Suggested Readings and Videos
The following resources address racism and are suggested for initial explorations into racial reconciliation.
- The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson, follows three Afro-Americans and their families as they leave intolerable conditions in the South and move to New York, Chicago and San Francisco in the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's.
- A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, offers an in-depth review of American history from the perspectives of those whose land and labor were stolen from them.
- The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is a six-part PBS series focusing on slavery in the U.S. and the challenges faced by blacks after abolition, from Reconstruction to current times.
- Selma directed by Ava DuVernay, portrays the story of the early civil rights movement and the historic march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Slavery by Another Name directed by Samuel D. Pollard, depicts a the restrictions imposed on blacks after Reconstruction.
- 12 Years a Slave directed by Steve McQueen, tells the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from Saratoga Springs, who was captured and sold into slavery in Louisiana, finally regaining his freedom 12 years later.
The Episcopal Church
- Yet with a Steady Beat: The African American Struggle for Recognition in the Episcopal Church by Harold Lewis, examines the participation of blacks in the Episcopal Church from Colonial America through the Civil Rights movement.
- Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to Civil Rights by Gardiner H. Shattuck, Jr., looks at the relationship between black communities and the predominatly white Episcopal Church Leadership.
Race and the Criminal Justice System
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (also available as a TED talk), is a memoir by an attorney devoted to seeking justice for the poor and dispossessed in a legal system that badly needs reform.
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, describes the highly disparate treatment of persons of color within the U.S. criminal justice system.
- The House I Live In directed by Eugene Jarecki, shows the effects the "war on drugs" has had on racial minority populations, and on the criminal justice system itself.
Construction of Race
- Birth of a White Nation: The Invention of White People and Its Relevance Today by Jacqueline Battalora, examines how New World colonists became "white" through legal definitions and statutes.
- Post Traumatic Salve Syndrome by Joy Angela DeGruy, studies how behavior patterns adopted by slaves as essential for preservation of self and family continue in various forms today.
- The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter, examines what people are considered "white" and why in the 18th and 19th centuries.
- Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation by Jennifer Harvey, proposes reconciliation as we have attempted it is flawed and must be revisited if it is to have the impact we believe Christ intends. Harvey argues until history is understood and acknowledged, any attempt at racial reconciliation is doomed to failure.
- Living Reconciliation by Phil Groves and Anghard Parry Jones, provides stories and examples of reconciliation at work throughout the Anglican Communion.
- Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God by Kelly Brown Douglas, responds to the riots in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray. Douglas guides the reader through the development of the Anglo-Saxon myth and how it has been protected in America through the demonizing of the black body.