Educational Resources for Beginning to Understand Racism in America

By Julia Jonson

For racial healing to begin, understanding has to happen first. As yoga teachers, our job is to have compassion and teach awareness, which fosters empathy. Protests in favor of racial equality erupted after former police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on camera kneeling on George Floyd’s neck. Chauvin faces charges in the killing that lasted close to 9 minutes after Floyd called out for his mother and whispered that he couldn’t breathe.  Protests for racial equality are happening against the backdrop of a global pandemic that has disproportionately hurt people of color in the United States. The Covid crisis has helped call attention to the persistent resource gaps in Black communities. Our country has a very long way to go for true racial equality to happen. We hope that, in some way, our small business can help foster the notion that we are all connected. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” It is our hope that these resources are a starting point. 

Books:

  1. The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson 
  2. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
  3. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Ibram X. Kendi
  4. How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
  5. The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin (All books by James Baldwin! There are many)
  6. So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Olou
  7. White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo

Movies and TV Shows:

  • Just Mercy (2019)
  • The Hate You Give (2018)
  • Selma (2014)
  •  When They See Us (2019)
  • All American (2018)
  • Lovecraft Country (2020)
  •  The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

Videos & Podcasts:

  1. A Black woman running for mayor seeks reckoning for Portland’s racist past https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/a-black-woman-running-for-mayor-wants-portland-to-reckon-with-its-racist-past/2020/10/29/e51362b8-4ab5-4eff-99c9-c2f99a3a140c_video.html.
  2. Neil Degrasse Tyson on being Black, and Women in Science   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ihNLEDiuM
  3. VeggieTales Creator on Race in America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGUwcs9qJXY#action=share
  4. Silence is Not an Option with Don Lemon (podcast)
  5. Revisionist History, Malcolm Gladwell (Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment – Season 2, Ep. 3) (podcast)

Documentaries: 

  1. 13th on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80091741
  2. The Uncomfortable Truth: https://www.amazon.com/Uncomfortable-Truth-Loki-Mulholland/dp/B074ZR2YSC
  3. Knock Down the House https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wGZc8ZjFY4

Web Resources:

  1. Black Lives Matter website: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
  2. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): https://www.aclu.org/
  3. Color of Change website: https://colorofchange.org/
  4. Antiracism Daily https://www.antiracismdaily.com/

Social Media:

  1. The Jon S. Randall Peace Page on Facebook