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Research Guides | Library | Amherst College
Racial Justice Resource Guide
These books and films are available online to the Amherst College community. This guide is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather a starting point for learning and thinking about some of these topics.
The Emperor Has No Clothes by Tema OkunA volume in Educational Leadership for Social Justice Series Editor Jeffrey S. Brooks, University of Missouri-Columbia, Denise E. Armstrong, Brock University; Ira Bogotch, Florida Atlantic University; Sandra Harris, Lamar University; Whitney H. Sherman, Virginia Commonwealth University; George Theoharis, Syracuse University The Emperor Has No Clothes: Teaching About Race and Racism to People Who Don't Want to Know offers theoretical grounding and practical approaches for leaders and teachers interested in effectively addressing racism and other oppressive constructs. The book draws both on the author's extensive experience teaching about race and racism in classroom and community settings and from the theory and practice of a wide range of educators, activists, and researchers committed to social justice. The first chapter looks at the toxic consequences of our western cultural insistence on profit, binary thinking, and individualism to establish the theoretical framework for teaching about race and racism. Chapter two investigates privileged resistance, offering a psycho/social history of denial, particularly as a product of racist culture. Chapter three reviews the research on the construction and reconstruction of dominant culture both historically and now in order to establish sound strategic approaches that educators, teachers, facilitators, and activists can take as we work together to move from a culture of profit and fear to one of shared hope and love. Chapter four lays out the stages of a process that supports teaching about racist, white supremacy culture, explaining how students can be taken through an iterative process of relationshipbuilding, analysis, planning, action, and reflection. The final chapter borrows from the brilliant, brave, and incisive writer Dorothy Allison to discuss the things the author knows for sure about how to teach people to see that which we have been conditioned to fear knowing. The chapter concludes with how to encourage and support collective and collaborative action as a critical goal of the process.
Publication Date: 2010
Everyday Antiracism by Mica Pollock (Editor)Which acts by educators are racist and which are 'antiracist'? How can an educator constructively discuss complex issues of race with students and colleagues? In Everyday Antiracism leading educators deal with the most challenging questions about race in school, offering invaluable and effective advice.
Publication Date: 2008
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. KendiNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a "groundbreaking" (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society--and in ourselves. "The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind."--The New York Times
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. Praise for How to Be an Antiracist "Ibram X. Kendi's new book, How to Be an Antiracist, couldn't come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author's own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . . How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, 'the basic struggle we're all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.' "--NPR "Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent. How to Be an Antiracist punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is--and what we should do about it."--Time
Not Light, but Fire by Matthew R. KayDo you feel prepared to initiate and facilitate meaningful, productive dialogues about race in your classroom? Are you looking for practical strategies to engage with your students? Inspired by Frederick Douglass's abolitionist call to action, "it is not light that is needed, but fire" Matthew Kay has spent his career learning how to lead students through the most difficult race conversations. Kay not only makes the case that high school classrooms are one of the best places to have those conversations, but he also offers a method for getting them right.
So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma OluoIn this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy--from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans--has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair--and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend? 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. "Oluo gives us--both white people and people of color--that language to engage in clear, constructive, and confident dialogue with each other about how to deal with racial prejudices and biases." --National Book Review "Generous and empathetic, yet usefully blunt . . . it's for anyone who wants to be smarter and more empathetic about matters of race and engage in more productive anti-racist action." --Salon (Required Reading)
Publication Date: 2018
Two Faces of Exclusion by Lon KurashigeFrom the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Immigration Act of 1924 to Japanese American internment during World War II, the United States has a long history of anti-Asian policies. But Lon Kurashige demonstrates that despite widespread racism, Asian exclusion was not the product of an ongoing national consensus; it was a subject of fierce debate. This book complicates the exclusion story by examining the organized and well-funded opposition to discrimination that involved some of the most powerful public figures in American politics, business, religion, and academia. In recovering this opposition, Kurashige explains the rise and fall of exclusionist policies through an unstable and protracted political rivalry that began in the 1850s with the coming of Asian immigrants, extended to the age of exclusion from the 1880s until the 1960s, and since then has shaped the memory of past discrimination. In this first book-length analysis of both sides of the debate, Kurashige argues that exclusion-era policies were more than just enactments of racism; they were also catalysts for U.S.-Asian cooperation and the basis for the twenty-first century's tightly integrated Pacific world.
Publication Date: 2016-09-02
Talking about Race by Katherine Cramer WalshIt is a perennial question: how should Americans deal with racial and ethnic diversity? More than 400 communities across the country have attempted to answer it by organizing discussions among diverse volunteers in an attempt to improve race relations. In Talking about Race, Katherine Cramer Walsh takes an eye-opening look at this strategy to reveal the reasons behind the method and the effects it has in the cities and towns that undertake it. With extensive observations of community dialogues, interviews with the discussants, and sophisticated analysis of national data, Walsh shows that while meeting organizers usually aim to establish common ground, participants tend to leave their discussions with a heightened awareness of differences in perspective and experience. Drawing readers into these intense conversations between ordinary Americans working to deal with diversity and figure out the meaning of citizenship in our society, she challenges many preconceptions about intergroup relations and organized public talk. Finally disputing the conventional wisdom that unity is the only way forward, Walsh prescribes a practical politics of difference that compels us to reassess the place of face-to-face discussion in civic life and the critical role of conflict in deliberative democracy.
Publication Date: 2007
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel TatumThe classic, bestselling book on the psychology of racism-now fully revised and updated 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. "An unusually sensitive work about the racial barriers that still divide us in so many areas of life."-Jonathan Kozol