How to Fight Racism, Part 1 – Awareness
While activists have initiated remarkable progress when it comes to race in America, the struggle for black freedom continues. The reality is that racism remains. It is sometimes hidden in the walls and rafters of the nation’s institutions but even so, like an un-killable cockroach, racism still frequently scurries back into the light.
No matter how many laws we pass, resolutions we write, or programs we implement, progress is not delicate and we must always be ready to fight racism.
This brief series gives practical steps and resources to help fight racism. It follows the A.R.C. model of racial justice—an acronym that stands for Awareness – Relationships – Commitment. For more information about this model see chapter 11 of The Color of Compromise.
The following suggestions fall under the “Awareness” portion of the A.R.C. In order to fight racism black people, other people of color, and their allies have to equip themselves with information about the way racism works both now and in the past. Unfortunately, many people who want to be part of the solution have not studied the insidious and often subtle ways that the “narrative of racial difference” affects every portion of society. Without the necessary knowledge about race and racism, one may cause more harm than healing.
The good news is that information about race in America has never been more accessible. In fact, the best answer to many questions about race is just two words: “Google it.”
Through the internet and multi-media we can now access facts and data about race with the stroke of a key. Here are some resources to help you increase awareness of racism and increase your capacity to fight it.
NOTE: As a “Black Christian Collective”, this list focuses mainly on black-white race relations, but this is not to say that other racial and ethnic group dynamics are unimportant. This is also a “living list” and other items will be added over time. It is not an attempt to provide a comprehensive list of resources. A simple internet search will yield thousands more resources.
- The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross – Producer, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (PBS)
- Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise – Producer, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (PBS)
- Reconstruction: America After the Civil War (April 2019) – Producer, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (PBS)
- King in the Wilderness – Director, Peter W. Kunhardt (HBO)
- O.J.: Made in America – Director, Ezra Edelman (ESPN)
- Time: The Kalief Browder Story – Director, Jennifer Furst (Netflix)
- The Rape of Recy Taylor – Directory, Nancy Buirsky (Augusta Films)
- Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael Emerson & Christian Smith (Oxford University Press, 2000)
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi (Nation Books, 2016)
- At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance–A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle L. McGuire (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010)
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria, and Other Conversations about Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum (Basic Books, 2017 2nd ed.)
- So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times by Soong-Chan Rah
- White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White by Daniel Hill
- “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh
- The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Museums and Exhibits:
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Harlem, NY)
- National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington, D.C.)
- National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN)
- Lynching Memorial and the Legacy Museum (Montgomery, AL)
- California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
- Levine Museum of the New South (Charlotte, NC)
- Dusable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
- The King Center (Atlanta, GA)
- Mississippi Civil Rights Museum (Jackson, MS)
Keep going! Take ownership of gaining information about race and racism by continuing to search for resources.