Selections to Read, Watch, Listen, and Learn about Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism from September & October, 2021

What is Critical Race Theory and Why is it Under Attack?

Scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw speaks with Devon Carbado and Laura Flanders, filmed live at Union Chapel in Martha’s Vineyard on August 24, 2021.  The African American Policy Forum also produces a podcast called Intersectionality Matters, hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw.

Preservation of Point Breeze: A Native American Perspective

This 6-minute video features Chief Vincent Mann, Turtle Clan Chief of the Ramapough Lenape Nation, New Jersey speaking about the place of the Delaware River in Lenape history, the daily life of the people, and the hope for joint stewardship initiatives at Point Breeze.

Support for Black Lives Matter declined after George Floyd protests, but has remained unchanged since

 Juliana Menasce Horowitz writes: “Support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which declined between June and September 2020, has remained stable. Currently, 55% of U.S. adults express at least some support for the movement, unchanged from a year ago, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. In June 2020, amid nationwide demonstrations following the murder of George Floyd, two-thirds of Americans said they strongly or somewhat supported the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Repairing the Cracks: How New Jersey Can Restore Black & Brown Communities Ravaged by COVID-19 and Systemic Racism

New report from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice “explains that Black and Brown people have been hit so hard because the pandemic applied stress to the pre-existing cracks of structural racism in our foundation, causing them to erupt into earthquakes.”

Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge.

Meribah Knight, Nashville Public Radio, and Ken Armstrong, ProPublica undertook investigative reporting of the juvenile justice system in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Their article describes the actions of Judge Donna Scott Davenport who “oversees a juvenile justice system in Rutherford County, Tennessee, with a staggering history of jailing children. She said kids must face consequences, which rarely seem to apply to her or the other adults in charge.” Her system snared children as young as 7-years-old. Where else in this country are such hideous violations of common decency taking place? Click here to read the complete report.

50 years after shunning Black artists, Delaware Art Museum looks to atone for its ‘institutional racism’

In 1971, when Wilmington artist and educator Percy Ricks reached out to the Delaware Art Museum to show a major exhibit of work by Black artists he had put together, he was met with silence.  This year the art museum’s curator Margaret Winslow is overseeing “Afro-American Images 1971: The Vision of Percy Ricks” with an exhibition and a series of special events that starts next week and will run October 24, 2021 – January 23, 2022.  For additional information, click here.

Confederate monuments and the history of lynching in the American South: An empirical examination

The authors of this paper show that Confederate monuments are tied to a history of racial violence, that  these symbols are associated with hate and racism, not more innocuous things like “heritage” or “Southern pride,” and that the number of lynching victims predicted the prevalence of Confederate monuments in a county. 

Critical Race & Digital Studies Syllabus

Edited & compiled by Lori Kido Lopez and Jackie Land, two scholars of color, this well-curated list reflects the “understandings of race and racial inequalities have always been at the center of debates about technology, politics, and power. We designed this syllabus to provide a broader context for understanding current conversations around technology and democracy by centering the voices and scholarship of people of color.”

People Not Property: Stories of Slavery in the Colonial North

People Not Property is an interactive documentary about the history of Northern colonial enslavement produced by Historic Hudson Valley. It is intended to introduce students, teachers, and the interested public to the history of Northern enslavement. The documentary focuses on what is known or may be interpreted about the lives of individual enslaved people, whose stories are rarely highlighted.

The brutal trade in enslaved people within the US has been largely whitewashed out of history (The Conversation, October 5, 2021)

Joshua Rothman outlines the extent and the horrors of the domestic slave trade which did not end until the Civil War concluded.  Noting the refusal to recognize this history, Rothman concludes “Until that history makes its way more deeply into our popular memory, it will be impossible to come to terms with slavery and its significance for the American past and present.”  Rothman’s recently published book is entitled The Ledger and the Chain.

The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons

The Sentencing Project reports “staggering disparities among Black and Latinx people imprisoned
in the United States given their overall representation in the general population. The latest available data regarding people sentenced to state prison reveal that Black Americans are imprisoned at a rate that is roughly five times the rate of white Americans.”  In New Jersey, Black residents are incarcerated at a rate of 12.5 times that of whites.

Brave Voices Project

The Brave Voices Project is a multimedia project that strives to highlight the experiences of alumni of color who graduated from Princeton University between the years 1990 and 2018. In the summer of 2018, the Carl A. Fields interns interviewed over 30 alumni of color from all over the country and collected their stories. This project is just the beginning of the archiving of the diverse voices that have impacted Princeton’s campus in ordinary and extraordinary ways.

Rider will remove enslaver’s name from house on campus (October 21, 2021)

“Rider University will remove the name “Van Cleve” from an 18th-century house on its campus following the discovery that its namesake, Benjamin Van Cleve, supported slavery. The move follows the adoption of a resolution supporting the name change by Rider’s Board of Trustees on Oct. 20.”

How Folklore Helped Me Reclaim Halloween: An Afro-Caribbean Tale (The Root, October 30, 2021)

Reacquainting herself with the folk characters of her native Trinidad-Tobago provided Tiffanie Drayton and her children a new way to connect to Halloween.

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