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Anti-Racism Playlist


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Welcome! This Anti-Racism Playlist includes a selection of resources to help expand your awareness and knowledge of historical and current structural oppression in the United States. You'll also find information about anti-racism actions by various groups and organizations. These are just a few of the many books, films, podcasts and other resources available, so please get in touch with the library if you're looking for something more. Also, let us know if you have a suggestion to add to the Playlist.

Whether you're just starting to educate yourself about anti-racism or you're well-versed on the topic, hopefully you'll find something new to add to your journey of knowledge and personal action.

Want to Learn About Race?

Let Amber Ruffin and Tarik Davis put you in the mood to learn about anti-racism.

Terminology & Definitions

Anti-racism: the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably (NAC International Perspectives: Women and Global Solidarity).

Intersectionality: Coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, it is the theory that the overlap of various social identities (such as race, gender, sexuality, and class) contributes to the specific type of systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual, and define how one is valued.

Institutional or Systemic Racism: refers specifically to the ways in which institutional policies and practices create different outcomes for different racial groups. The institutional policies may appear neutral on the surface but have an exclusionary impact on particular groups - their effect is to create advantages for white people and oppression and disadvantage for people from groups classified as non-white (Racial Equality Resource).

Historical Trauma: first coined by Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, it is “a constellation of characteristics associated with massive cumulative group trauma across generations.” These experiences, shared by communities, can result in cumulative emotional and psychological wounds that are carried across generations (University of Minnesota Extension).

Lived Experience: used to describe the first-hand accounts and impressions of living as a member of a minority or oppressed group (Geek Feminist Wiki).

Model Minority Myth: The term “model minority” has often been used to refer to a minority group perceived as particularly successful, especially in a manner that contrasts with other minority groups. The term could, by its definition and logic, be applied to any number of groups defined by any number of criteria, but it is perhaps most commonly used to frame discussions of race. In particular, the model minority designation is often applied to Asian Americans, who, as a group, are often praised for apparent success across academic, economic, and cultural domains—successes typically offered in contrast to the perceived achievements of other racial groups (The Model Minority Myth, Harvard Law School).

Racism: a complex system of beliefs and behaviors, grounded in a presumed superiority of the white race. These beliefs and behaviors are conscious and unconscious; personal and institutional; and result in the oppression of people of color and benefit the dominant group, white people. A simpler definition is racial prejudice + power = racism (National Conference for Community and Justice).

Reparations: Reparations are many things. The dictionary definition of reparations are actions which are taken to "make amends, offering atonement, or giving satisfaction for a wrong or injury." This is not a new concept. In 1988, the US paid reparations to each surviving victim of Japanese descent who was imprisoned in concentration camps during WWII. In 1996, leaders in South Africa paid monetary compensation to apartheid victims. They also made efforts to redistribute white-own land. In 2020, the city of Asheville, NC voted to enact reparations by investing in their Black community. (Merriam Webster Dictionary@soyouwanttotalkabout)

Whiteness: Racism is based on the concept of whiteness—a powerful fiction enforced by power and violence. ‘Whiteness,’ like ‘color' and ‘Blackness,' are essentially social constructs applied to human beings rather than veritable truths that have universal validity. Whiteness is a constantly shifting boundary separating those who are entitled to have certain privileges from those whose exploitation and vulnerability to violence is justified by their not being white (Kivel, 1996, p. 19) & (Henry & Tator, 2006, p. 46-47).

White Privilege: The unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed upon people solely because they are white. Generally white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it (Peggy McIntosh – Racial Equality Resource). 

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