Telling the truth about participation in white supremacy and racial oppression.
In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.
Charles C. Mann
America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America
America’s problem with race has deep roots, with the country’s foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nation’s original sin.
The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples.
Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.
Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.
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?
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
An eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. A national bestseller in hardcover for more than a year after its initial publication, it has sold almost four million copies and has been translated into seventeen languages. For this elegant thirtieth-anniversary edition—published in both hardcover and paperback—Brown has contributed an incisive new preface.
Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows the great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee changed forever our vision of how the West was really won.
In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism
Tisby provides a unique survey of American Christianity’s racial past, revealing the concrete and chilling ways people of faith have worked against racial justice. Understanding our racial history sets the stage for solutions, but until we understand the depth of the malady we won’t fully embrace the aggressive treatment it requires. Given the centuries of Christian compromise with bigotry, believers today must be prepared to tear down old structures and build up new ones. This book provides an in-depth diagnosis for a racially divided American church and suggests ways to foster a more equitable and inclusive environment among God’s people.
Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon.
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all.
Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America–but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.
Ibram X. Kendi
In this classic theological treatise, the acclaimed theologian and religious leader Howard Thurman (1900–81) demonstrates how the gospel may be read as a manual of resistance for the poor and disenfranchised. Jesus is a partner in the pain of the oppressed and the example of His life offers a solution to ending the descent into moral nihilism. Hatred does not empower—it decays. Only through self-love and love of one another can God’s justice prevail.
A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
While the dream of a “Post-Racial” America remains unfulfilled, the struggle against racism continues, with tools both new and old. This book is a report from the front, combining personal stories and theoretical and theological reflection with examples of the work of dismantling racism and methods for creating the much-needed “safe space” for dialogue on race to occur. Its aim is to demonstrate the ways in which a new conversation on race can be forged. The book addresses issues such as reasons for the failure of past efforts to achieve genuine racial reconciliation, the necessity to honor rage and grief in the process of moving to forgiveness and racial healing, and what whites with privilege and blacks without similar privilege must do to move the work of dismantling racism forward.
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing
While African Americans managed to emerge from chattel slavery and the oppressive decades that followed with great strength and resiliency, they did not emerge unscathed. Slavery produced centuries of physical, psychological and spiritual injury. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can use the strengths we have gained to heal.
Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth
The book argues not only that medical racism persists and must be considered when examining adverse outcomes-as well as upsetting experiences for parents-but also that NICUs and life-saving technologies should not be the only strategies for improving the outcomes for black pregnant women and their babies. Davis makes the case for other avenues, such as community-based birthing projects, doulas, and midwives, that support women during pregnancy and labor are just as important and effective in avoiding premature births and mortality.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community–and all of us–to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit.
Anthony Ray Hinton, Lara Love Hardin
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
n 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.
Waking Up White is the book Irving wishes someone had handed her decades ago. By sharing her sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, she offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. As Irving unpacks her own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, she reveals how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas about race. She also explains why and how she’s changed the way she talks about racism, works in racially mixed groups, and understands the antiracism movement as a whole. Exercises at the end of each chapter prompt readers to explore their own racialized ideas. Waking Up White’s personal narrative is designed to work well as a rapid read, a book group book, or support reading for courses exploring racial and cultural issues.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
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.
Think you can’t make a difference every single day? You can. Here’s how
Jun 18, 2020
Our founding ideals promise liberty and equality for all. Our reality is an enduring racial hierarchy that has persisted for centuries
The New York Times Magazine
July 1, 2020
Are Racial Attitudes Really Changing? Some Black Activists Are Skeptical
For community activists on the South Side of Chicago, words are insufficient, and an embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement requires caring for communities that both Democrats and Republicans have ignored.
Astead W. Herndon
The New York Times
Aug 11, 2020
Colorado police apologize over viral video of officers handcuffing Black girls in a mistaken stop
News report on police handcuffing an innocent Black family in a parking lot
The Washington Post
August 4, 2020 at 5:42 a.m. EDT
News article on the different treatment of Black vs. White doctors
The New York Times
Aug 11, 2020
Paying the price: How Williamsburg’s Black business sector died in the 20th century
News article on how local government action led to the demise of the Triangle Block—a Black-owned business community in downtown Williamsburg—in the 1980s.
Aug 10, 2020
The Virus Is Killing Young Floridians. Work, Not Partying, Is Often to Blame
News article on the disproportionate death of Black Young adults from COVID-19
Frances Robles, Robert Gebeloff, Danielle Ivory, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura
The New York Times
Aug 11, 2020
If you are white, you might be surprised that your “normal” way of life is a privilege that Black people don’t get to enjoy.
GH (Good Housekeeping)
When three teens were allegedly threatened by an armed man, the responding officers turned their guns on them, mother says
News report on police handcuffing Black teens they had been called to protect
Updated 5:39 PM ET, Wed August 12, 2020
In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.
An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.
From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson comes a film that educates, informs, and examines more than 150 years of African American men and women who have embodied the qualities that are the heart of the American entrepreneurial spirit.
Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby
An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically–up to the present day–worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response.
12 part series on Amazon Prime
A young Abenaki chief in 1774 loses his family in an attack and attempts to redress his loss by taking a young white girl prisoner. She, too, is without a family, for very different reasons. What they discover surprises both of them.
The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
The story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.
History of the Iñupiat: Project Chariot
The dramatic story of an Iñupiaq village that stopped the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the most powerful government agency of its time, from detonating thermonuclear bombs near Point Hope, North America’s oldest continually inhabited settlement.
Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House
An aspiring white actress befriends an African American widow, but trouble arises when the latter is rejected by her daughter, who tries to pass for white.
World-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner.
Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam
‘Owned’ is a fever dream vision into the dark history behind the US housing economy. Tracking its overtly racist beginnings to its unbridled commoditization, the doc exposes a foundational story few Americans understand as their own.
A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.
An in depth look at the devastating effect that US policies have had on the indigenous people of America.
A white South African girl finds herself in a difficult situation when she is sent to spend a term with a black family in America.
An African-American woman becomes an unwitting pioneer for medical breakthroughs when her cells are used to create the first immortal human cell line in the early 1950s.
After his arrest at age 16, Kalief Browder fought the system and prevailed, despite unthinkable circumstances. He became an American hero.
TV mini series (6 episodes)
On May 26, 1838, federal troops forced thousands of Cherokee from their homes in the Southeastern United States, driving them toward Indian Territory in Eastern Oklahoma. More than 4,000 died of disease and starvation along the way.
When a noted white supremacist moves into their town, the residents of Leith, North Dakota do what they can to prevent him from taking control of the municipality.
Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.
TV mini series (4 episodes)
In his book “How to be an Antiracist,” Ibrahim Kendi asserts that the opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist.” It is “antiracist.” What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarcny as a racist, or racial equality as an antiracist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an antiracist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of “not racist.”.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture states, “Being antiracist is fighting against racism. Racism takes several forms and works most often in tandem with at least one other form to reinforce racist ideas, behavior, and policy…. No one is born racist or antiracist; these result from the choices we make. Being antiracist results from a conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, equitable choices daily. These choices require ongoing self-awareness and self-reflection as we move through life. In the absence of making antiracist choices, we (un)consciously uphold aspects of white supremacy, white-dominant culture, and unequal institutions and society. Being racist or antiracist is not about who you are; it is about what you do….When we choose to be antiracist, we become actively conscious about race and racism and take actions to end racial inequities in our daily lives. Being antiracist is believing that racism is everyone’s problem, and we all have a role to play in stopping it.”
Find out more here: https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race/topics/being-antiracist.
The Episcopal Church provides several pathways, resources, and major partners in the ministry of racial reconciliation, justice, and healing:
This Black-centered political will and movement building project was form in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George, Zimmerman. It has grown into a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters, whose members organize and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. Read the organization’s “What we believe” page here: https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/.
Yes, all lives should matter. That’s why “Black Lives Matter” started. Systemic racism in America has consistently demonstrated that Black lives do not matter as much as White lives—if at all. The point is that Black lives matter, too. Black lives also matter. Black lives actually matter. No one that lives in America could demonstrate that Black lives are considered superior to the lives of other US citizens.
See some other helpful metaphors to nix this false equivalency: https://www.parents.com/kids/responsibility/racism/reasons-all-lives-matter-doesnt-work-in-terms-simple-enough-for-a-child/
Given the history of racism in this country, white Americans receive unearned privilege (on top of whatever economic privilege they may have earned or inherited). White Americans do not have to worry about being followed in stores, racially profiled by law enforcement, or subjected to low expectations in schools. Nor do white people suffer from institutional racism; on the contrary, they often benefit from, for example, the use of social networks for institutional access, which perpetuates privilege for groups that have traditionally had that access. Many of these privileges are about the absence of disadvantage; for this and other reasons, privilege is frequently invisible to the privileged. It is important to note that there are real differences among white Americans, based on education and socioeconomic status, so that they enjoy privilege to different degrees.
According to Robin DiAngelo who coined the term, it refers to the anger, fear, guilt, denial, and silence in which ordinary white people react when it is pointed out to them that they have done or said something that has – unintentionally – caused racial offence or hurt. But these reactions only serve to silence people of color, who cannot give honest feedback to ‘liberal’ white people lest they provoke a dangerous emotional reaction.
The Constitutional Rights Foundation provides a brief history, including: “Jim Crow” was a derisive slang term for a black man. It came to mean any state law passed in the South that established different rules for blacks and whites. Jim Crow laws were based on the theory of white supremacy and were a reaction to Reconstruction. In the depression-racked 1890s, racism appealed to whites who feared losing their jobs to blacks. Politicians abused blacks to win the votes of poor white “crackers.” Newspapers fed the bias of white readers by playing up (sometimes even making up) black crimes.” Read the full article here: https://www.crf-usa.org/black-history-month/a-brief-history-of-jim-crow. Google “Jim Crow” for further resources.
Resolution A182 of the 2015 General Convention calls the church to address systemic racial injustice: Find out more here: https://episcopalarchives.org/cgi-bin/acts/acts_resolution.pl?resolution=2015-A182
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry tells us, “Reconciliation is the spiritual practice of seeking loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God and one another, and striving to heal and transform injustice and brokenness in ourselves, our communities, institutions, and society.” Find out more here: https://episcopalchurch.org/racial-reconciliation
Becoming Beloved Community is the Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation and justice. It encompasses a set of interrelated commitments around which Episcopalians may organize our many efforts to respond to racial injustice and grow a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers. It is organized as church-wide initiatives intended to 1) root our commitments in the Baptismal Covenant, 2) make real the general practices and questions that encircle the labyrinth, and 3) complement and advance work in dioceses, networks, provinces, and congregations. Find out more here: https://episcopalchurch.org/files/documents/becoming_beloved_community_summary.pdf
The Office of Government Relations (OGR) plays a key role in carrying out the mission of The Episcopal Church by bringing the experiences and values of our faith into decisions about our nation’s public policy. OGR represents the policy priorities of The Episcopal Church to the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. and helps to shape the discussion of political issues throughout the Church. OGR aims to influence policy and legislation on critical issues, highlighting the voices and experiences of Episcopalians and Anglicans globally. All policy positions are based on General Convention and Executive Council resolutions, the legislative and governing bodies of the Church. Policy areas include:
Additionally, the Office of Government Relations works to educate, equip, and engage Episcopalians through the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN). As a Church, we raise our voices to ensure that U.S. government policies are in line with our values as Episcopalians and Christians. Find out more here: https://episcopalchurch.org/OGR/eppn-sign-up