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Antiracism

This guide contains resources to help you learn antiracism.

Antiracism-About this Guide

In the days since May 25, 2020, when a white police officer killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, protests and passionate conversations have focused our attention on racial prejudice. As the following resources help us to see, this bigotry has been a disease in American society since its origins. With these and other resources, we can understand more fully why racial injustice has remained so intractable, and studying how to be antiracist can carry us closer to a time when we might finally begin to grow past it.

eBooks and Print Books

Please note: Because the antiracist protests of 2020 are happening concurrently with the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries are among the many institutions that are closed or operating with limited services, including Kirkwood’s Library. However, we have many eBooks that you can read online from your computer or device now. You may be prompted for your k-number and password, or asked to register for access. When our doors eventually open again, our collection of print books will also be available for checkout.

eBooks

Print Books

Library Databases

To access Kirkwood databases from anywhere off-campus, you will be prompted to enter your k-number and password.  

Because the library’s databases contain material from thousands of journals, reference books, and other electronic sources, finding a few good articles will depend on the specific topic you wish to explore more deeply. A librarian can help you choose databases or guide you through a search of all of our resources through the library’s homepage.

Social Issues Databases

In addition to our large, multi-discipline databases (Academic OneFile, Academic Search Elite, Britannica Online, Credo Reference), in which you can search for background information and publications on prominent people and events, some more specialized databases may help you find journal articles on racial justice issues more quickly, such as: 

News Databases

Because current events related to racism are changing throughout each day, our news sources provide more up-to-date articles. Also see “Web Resources” for information about online news.

Recent articles (in the past two years) from the Cedar Rapids Gazette should be obtained from their website, https://www.thegazette.com/, although without a personal subscription there will be a limit to the number of articles you can read.

Film Databases

Other streaming services are proving to be valuable in bringing feature films and documentary productions to a wider audience. One important example is Ava DuVernay’s “13th” (2016) about the long and terrible history of mass incarceration in the U.S. Because of its continued significance, this film has been made available by its producer, Netflix, for general viewers without a subscription, at least for the time being.

Web Resources

Like news sources, websites with information on racial injustice have added tremendous new amounts of information in the light of recent protests. Web searches – conducted with an awareness of how to evaluate online information (see “Why Evaluate?” on Kirkwood’s Research Help guide) and discern biased points of view (see “Sources for Fact Checking Online News” in our guide) – will lead you to local, national, and international organizations dedicated to combatting the scourge of racism.

Web Resource Guides

Internet searches for information on antiracism, Black Lives Matter, police violence, and racial injustice in general provide many more suggestions for further study in books, articles, websites, videos and podcasts, and social media.

Like any topic on the internet, this will require you to examine whether a resource is trustworthy, accurate, or comprehensive enough for your needs.

Following are some articles that provide help in detecting misinformation:

E.J. Dickson and Andrea Marks, “How to Spot Misinformation During George Floyd Protests,” Rolling Stone, June 2, 2020.

Davey Alba, “Misinformation About George Floyd Protests Surges on Social Media,” New York Times, June 1, 2020.

“Snopes Collection: George Floyd Protests,” Snopes.com, June 2, 2020.

Organization Websites

A few of the many, many organizations working against racism:

Black Lives Matter – Begun in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, the Black Lives Matter movement grew in influence with the subsequent deaths of African Americans, often those killed by police, and the crackdown by law enforcement of protests to these deaths. The movement has grown in scope to call attention to discrimination against women, queer and transgender people, and others who often received little recognition in social movements.

Equal Justice Initiative – Renowned public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson formed this organization in 1989 to provide legal representation for the incarcerated, and to challenge wrongful convictions. They have won reversals for over 135 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row, and have led many anti-discrimination initiatives. EJI has also opened the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, (https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/museum) and nearby, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the acclaimed site dedicated to the memory of the more than 4,400 victims of lynching in the United States and committed to confronting segregation and racial injustice (https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/memorial).

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, that opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2016, has as part of its mission a commitment to reaching audiences beyond Washington and collaborating with other organizations to explore issues in African American history. Its many initiatives include “Talking About Race,” a learning project with tools and guidance to encourage our individual exploration of an understanding of racial identity.

Current Events on the Web

In between organization’s websites and the vast realm of social media are many sources of information on events as they develop, both locally and nationally.

To cite just one locality, the response of residents and officials in Iowa City in the form of protests and policies can be followed as it develops from sources such as:

The City of Iowa City website, including information on the City Council passing initial Black Lives Matter reforms of police procedure on June 16, 2020. Iowa City mayor and Kirkwood Community College graduate Bruce Teague addressed the city on June 4 in response to conflicts between protestors and police.

Mainstream media such as the Iowa City Press-Citizen, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and television stations such as KCRG are means of following developments in the area. Alternative media including Little Village add voices and points of view to coverage of issues, such as influence of protestors on the Iowa City Council resolution.

More Ways to Learn Antiracism

“How to Be an Antiracist” online discussion

Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, spoke on July 20, 2020, to a large audience via Zoom with Dr. Charlene M. Dukes, President of Prince George’s Community College in Maryland, on the current state of protests and the growing movement to confront racial injustice in the U.S. A recording of this talk is available for viewing online until August 20, 2020.

 

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