13 things to read, watch or hear to increase racial awareness
Books, podcasts and movies explore the Black experience and racism in America.
Want to learn more about anti-racism and the Black experience?
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a starting point to dive deeper into race in America, compiled from various anti-racism resources.
“The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander
Even though laws referred to as Jim Crow largely no longer exist, Alexander explores how policies of mass incarceration and inequality in the criminal justice system have created a new continued differences in the rights claimed by White and Black people.
“Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi
This 2016 winner of the National Book Award explores a history of racism through the lens of five leading American intellectuals and how they challenged or promoted long-lasting ideas on race.
“Survival Math” by Mitchell S. Jackson
This memoir takes readers inside a side of Portland, Ore., not frequently written about, and the calculations Jackson made to survive.
“So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo
Oluo writes of growing up in Seattle, contrasting her appreciation for Black culture to the discrimination she faced. She offers tools for how to have honest, confident conversations about race.
“White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo
White Americans have been largely insulated from racial stress, so when faced with it, they often shut down or become defensive, argues DiAngelo. Her book explores why White people’s reactions to the topic perpetuate social inequality by failing to meaningfully address the problem.
Scene on Radio: “Seeing White”
This 14-part series explores the meaning and history of “whiteness” in America.
Fresh Air: Terry Gross interviews Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “Between the World and Me” and “The Case for Reparations,” and Bryan Stevenson, attorney portrayed in the new movie “Just Mercy.”
In discussions about police violence against Black people and lasting Confederate iconography, both men urge America to confront racism past and present.
New York Times Magazine: “1619”
The project, which won a Pulitzer Prize this year, aims to rewrite the history of the slave trade in America, connecting the past to the present, beginning with the year enslaved Africans first arrived.
Named after the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery, this documentary by director Ava DuVernay explores mass incarceration of Black people and the sprawling prison industry.
“12 Years a Slave”
This film adaptation chronicles the 12 years that Solomon Northup, a Black man born free in New York, spent on Louisiana plantations after being kidnapped and sold into slavery.
This dramatic adaptation tells the story of the 1965 right-to-vote marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., led by civil rights leaders including James Bevel and Martin Luther King Jr.
“The Central Park Five”
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns chronicles the case of five Black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly convicted of raping a White woman jogging in Central Park in 1989.
This dramatic film is based on the death of Oscar Grant, a young Black man who was killed in 2009 by a White BART police officer in Oakland.
Sources: Lorraine Berry for the Los Angeles Times, Wendy Craig-Purcell, Frank Harris III
-- Kristina Davis is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune
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