Resources: Understanding Racism
Understanding on Racism and Anti-Blackness
These resources will help you understand the historical and current roots of racism and anti-Blackness in the United States.
Recognizing Black Humanity: Pre-Slave Trade African Civilizations
American educational systems do not teach Black History prior to the slave trade, leaving room for people to believe culturally and biologically racist explanations for inequality. These documentaries will provide background on the full humanity and possibility of the Black experience.
- Gates, Jr., H.L. (2017). Africa’s Great Civilizations (Documentary series).
- Henrik Clarke, J. (1998). Great and mighty walk (Documentary).
Comprehensive Discussions of Racial Oppression, Anti-Blackness, and White Supremacy
These sources provide comprehensive discussions of the nature and origins of White supremacy and racism in the US and western contexts.
DuBois, WEB (1903, 2016). The souls of black folk.
Kendi, Ibram X (2016). Stamped from the beginning: The definitive history of racist ideas in America. New York: Bold Type Books.
Feagin, J. (2019). Racist America: Roots, current realities, and future reparations. New York: Routledge.
Kendi, Ibram X (2019). How to be anti-racist. New York: Random House.
Center on Race and Social Problems (2020). CRSP lecture archive: Over 100 lectures on Racism, Anti-Blackness in the US and abroad
Understanding Slavery in the US
Racism as we know it is a relatively modern phenomenon, and it is tied to market forces. These texts cover the origins or modern day racism and anti-blackness within the capitalist system. They also discuss the brutal realities of the middle passage and American slavery, and provide groundwork for the evolution of racial subordination in the US.
- Heather A. Williams, H.A. (2014). American Slavery, A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Heather A. Williams, H.A. (2014). How Slavery Affected African American Families.
- Spielberg, S. (1997). The middle passage (Documentary).
Reconstruction, American Terror, and the Evolution of Structural Racism
Under discussed is the progress African Americans made under reconstruction before the efforts were put down by political compromises, economic interests, and White American terrorism. These sources cover the rapid rise of Black social and political power after the civil war, as well as how it was cut down by racism, fear, terror, and economic interests.
- DuBois, WEB (1903, 2016). Of the dawn of freedom. In W.E.B. Dubois, The souls of black folk (chapter II).
- Gates, Jr., H.L. (2019). Reconstruction: America after the civil war. (Documentary series).
20th Century Intentional Economic Oppression
Too many think that Black oppression ended with slavery, when it continued deliberately in economic spaces well into the 20th century. These sources cover those 20th century developments and the major contributions they made to the current racial hierarchy.
- Huguley, J. P. (2016). Affirmative action for majority groups in the United States. In J. Stone & X. Hou (Eds.), Encyclopedia of race, ethnicity and nationalism. San Francisco: Blackwell.
- Coates, T. (2013). The case for reparations. In The Atlantic
- Katznelson, I (2005). When affirmative Action was White. New York: Norton.
- Katznelson CRSP Lecture on same topic.
- Rothstein, R. (2016). CRSP Lecture: Residential Segregation – What are the Remedies?
Racist Ideologies and Whiteness
Conceptualizations of Whiteness and colorblindness perpetuate racial oppression. These sources help us understand these thought processes and actions.
- Bonilla-Silva, E. (2018). Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the united states. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Davis, L.E. (2015). Why are they so angry with us? Essays on race. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Implicit Bias testing: Test your own implicit biases according to race, gender, sexuality, skin-tone, or other societal biases.
- DiAngelo, R.J. (2018) White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Boston: Beacon Press.
- Dr. DiAngelo discusses 'White Fragility'
- Wald, Johanna (2014). Can “de-biasing” strategies help to reduce racial disparities in school discipline? Summary of the literature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Law School.
- Huguley, J.P. (2020). Racial justice: Get Committed, get connected. The Pitt News.
Anti-Blackness in the Media
The media has always been a tool to perpetuate racist structures in the US. These sources unpack those mechanisms.
- Riggs, M. (1987). Ethnic Notions. Discusses the origins and consequences of anti-Black stereotypes in popular culture from the Antebellum period to the Civil Rights era.
- The Heinz Endowments. Portrayal and perception: Two audits of news media reporting on African American men and boys.
Race, Wealth, and Intergenerational Economic Subordination
White America has a huge financial head start on other groups. These sources document the intergenerational transfers:
- Shapiro, T. (2004). The hidden cost of being African American. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Hamilton, D. (2016). CRSP Lecture: Rhetoric vs. Reality: Neoliberal Thought and the Racial Wealth Gap.
- Killewald, A. (2019). CRSP Lecture: The Past Is Present: How Racial Wealth Gaps Perpetuate Across and Within Generations.
- Sharkey, P.T. (2014). CRSP Lecture: A multigenerational perspective on neighborhoods and racial inequality.
Race and Criminal Justice
Understanding how racist structures in the criminal justice system and their intergenerational effects on Black families, communities, and overall well-being.
- Alexander, M. (2020). The New Jim Crow. Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: The New Press.
- Jarecki, E. (2012). The house I live in (Documentary).
- DuVernay, A. (2016). 13th.
Race and Policing specifically:
- Harris, D.A. (2020). A city divided: Race, fear, and the law in police confrontations. New York: Anthem Press.
- Harris, D.A. (2015). CRSP Lecture: Distinguished Faculty Scholar & Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh. The Collision of Race and Criminal Justice: Lessons from the Aftermath of Ferguson.
- Yankah, E. (2017). CRSP Lecture: Punishment, Race, and Social Bonds: A History of Law Enforcement in America.
- Bryant, M. (2016). Race and Gender in the Police: Beyond the Blue Uniform.
Race and Parenting
These sources provide information and resources on how to raise white children and children of color as responsible and affirmed people in a racialized society.
Raising Anti-Racist White children.
- Embrace Race: Resources for nurturing inclusive, empathetic children of all backgrounds.
- Tools for white parents to raise anti-racist children (and other anti-racist resources).
Raising, Supporting, Protecting Black Children and Other Children of Color as Parents/Caretakers
- Huguley, J.P., Wang, M.T., Vasquez, A.C., & Guo, J. (2019). Parental ethnic–racial socialization practices and the construction of children of color’s ethnic–racial identity: A research synthesis and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 145, 437-458.
- Wang, M.T., Huguley, J.P., Henry, D., & Smith., L.V. (2020). Parental ethnic-racial socialization practices and children of color’s psychosocial and behavioral adjustment: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Psychologist, 75, 1-22.
- García Coll, C., Lamberty, G., Jenkins, R., McAdoo, H., Crnic, K., Wasik, B., & Vásquez García, H. (1996). An integrative model for the study of developmental competencies in minority children. Child Development, 67, 1891-1914.
- PRIDE Program at Pitt: Resources for promoting positive racial identities in young Black Children.
- EMBRace program for addressing racial trauma in the lives of Black children.
Race and Educational Inequities
These sources help us understand and disrupt the ways educational systems are both instruments of and a tools for perpetuating anti-Blackness and racial subordination.
- Patel, L. (2020). The racializing context of uprisings, riots, and rebellions.
- Diamond, J. B., & Huguley, J. P. (2011). Black/White disparities in educational outcomes: Rethinking issues of race, culture, and context. In N. E. Hill, T. L. Mann, & H. E. Fitzgerald (Eds.), African American children and mental health, volume 1: Development and context (pp. 63-94). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
- Huguley, J.P., Wang, M.T., Monahan, K., Keane, G., & Koury, A.J. (2018). Just discipline in Greater Pittsburgh: Local challenges and promising solutions. Pittsburgh, PA: Center on Race and Social Problems.
- Milner, H.R. (2014). CRSP Lecture: Race, Equity, and Urban Education: Issues That Divide.
- Kokka, K. (2020). Social justice mathematics and science curricular resources for K-12 teachers.
Health, Mental Health, and Race
These sources examine the histories and nature of disparities in race and health and wellness outcomes.
- Adler, N., & Rehkopf, D. (2007). U.S. disparities in health: Descriptions, causes, and mechanisms. Annu. Rev. Public Health, 29(1), pp.235-252.
- Byrd, M., & Clayton, L. (2001). Race, medicine, and health care in the United States: A historical survey. J Natl Med Assoc., 93(1), pp11-34.
- Alegría, M., & Greif Green, J. (2015). Disparities in child and adolescent mental health and mental health services in the U.S. William T. Grant Foundation.
- Jackson, J (2014). CRSP Lecture: Understanding Racial and Ethnic Differences in Physical and Psychiatric Health.
- LaVeist, T. (2020). CRSPCast: Race, health, and Covid-19.