Tracey McKee • January 09, 2024
Happy New Year! I hope this post finds you well and excited about the possibilities this upcoming year might hold! As I was reviewing past posts I had written to prepare for writing this year’s posts, I came across a great resource that I have used that I wanted to share with you.
There is a growing body of work available that is helpful in understanding race and racism. You can find books, articles, workshop offerings, documentaries, etc. There is in-depth material that may cover only one or two aspects of race/ism, material that is more broad-sweeping, and everything in between. In writing for the Brownicity blog, I have found myself using many trusted resources to help me create what I hope are thought pieces.
One of the best resources I came across recently is a series of short videos made by The New York Times that includes conversations with various groups of people about race and racism, as well as an excellent series of videos that dive into implicit bias and its role in racism. The NYT article also gives teaching ideas, related readings, and student activities for how these videos can be used in a classroom setting to explore issues of race, bias, and identity with students.
The videos are followed by an article that delves into how people manage racist objects. Racist objects are depictions, caricatures, and everyday items that show negative and hurtful stereotypes about different racial groups, like Black people, Native Americans, or Asian Americans. The items often represent people in dehumanizing ways, such as making Black Americans look lazy, foolish, or dangerous. These objects with racist representations, which can include everyday items, both reflect and shape attitudes towards African Americans and other racial groups. Thousands of racist objects have been collected at the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery, founded by David Pilgrim, Professor of Sociology at Ferris State University, where he hopes to “use objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice.”
There is an additional group of videos that delve into what it means to be American versus African American, Native American, Muslim American, etc. Participants answered questions such as “What makes someone American?” “How do you define American identity?” “When do you feel most (or least) American?” I found this compilation to be easy to follow, meaningful, thought-provoking, hopeful, and not hard to work into your schedule.
Resources to help sustain your growth
The New York Times 26 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity With Students
The New York Times Confronting Racist Objects
The New York Times Hyphen-Nation