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Recommended Reading, Viewing, Listening
Consider free eBooks from your local library on your eReader or Tablet


HISTORY:

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (book) by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (2014). This well-resourced history begins with the story of the sacred corn food and indigenous peoples in the Americas around 8500 B.C. Dr. Dunbar-Ortiz is of American Indian-Irish heritage and grew up in Oklahoma. Her very readable telling of the indigenous experience, from a thriving network of ancient indigenous nations to the devastation following European colonization, is both uncomfortable and essential reading. (recommended by Louise Mollinger)

March on Milwaukee (visual interactive digital map & photos). Wisconsin Historical Society. This visual review of the 1960’s fair housing marches in Milwaukee includes interactive maps. (recommended by Louise Mollinger)

Reconstruction: America after the Civil War (DVD, 2 discs) PBS, 2019. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. narrates this 4-part / 4-hour documentary examining the years after the U.S. Civil War as the nation struggled to reunite North and South and give citizenship to millions of freed African slaves. Much of this is history we didn’t learn in school. Available through the local library Monarch System. (recommended by David Franks)

Stamped from The Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (book) by Ibram X. Kendi (2016) is a beautifully written and easy to read history that documents how racism developed over the last 2500 years. This story describes how philosophy, religion, biology, economics, science, and politics contributed to racist practices in the United States. (recommended by David Franks)


RACISM IN AMERICA:

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America (book) by Richard Rothstein. The author makes the case that segregation in the U.S. has been created by law and public policy (de jure) rather than by private choices (de facto), with impacts to the present in housing and wealth for black Americans. (recommended by Louise Mollinger)

The Disturbing History of the Suburbs (video web link) by “Adam Ruins Everything” /truTV. This 6-minute video accurately explains the practice of “redlining”, the racist federal government housing policy from the Jim Crow era that still affects our neighborhoods today. 

The Hate U Give (book) written by Angie Thomas is a novel told from the point of view of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter as she finds herself thrust in middle of highly charged conflicts that result from the fatal shooting of her close friend. As a high school student who straddles the world of the wealthy school she attends and poor neighborhood where she lives, her personal struggle raises questions for us all. This is a story that will grab the reader as relevant and personal. It doesn’t offer statistics or politics – it is an engaging story about a personal journey. (recommended by Craig Modahl)
> A movie (DVD) with the same title, based on the book, is available at your local library (Monarch System), including 2 copies at WJ Niederkorn Library in Port Washington.

How to be an Antiracist (book) by Ibram X. Kendi (2019) is a book written by the author after he wrote and published Stamped from The Beginning. The author chronicles how the complexities of racism affected his development, his family, Black and Brown neighbors and the White community. The focus is on the importance of addressing government and business policies because they produce and maintain injustices, inequities, and disrespect. (recommended by David Franks & Don Niederfrank)

How to be an Antiracist (video web link) Author Ibram X. Kendi is interviewed about his book How to be an Antiracist. The interview is part of the 2019 Aspen Ideas Festival.  

How to Raise a Black Son in America (video web link) Poet / teacher Clint Smith delivers this 5-minute TED talk in 2015. (recommended by David Franks)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (book) written by legal scholar Michelle Alexander (2010) is a thought-provoking examination of the transformation of early Jim Crow laws into the mass incarceration of black men today. This is not a partisan book as it takes both sides to task. Even though this book is ten years old it predicts the events we are seeing today with alarming accuracy emphasizing the need to review and change how “justice” is dispensed within our country. This book will challenge the notion that justice is distributed fairly to all. (recommended by Craig Modahl)

See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love (book) by Valerie Kaur. The author is a Sikh American with personal stories of post 9/11 racial and religious profiling. In this book she discusses loving others, loving our opponents, and loving ourselves. (recommended by Louise Mollinger) 
> Also by Valerie Kaur: Lessons in Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage (video web link) In this 22-minute video TED talk, Sikh American Valerie Kaur, uses labor and birthing as a metaphor for love in the time of post 9/11 violence.   

Sunday Sermon at the National Cathedral (video web link) by Rev. Dr. William Barber II, June 14, 2020. This 43-minute sermon is based on the Book of Amos, Chap 5 (New Message Bible version). Delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic and less than a month after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, this sermon is a call to choose justice and reject death as an option in America. Rev Barber is the president of “Repairers of the Breach” and co-founder of the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival”. (recommended by David Franks & Louise Mollinger)


REPARATIONS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS:

(recommended by Don Niederfrank)

The Case for Reparations (text with audio web link) by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In The Atlantic, June 2014. A comprehensive article on the topic of reparations, providing historical context for the roots of current wealth disparities between white and black Americans. This link also includes an audio version (1 hour 28 minutes).

House of Representatives - Hearing on Bill H.R. 40 (Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act) (video web link). Opening statement of Ta-Nehisi Coates before the House of Representatives, June 2019. (5 minutes).

The Pros and Cons of Reparations (audio podcast). Freakonomics Radio, 2020. A broad look at the topic of reparations.  

Should America (and FIFA) Pay Reparations? (audio podcast). Freakonomics Radio, 2020. A broad look at the topic of reparations. 

The Case for Reparations (text web link). Opinion by David Brooks, The New York Times

How to do Reparations Right (text web link). Opinion by David Brooks, The New York Times

Six Times Victims have Received Reparations – Including Four in the US (text web link) by Dylan Matthews. In Vox, May 23, 2014.

2 Women from Families with Slaves Make Reparations Payments (text web link) by Ann Marie Awad. In AP News, January 2019. 

 

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