This list of readings and resources is a work in progress. In your reading and research, as you turn up helpful resources, please suggest them to Seth Patterson, who is the Plymouth staff liaison to the Racial Justice Initiative.
Highly recommended podcast: Seeing White. Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for? Taking a deep dive into these questions are Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen and an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika. This 14-part documentary series was released in 2017. (This website has links to all the sessions—but please note that the podcasts are in reverse chronological order.)
Highly recommended book: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. “The success of White Fragility . . . continues to prove that Robin DiAngelo is dropping the truth bombs white people need to realize how they’re sustaining racism without realizing it. ” —from Beacon Broadside, (online) Beacon Press
Highly recommended book: Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully About Racism,by Carolyn B. Helsel. “‘Wait, we’re talking about what? I’m not so sure I want to do that….’ Professor and pastor Carolyn Helsel draws on her successful experiences with white congregations to offer us tools and practices to explore the anxious feelings that can come up when talking about racism.” from the publisher, Chalice Press.
“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” If you read nothing else on this list, please read this article.
“Remember Well,” audio of sermon by Jim Bear Jacobs, Stockbridge-Mohican Nation and Racial Justice Program Director for the Minnesota Council of Churches, to Plymouth Church, Feb. 10, 2019
“What Can I Do to Make it Better?” (PDF) Seth Patterson, Director of Spiritual Formation and Theater, sermon to Plymouth Church, Oct. 21, 2018
Letter from a Birmingham Jail, by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
An Anti-Racist Reading List by Ibram X. Kendi, published in the New York Times.
Ten Myths White People Believe About Racism, the Christian Century, December 2018
My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to Be Honest
Introduction to There There by Tommy Orange. The book is a novel but the intro treats Native-colonial history: “In 1621, colonists invited Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoags, to a feast . . ..” (Reprinted with permission from the publisher.)
Facebook: Good Black News https://www.facebook.com/goodblacknews/ and
Native Roots Radio https://www.facebook.com/NativeRootsRadioImAwake/
Excerpt from Lies My Teacher Told Me, “The Truth about the First Thanksgiving,” plus one page.
Jim Crow of the North , video documentary, Twin Cities Public Television
The Doctrine of Discovery, explained by Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz, a Native historian (see column at right for her book)
The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain by Langston Hughes, reprinted in The Nation magazine.
Racial justice terms, defined.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer. “More than 100 stereotype-debunking questions—thoughtful, awkward, and searching—answered with solid information, humor, and compassion.” —from the publisher, Minnesota Historical Society
Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past by Diane Wilson. A Minnesota Book Award Winner.
A Good Time For the Truth: Race in Minnesota edited by Sun Yung Shin. “Minnesota communities struggle with some of the nation’s worst racial disparities. . . . this book provides an important tool to those who want to be part of closing those gaps.” —from the publisher, Minnesota Historical Society
What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland by Waziyatawin, Ph.D.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. “[A]cclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the U.S. empire.” —from City Lights Books (online) This History was an American Book Award winner in 2015.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander.
The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter
White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise
Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
Mayflower: A story of courage, community and war by Nathaniel Philbrick
If you like fiction and poetry, we recommend books by Attica Locke, Heid Erdrich and Louise Erdrich.
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