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African American Multigenerational Trauma & Issues of Violence

This course focuses on the suffering and traumas associated with the African experience in America inclusive of the periods of capture, transport, enslavement, emancipation leading up to current times. Multigenerational patterns of adaptive behaviors passed along through generations will be explored with an emphasis on assessment and interventions using evidence based, culture specific, and social justice models. The course will provide practical tools that will inform practice and empower individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities throughout the change process. Dr. Joy Degruy Portland State University View Syllabus

What to Do When White Supremacists March in Your Town

How people committed to peace and justice can resist alt-right rallies with resilience.

By Mia Henry and Sharon Djemal

Resilience – To shift from reactivity to a state of resourcefulness in moments of stress and crisis. (Rockwood Leadership Institute)

They are securing permits, making plans, and preparing to publicly defend the indefensible. Yes, the Nazis are coming to town. The white supremacists have removed their hoods and are coming to a neighborhood near you. Those who promote the policies of white resentment and propagate the myth of white victimhood to spread fear and justify oppression are (once again) emboldened to express their beliefs publicly. Many of us can’t sit back and watch this unfold without feeling an intense call to act. As we face this horrifying reality, what should we do?

The Racist Roots of Liberalism

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEr-xXHVjKk The University of King’s College lecture series “Conceptions of Race in Philosophy, Literature and Art” examines how the notion of race and the phenomenon of racism have developed in the Western tradition. Dr. Charles W. Mills, author of The Racial Contract, gave the inaugural lecture in Halifax on September 16, 2010.

Hidden Figures: Reflections from a Latina Engineer

By Patricia Valoy, Science and Social Justice Contributing Editor

The movie Hidden Figures was one of the most realistic depictions of mathematicians and engineers I have ever seen. I grew up learning about John Glenn, the first man who orbited the earth, and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, but it wasn’t until recently that I even knew there were women mathematicians who had a hand in the space race, and it wasn’t until I read the book and saw the film that I even knew they were Black.

Luke Cage: An Exploration of Black Identity

By Marquise Griffin

“Man, it is what it is.
You can’t understand a man
if you ain’t live what he lived.”
            -Method Man “Bulletproof Love”

I have a vivid memory of being in the Chicago Union Amtrak station in 2014, waiting for my next train, while CNN footage of Eric Garner being choked to death by New York’s finest played on a loop on the TV screens. Until that point, I had managed to avoid seeing the video since part of me dies each time I see my brethren unjustly killed. I felt disgusted seeing the video, not only because I was not prepared to view it, but also because of the (non)reactions of the people around me. The ones staring at the screen looked impassive, unbothered by the repeated display of Garner surrounded by several officers, as the caption stated that Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who grabbed Garner by the neck, would not be indicted. It occurred to me that while video footage has provided undeniable proof of police violence against Black and Brown people, the public is nevertheless largely unsympathetic to our lived experiences. Repeatedly showing footage of police killing Black people seems to normalize police violence rather than challenging it. This demonstrates that it’s not enough to show that Black and Brown people are killed by police. Critical Race Theory emphasizes that racism has been invisibly normalized in society and asserts the importance of storytelling in order to provide a counter narrative to the dominant hegemony of White supremacy. It is in this context that Luke Cage, a Marvel Netflix original released last year, truly matters and excels.

Whole Foods, Black Wall Street, and My 13-inch Flat Screen TV

By Andre Patterson

It was “Groundhog’s Day” at Stateville Prison; that is to say, another redundant night. I sat on the top bunk in my small concrete box, head scraping the low paint-chipped ceiling, cursing my two-hundred dollar 13-inch flat screen television. It was defiantly cutting off every few minutes, despite my chastising finger mashing the power button and my verbal assault on its character: “piece of crap!” I’d only had it for a year. The joint had sold me a lemon.

Songs for Survival: A Playlist

By William C. Anderson

People have, at all times, been fighting against something heinous in the United States. Despite the ongoing injustice, oppression, and alienation that exists in this country, music is a saving grace for the nation. Dominating global markets, American pop, hip hop/rap, blues, and soul are known to people around the world. This music has its roots in Black America: music that often was and continues to be custom-made for survival. This sonic survivalism has been offered to everyone by the mere fact that its universal consumption has not been questioned much in the mainstream. Black music is for everybody (especially Black people). Like several other aspects of Black culture, the music is universally owned or claimed, although there are times when it becomes scapegoated for being responsible for a particular social ill; then it is solely Black people’s music. Still, it is consistently enjoyed by many through the ups and downs of the times.

Dreams for My Daughter

By Michelle Lugalia-Hollon

Several months ago, during my daughter’s night time bath she pointed out that she wasn’t white like the tub, she was black, “like mommy.” I was thrilled! “That’s right!” I affirmed.

“My biracial toddler identifies as black!” I thought to myself, and she was proud of it. My excitement and validation didn’t last long as I realized that someone had probably told my daughter that she was black and it wasn’t me. Who pointed this out to her? What was the context of the conversation? Did they talk about the fact that she had a white father? How did they settle on black vs. white vs. biracial? Who told my daughter she was black and in that process what part of her did they negate?

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