We have prepared a list of “Intermediate Resources” to help meetings think about where they are and what they may do regarding the many facets of “-isms” that confront us and our wider community. We commend these resources to your attention and hope that they will help you and your meeting to reflect, consider and act on the issues and opportunities raised during our recent called meeting and in these resources.
Books & Films
Joy Angela Degruy, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, Joy DeGruy Publications Inc., 2005. “As a result of twelve years of quantitative and qualitative research Dr. DeGruy has developed her theory of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, and published her findings in the book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome – America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing. The book addresses the residual impacts of generations of slavery and opens up the discussion of how the black community can use the strengths we have gained in the past to heal in the present.” [quote from the book description]. Not just for the African-American community, this book makes clear the present day harm slavery has wrought. Separate discussion guide can also be purchased.
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, The New Press, 2012. Introduction by Cornel West. The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.” [quote from book description]. This book has received a good measure of attention among persons concerned about mass incarceration, and indeed, has introduced that concern to many more. It has become a major focal point for racial justice organizing efforts.
Thandeka, Learning to Be White: Money, Race and God in America, Bloomsbury Academic, 2001. “Thandeka explores the politics of the white experience in America. Tracing the links between religion, class, and race, she reveals the child abuse, ethnic conflicts, class exploitation, poor self-esteem, and a general feeling of self-contempt that are the wages of whiteness.” [from book description]. This is an amazingly insightful interpretation of the psychology that underlies white identity. Really a must-read for anyone who would understand how race affects white people.
Donna McDaniel and Vanessa Julye, Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice, Quaker Press of FGC, 2009. We understand this book has circulated widely among Friends in PYM, but we believe it deserves a re-visit by Friends who wish to be take part in an initiative on racism. How many copies were purchased, only to languish on the shelf in the meeting house library?
The Color of Fear, Stir Fry Productions, 1994. “The Color of Fear is an insightful, groundbreaking film about the state of race relations in America as seen through the eyes of eight North American men of Asian, European, Latino and African descent. In a series of intelligent, emotional and dramatic confrontations the men reveal the pain and scars that racism has caused them.” [quote from film description]. This impactful film is best used with a seasoned facilitator familiar with the contents and able to hold a discussion after viewing. The film can be streamed for a $12 rental fee.
Making Whiteness Visible, Shakti Butler, World Trust Educational Services, 2007. “Use this groundbreaking film and conversation guide in your organization to help bridge the gap between good intentions and meaningful change. Featuring stories from white men and women on overcoming issues of unconscious bias and entitlement, it is an powerful and unique tool in diversity work. The stories in the film reveal what is often required to move through the stages of denial, defensiveness, guilt, fear, and shame into making a solid commitment to ending racial injustice.” [quote from film description]. A free discussion guide is available for use with the film. The film can be streamed for a $5 rental fee.
Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North Katrina Browne, 2007. “Producer/Director Katrina Browne tells the story of her forefathers, the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. Given the myth that the South is solely responsible for slavery, viewers will be surprised to learn that Browne’s ancestors were Northerners. The film follows Browne and nine fellow family members on a remarkable journey which brings them face-to-face with the history and legacy of New England’s hidden enterprise.” [quote from film description]. A faith-based edition of the film is available to small organizations for $50. Several discussion guides and suggestions for use of the film are available on the film’s website, including materials specifically for faith communities.
Workshops & Conferences
Workshop: Whites Confronting Racism by Training for Change, a Philadelphia-based group that trains activists working for social justice, has offered this workshop for several years now. “This workshop is for white people who want to challenge the racism around them — and in their own heads and hearts — and who are searching for a way to strengthen their work for racial justice. It\’s for white folks who already do anti-racism work but want to develop their skills and deepen their approach. And it\’s for white folks who want a better understanding of how white privilege and racism operate in society and inside of them.” [quote from workshop description]
Workshop: Beyond Diversity 101 by Beyond Diversity 101 Associates. Friends likely have heard about this workshop, created by Niyonu Spann, that looks at class, race, sexuality and gender. “Beyond Diversity 101 sharply breaks from the vicious cycle of guilt, blame and victimhood, both in its curriculum and underlying philosophy. BD 101 participants, regardless of background, are asked to engage with models that challenge traditional notions of how oppression operates.” [quote from workshop description]
Summer Institute – An Immersion Experience on Race, Beyond Diversity Resource Center of Mt. Laurel, NJ has been offering workshops on race and racism for several years and are well known for their skill in facilitation and providing a safe space for dialogue. “The institute is open to learners of all cultural backgrounds. We especially welcome the voices of those not usually heard in anti-racism training, including LGBTQI people, white men, Asians, bi-racial and multi-racial people, and indigenous people.” NOTE: Aside from a similarity in their names, Beyond Diversity 101 Associates and the Beyond Diversity Resource Center are two different and independent organizations.
What White People Can Do About Racism, Center for the Study of White American Culture. What White People Can Do About Racism workshops are offered in the New York City metropolitan area and are available in other venues by arrangement. The workshops are ”appropriate for white people who are open to learning what to do about racism, perhaps feeling they should be doing something but not sure what. The workshops are also appropriate for people of color who want to support white people who want to take action against racism.”
Robin Parker & Pamela Smith Chambers, The Anti-Racist Cookbook: A Recipe Guide for Conversations About Race That Goes Beyond Covered Dishes and \’Kum-Bah-Ya,\’ Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books, 2005. Reading this book is useful as a beginning step (see “Beginner” resources). Actually putting together a discussion group is an intermediate task that will instruct you in its own right. It’s the difference between “talking the talk” and “walking the walk.” Using the book to organize a multiracial discussion group will help you learn how to walk.
About using and sharing these resource lists
We are only referring resources we are presently familiar with. Over time we may review and consider additional resources.
- There are literally thousands of resources available. It is a resource-rich environment. Picking a small list, any small list, necessarily requires not listing many worthy candidates.
- Other Friends may have different and perhaps favored resources. Sometimes people can be very passionate in their support of the use of a particular resource.
- We do not yet have a clear understanding of PYM’s vision, goals, and approach to addressing racism issues. A clearer understanding will inform our choices in the future.
- A resource is only as good as its use. In some cases, this means a resource may be used poorly or even counter-productively if not accompanied by discussion and processing led by a person seasoned in anti-racism, ally work, or racial justice (there are multiple possible frames here).
- Although we are Quakers from an FGC-affiliated yearly meeting we still have much to learn about the specific settings, people, organizational culture, history and relationships with the wider communities that exist and operate in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting area.
- We only offer our list as a jumping off point. We make no claim to it being comprehensive or appropriate to all occasions that may arise or that our list will speak to the experience of all Friends.
The recommendation and use of resources should be a continuing matter of discussion among PYM Friends and open to suggestion from PYM Friends under the weight of the work.