I truly believe that education is the solution to many things. With Racism, educating ourselves about the issues and systems that cause this unchristian thinking and behavior will help us deal with our own racist tendencies. I believe that racism to some extent or another is based on an incorrect knowledge and understanding of others. To some degree or another everybody is racist as it is impossible to fully and correctly understand other cultures, countries, peoples, religions, sex/gender, etc… This does not give us a free pass as being disciples of Jesus calls us to love everybody and to love somebody is at its core is to understand another.
Originally I had planned on a huge list of resources, books, videos, etc..., but instead, I will list some of my top picks for resources and ask for you to add to my list any resources that you have found useful in educating yourself about racism. The best way would be for you to comment on this blog post with some of your top resources, or you can email me and I can add them to this blog post. I look forward to your input and discovering more informational resources to help me in the educational process of removing my racial tendencies.
“Test everything; retain what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Saint Paul gives good advice for our current situation in the online world of fake news and history. It is important to check references and double, triple check the facts by spending some time digging deeper. I currently assume anything I read online is false until I can prove it otherwise. Maybe a bit skeptical of me but I am finding it a good policy. One thing I find is that if it makes me uncomfortable, angry, and thirsting for justice it usually is leading me in the right direction on the subject of racism.
Without much more fanfare here are some resources I have found useful.
Peace, blessings, and prayers
Fr. John in his homily on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ mentioned an article that showed the racial disparities here in Minnesota. There are some good historical references about systematic racism contained in the article.
Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation has wonderful daily reflections which I would encourage you to subscribe to and read. Be prepared, as they will challenge your worldview and move you into a more mature faith life in your walk with Jesus. The reflections the week of June 7 were rightly focused on Racism.
Contemplation and Racism https://cac.org/contemplation-and-racism-weekly-summary-2020-06-13/
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson (This book was very upsetting in a good way and I think it is much better to read the book as it goes into much more detail than the movie.)
Love Thy Neighbor: A Muslim Doctor's Struggle for Home in Rural America, Ayaz Virji M.D. (A very honest look at what it is like to be a Muslim living in rural Minnesota)
While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement, Carolyn McKinstry (One of the survivors of the 1963 Church bombing in Birmingham Alabama)
The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography, Sidney Poitier (He talks about how he chose roles that were beyond what was a typical “black” actors role in Hollywood at the time, and how he was criticized for it)
An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood, Jimmy Carter
Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama
I am not your Negro (Amazon Prime Streaming, very powerful)
My discovery of James Baldwin came from this America Magazine article https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2020/06/03/reading-james-baldwin-can-help-heal-wounds-racial-division
CNN the decades (Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, Nineties, and 2000s)
Love Them First: Lessons From Lucy Laney Elementary https://youtu.be/cvTbCO86JVM (what can happen if we think and act differently)
Here are some good educational links from the St Pascal’s Pulse:
- From the University of Minnesota Press...books/articles with free access through August 31:
- From Springtide Research:
- TED Talks on Racism:
- Article: “What White People Can Do for Racial Justice”:
- Antiracism Resources (books, movies, articles, podcasts):