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Educators as Conduits for Discussions about Racism and Equity

Posted by Ebony Perez and Moneque Walker-Pickett on Jul 30, 2020
Racism and Equity

People shy away from difficult conversations for a variety of reasons. Some are fearful of being labeled, others do not like confrontation, and still there are others who simply want to avoid feelings of discomfort. However, we know growth can be uncomfortable and also takes time. The past several months have been uncomfortable for some of us and painful for many. We have witnessed events that have led many of us to ask how we can take part in impacting racial brutality and the systems of oppression present in our society.

Social Justice action may be uncomfortable yet, as educators, we have more of a responsibility than the average person to be prepared to engage in conversations around race and anti-racism. This journey must begin with ourselves so we can provide positive opportunities to our students to explore and examine race and the impact of racism both individually and systematically. A list of resources is provided to assist in beginning or continuing your journey. Be mindful that this list is in no way exhaustive or meant to represent the totality of your work (or that of your students) towards understanding and engaging in anti-racist action in both your personal and professional circles. We hope you find these resources helpful.

1.  Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (20th anniversary edition) by Beverly Daniel Tatum

2.  White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

3.  Feeling White: Whiteness, Emotionality and Education by Cheryl Matias

4.  Cheryl E. Matias, Ph.D.'s website

5.  Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

6.  Racism without Racists (5th edition) by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

7.  I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

8.  Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil by Susan Nieman

9.  So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

10.  How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

11.  Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

12.  The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

13.  Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis

14.  The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

15.  Killing Rage: Ending Racism by bell hooks

16.  Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks

17.  The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race edited by Jesmyn Ward

18.  Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia edited by Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. Gonzalez

19.  The Emperor Has No Clothes: Teaching About Race and Racism to People Who Don’t Want to Know by Tema Okun

20.  White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson

21.  White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh.

22.  L. Song Richardson, Police Use of Force, in Academy for Justice, A Report on Scholarship and Criminal Justice Reform (Erik Luna ed., forthcoming 2017).

Additionally, there are also some seminal works that we highly recommend from the following authors:

•  Franz Fanon
•  Langston Hughes
•  The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
•  The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

And for those that enjoy literature and poetry:

•  Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
•  Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

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