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Anti-Racism: History of Race & Racism

This guide contains information on resources relating to anti-racism, including recommended books for further reading and films.

Internet Resources

Databases & Research Guides

Podcasts

The Real Story of Rosa Parks

Black history taught in US schools is often watered-down, riddled with inaccuracies and stripped of its context and rich, full-bodied historical figures. Equipped with the real story of Rosa Parks, professor David Ikard highlights how making the realities of race more benign and digestible harms us all -- and emphasizes the power and importance of historical accuracy.

Books & Films: Check Out at McKee Library

Stamped from the Beginning

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society. Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America--it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. 

Firsting and Lasting

Across nineteenth-century New England, antiquarians and community leaders wrote hundreds of local histories about the founding and growth of their cities and towns. Ranging from pamphlets to multivolume treatments, these narratives shared a preoccupation with establishing the region as the cradle of an Anglo-Saxon nation and the center of a modern American culture. They also insisted, often in mournful tones, that New England's original inhabitants, the Indians, had become extinct, even though many Indians still lived in the very towns being chronicled.   In Firsting and Lasting, Jean M. O'Brien argues that local histories became a primary means by which European Americans asserted their own modernity while denying it to Indian peoples.

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

A Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the "Age of Neoslavery," 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. In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history--an "Age of Neoslavery" that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II. Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Douglas A. Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter. By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.

The History of White People

Telling perhaps the most important forgotten story in American history, eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter guides us through more than two thousand years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but also the frequent praise of "whiteness" for economic, scientific, and political ends. A story filled with towering historical figures, The History of White People closes a huge gap in literature that has long focused on the non-white and forcefully reminds us that the concept of "race" is an all-too-human invention whose meaning, importance, and reality have changed as it has been driven by a long and rich history of events.

The Warmth of Other Suns

One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. 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.  

The Inconvenient Indian

In The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King offers a deeply knowing, darkly funny, unabashedly opinionated, and utterly unconventional account of Indian-White relations in North America since initial contact. Ranging freely across the centuries and the Canada-U.S. border, King debunks fabricated stories of Indian savagery and White heroism, takes an oblique look at Indians (and cowboys) in film and popular culture, wrestles with the history of Native American resistance and his own experiences as a Native rights activist, and articulates a profound, revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands. Suffused with wit, anger, perception, and wisdom, The Inconvenient Indian is at once an engaging chronicle and a devastating subversion of history, insightfully distilling what it means to be "Indian" in North America. 

This Land Is Their Land

Ahead of the 400th Anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, a new look at the Plymouth colony's founding events, told for the first time from the perspective of the Wampanoag natives. In March 1621, when Plymouth's survival was hanging in the balance, the Wampanoag sachem (or chief) Ousamequin (Massasoit) and Plymouth's governor John Carver declared their people's friendship for each other and a commitment to mutual defense. Later that autumn, the English gathered their first successful harvest and lifted the specter of starvation. Ousmaequin and ninety of his men then visited Plymouth for the "First Thanksgiving." The treaty remained operative until King Philip's War in 1675, when fifty years of uneasy peace between the two parties would come to an end. 400 years after that famous meal, historian David J. Silverman sheds a profound new light on the events that led to the creation, and bloody dissolution, of this alliance. From the vantage of the Wampanoag Indians, Silverman deepens the narrative to consider tensions that developed well before 1620 and lasted long after the devastating war tracing the Wampanoags' ongoing struggle for self-determination up to this very day. This unsettling history reveals why some modern Native people hold a Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving, a holiday which celebrates a myth of colonialism and white proprietorship of the United States. No Reason to Give Thanks shows that it is time to rethink how we, as a pluralistic nation, tell the history of Thanksgiving.

The Color of Law

Widely heralded as a "masterful" (Washington Post) and "essential" (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law offers "the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation" (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, "virtually indispensable" study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.

Racial/Ethnic Prejudice & Discrimination

We can’t talk about race without also discussing racism, so today we are going to define and explain prejudice, stereotypes, and racism. We’ll look at five theories for why prejudice exists. We’ll discuss discrimination and the legacies of institutional racism. We’ll also provide an overview of four types of racial interaction: pluralism, assimilation, segregation, and genocide.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSddUPkVD24

50 Years of Racism

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9DDE7NV1Nw

White Like Me

White Like Me, based on the work of acclaimed anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise, explores race and racism in the US through the lens of whiteness and white privilege. In a stunning reassessment of the American ideal of meritocracy and claims that we've entered a post-racial society, Wise offers a fascinating look back at the race-based white entitlement programs that built the American middle class, and argues that our failure as a society to come to terms with this legacy of white privilege continues to perpetuate racial inequality and race-driven political resentments today.

Source: Kanopy