The recurring consequences of police brutality and the resulting civil unrest has made it clear to everyone: something REALLY needs fixing right now. The first step to fixing any problem is fully acknowledging and understanding what the problem actually is. The goal of this blog post is to help you answer these questions:
- What is the “black experience” like in America?
- Why does inequality and racism keep coming up?
- Why are people enraged enough to protest?
My personal experience as a lighter skinned mixed race person is NOT the same as “the black experience”, I am fully willing to acknowledge my own unique privilege. However, I can recall many experiences during youth that made it clear to me “we” were different. My father is black, and half my family is black. It was normal to me that family members and friends were...
- incarcerated or had been
- receiving public assistance or had been
- raised in single parent households
- harassed or intimidated by a police officer at least once
- denied career opportunities to advance
I spent 2010-2016 in undergraduate and graduate school studying the relationship between race, crime, punishment, and politics. I slowly began to realize my "normal" was actually the result of injustice on a grand scale. However, I am not a civil rights activist, or the “most informed person” on this subject. That being said, I want to share some of the material that has helped me gain a deeper understanding and wider perspective on racism and the black experience.
This material is from various people, men and women of all colors from all places. I hope these resources will help broaden your perspective, so you can gain a deeper understanding of why so much anger and anguish has finally boiled over. From understanding comes compassion.
Systemic / Institutionalized Racism
- (ARTICLE) Definition of Systemic Racism in Sociology
- (VIDEO) From Slavery to Mass Incarceration, Ava DuVernay’s Film "13th" Examines Racist U.S. Justice System
- (BOOK) Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
- (BOOK) Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
- (BOOK) Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon
- (BOOK) So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- (BOOK) White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
- (VIDEO) White Rage Lecture by Carol Anderson
- (BOOK) Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
- (BOOK) Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools by Jonathan Kozol
- (VIDEO) America as Post-Racial, or Post-Racist? - Michael Eric Dyson
- (VIDEO) Michael Eric Dyson breaks down one of the consequences of white supremacy
- (VIDEO) Racism Isn't Just About White Supremacy | Joe Rogan and Dr. Cornel West
- (VIDEO) Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks about institutionalized racism on The Phil Donahue Show 1990
- (ARTICLE) What is White Privilege?
- (VIDEO) Trevor Breaks Down Reparations & White Privilege - Between the Scenes | The Daily Show
- (BOOK) White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- (ARTICLE) White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
- (BOOK) White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society by Kalwant Bhopa
- (BOOK) Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
- (VIDEO) Mass Incarceration, Visualized
- (VIDEO) Slavery to Mass Incarceration
- (BOOK) The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- (BOOK) Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration by Devah Pager
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela