Updated May 2023
A webpage in CPIR’s series Talking About Race
To understand the roots of racism and the perspectives of Black men, women, and children who confront it throughout their lives, we must listen to what they have to say. Some resources may be painful to take in. They are full of anger and reason alike, but they resonate with an authenticity that society needs to absorb as truth.
In many respects, this webpage begins as a history lesson. Such knowledge is a crucial building block for taking action, which is the focus of a goodly number of resources here.
Tools for Listening and Learning
Black History Milestones: Timeline
From the arrival of the first slaves to the present day, the History Channel walks us through the many milestones that have shaped African American communities and culture and the United States as a whole.
John F. Kennedy Address on Civil Rights | Video
Kennedy speaks from the Oval Office in response to the National Guard being sent to protect African American students at the University of Alabama. The President declares that a moral crisis exists in America. Date: June 11, 1963. We haven’t come very far, have we? (This 1-1/2 minute excerpt from Kennedy’s speech captures the heart of his address. There is also a nearly 6-minute long video with more of the speech.)
Juneteenth: Freedom At Last | Video
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This 5-minute video beautifully explains why this day is celebrated every year.
Glossary for Understanding the Dismantling of Structural Racism
There are quite a few words associated with racism, and this 2-page glossary of terms illuminates what the terms actually mean.
Creating Change through Action: Curriculum and Compilation of Social Justice Resources
This 55-page compilation is packed with easy-to-read discussions of the six platforms that influenced the work of Martin Luther King, Jr.: justice, peace, quality education, better jobs, better housing and stronger communities, and ending poverty. In each section, you will find educational information, links to websites, and action items suitable for elementary school-aged children, for middle schoolers, and for high schoolers. The final section addresses how to continue the movement.
Video Series | What Matters
What Matters combines documentary narrative with interviews to illuminate specific, timely issues, aiming to create safe dialogue to promote freedom, justice, and collective liberation. There are currently 4 episodes in the series. You can access the episodes on Vimeo, YouTube, and as podcasts.
15+ Tools and Resources to Challenge Racism
Here’s a resource to explore thoroughly. You’ll find links to and descriptions of multiple very relevant resources, including:
- videos (such as the TED talk How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Talking About Race);
- thought-provoking blogs and articles (such as Challenging White Dominant Culture: Time to Look in the Mirror and Illustrating Equality versus Equity);
- racial equity toolkits and frameworks; and
- books (such as Dismantling Racism: A Resource Book for Social Change Groups).
- Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism, and Racial Justice
Conversations about race, racism, and racial justice in this country are more important than ever. The Opportunity Agenda has put together these “lessons” to help move such discussions forward. Each lesson includes a explanation of its purpose and suggested language organizers can use.
Note: The graphic “Becoming Anti-Racist” was adapted by Andrew M. Ibrahim from “Who Do I Want to Be During COVID-19” chart.