reform
Brené Brown with Ibram X. Kendi, a podcast episode on antiracism
Come Through, a WNYC podcast with Rebecca Carroll
The Kinswomen, conversations on race, racism, and allyship between women, hosted by Hannah Pechter and Yseult Polfliet
DOCUMENTARIES, VIDEOS AND MOVIES
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
Dr. Robin DiAngelo is an academic, lecturer, and author and has been a consultant and trainer on issues of racial and social justice for more than twenty years. Drawing on more than twenty years of research, Dr. DiAngelo helps white people get out of denial and develop their capacity to engage more constructively about race.
13th By Ava DuVernay. This is the full-length documentary that Netflix made available to everyone. Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay's examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country's history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.
Let's get to the root of racial injustice | Megan Ming Francis| TEDxRainier. Megan Ming Francis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington where she specializes in the study of American politics, race, and the development of constitutional law. She is particularly interested in the construction of rights and citizenship, black political activism, and the post-civil war South. Born and raised in Seattle, WA, she was educated at Garfield High School, Rice University in Houston, and Princeton University where she received her M.A. and her Ph.D. in Politics. In this inspiring and powerful talk, Megan Francis traces the root causes of our current racial climate to their core causes, debunking common misconceptions and calling out "fix-all" cures to a complex social problem
Black in America: And Still I Rise Henry Louis Gates, Jr. In his four-hour series, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state
Racism and the Soul of America – Eddie Gaude 2016 lecture. Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr, is a Professor of Religion and African-American Studies at Princeton University. Dr. Glaude speaks very frankly about systemic racism and challenges the viewers to both understand and move into action.
Kendi, Ibram X. How to be an Antiracist
A TED talk with Dr. Kendi in conversation with two others to clarify the difference between “not racist” and “antiracist.”
Ibram X. Kendi is an American author, historian, and scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America. In July 2020, he assumed the position of director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. His work in Boston is a continuation of his work at the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at the American University.