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Lemieux Library
Lemieux Library

Social Justice and Equity: Systemic Racism

Understanding Our Systems

 

158 Resources to Understand Racism in America

"These articles, videos, podcasts and websites from the Smithsonian chronicle the history of anti-black violence and inequality in the United States."

National Museum of African American History & Culture: Being Antiracist 

"While individual choices are damaging, racist ideas in policy have a wide-spread impact by threatening the equity of our systems and the fairness of our institutions. To create an equal society, we must commit to making unbiased choices and being antiracist in all aspects of our lives."

 

TED: Talks to help you understand racism in America

"From passionate pleas for reform to poetic turns of phrase, these talks take an honest look at everyday realities of Black Americans and illuminate the way forward." 

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Defining Racism

Racial & Social Justice Initiative: Types of Racial Inequity

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Housing: The Case In Seattle

Seattle Municipal Archives Online Exhibit: Redlining in Seattle

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Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project: Racial Housing Covenants 

"Neighborhood by neighborhood restrictions across King County."

Health Care

American Medical Association: Reducing disparities in health care

"Recent studies have shown that despite the improvements in the overall health of the country, racial and ethnic minorities experience a lower quality of health care—they are less likely to receive routine medical care and face higher rates of morbidity and mortality than nonminorities."

CDC:

 COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups

"The effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups is still emerging; however, current data suggest a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups."

CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report (CHDIR)

"CDC and its partners work to identify and address the factors that lead to health disparities among racial, ethnic, geographic, socioeconomic, and other groups so that barriers to health equity can be removed. "

Voting

ACLU: A History of the Voting Rights Act

Interactive timeline detailing the history of voting rights in America.

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Library of Congress: Voting Rights for Native Americans 

"It's often overlooked that self-government in America was practiced by Native Americans long before the formation of the United States government. And yet, Native Americans faced centuries of struggle before acquiring full U.S. citizenship and legal protection of their voting rights."

                                           Nast, Thomas, Artist. "Move on!" Has the Native American no rights that the naturalized American is bound to respect? / / Th. Nast. , 1871. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2001696066/.

Incarceration

Podast from NPR

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Anti-racism Literary Works

Thanks to Professor Nalini Iyer from Seattle University's English Department for these selected reads.

Americanah Cover

Americanah

"A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun.

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time..."

Citizen Cover

Citizen: An American Lyric

"Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive..."

The Underground Railroad Cover

The Underground Railroad

"Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted."

Homegoing Cover

Homegoing

"A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction."

Kindred Cover

Kindred

"The visionary author’s masterpiece pulls us—along with her Black female hero—through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now.

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him..."

Invisible Man

"First published in 1952 and immediately hailed as a masterpiece, Invisible Man is one of those rare novels that have changed the shape of American literature. For not only does Ralph Ellison's nightmare journey across the racial divide tell unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators, it gives us an entirely new model of what a novel can be."

Native Son

"Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic.

Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America."

Their Eyes Were Watching God

"When first published in 1937, this novel about a proud, independent black woman was generally dismissed by male reviewers. Out of print for almost thirty years, but since its reissue in paperback edition by the University of Illionois Press in 1978, Their Eyes Were Watching God has become the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature."

The Color Purple

"A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia. Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence. Through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown, the novel draws readers into its rich and memorable portrayals of Celie, Nettie, Shug Avery and Sofia and their experience..."

The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era

"Through much of the twentieth century, black Seattle was synonymous with the Central District--a four-square-mile section near the geographic center of the city. Quintard Taylor explores the evolution of this community from its first few residents in the 1870s to a population of nearly forty thousand in 1970. With events such as the massive influx of rural African Americans beginning with World War II and the transformation of African American community leadership in the 1960s from an integrationist to a "black power" stance..."

Rethinking Education

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (WHIEEAA): Resources

"The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans is a cross-agency effort aimed at identifying evidence-based practices that improve student achievement, and developing a national network that shares these best practices."

Systemic Racism in Education: Perspectives of Teachers of Color

"...Through the process of analyzing and interpreting the experiences of Teachers of Color, the findings emerged as a process of naming shared experiences; being Dismissed, Silenced, Censored, and becoming Exhausted in a Colorblind Workplace. Collectively, these findings can be used as a tool to further conversations concerning what deters People of Color from the field of education. This study proposes that in order to combat the lack of Teachers of Color, we need to talk and educate all stakeholders about their experiences."

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