Wednesday 21 February 2024

Resources for Week Eight: Racial Reckoning


    The former mayor of New Orleans in his part memoir and part       political commentary recounts his struggle to dismantle the Confederate monuments that disfigured his city. He includes his powerful speech that went viral after they were dislodged.


Journalist, author and poet Clint Smith offers several compelling essays about former plantations, a slave site in New York, a Confederate burial suite and one essay about Senegal in Africa, the gateway for the enslaved that were dispatched to the Americas. Highly recommended.

Ty Seidule, a former senior military officer and a current history professor at West Point, grew up imbibing an idealized image of Robert E. Lee until his historical research challenged his  preconceptions. He showed great courage to often unsympathetic Southern audiences when he spoke publicly about the historical Lee, a flawed man with racist views who disdained African Americans. Highly recommended.   

King an academic, novelist and short story writer has written a unconvential overview of Indigneous North American history with no footnotes and several personal anecdotes. Yet he engages with historians and offers insightful comments on popular culture: films, television, art and novels. A natural story teller, he spices humour and wisdom into his account that vigorously challenges the settler version of history.

Two novels on the damaging effects of Residential Schools

 Indian Horse explores how one young Indigneous boy finds an outlet for his traumatic experiences in a residential school through hockey, but even as the years pass and he achieves success on the rink the ghosts of that trauma continue to haunt him. The novel was turned into a powerful film.

 Five Little Indians is a compelling novel that tracks the lives of five  adolescent survivors of a residential school as they transition to the world outside, some coping better than others.

This powerful and moving account of Derek Black's transformation from the son of a far-right white nationalist to a committed believer in a multiracial society, that must regard everyone with respect, dignity and endowed with equal rights, is one ot the most memorable books that I have read in my study of white supremacy.

Tim Wise's book, more autobiographical than his DVD, convincingly conveys how structural racism is baked into the education, justice and prison systems, as well as in housing and employment practices. An excellent companion to his DVD.

Magazine Article

The June 2014 edition of The Atlantic contains an in depth, historically grounded, article on reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates that offers the best overview of the case for reparations.

                                         Films and Television

Based on his memoir of the same name, this moving film dramatizes Bryan Stevenson's attempt to save Black men who have been sentenced to die in Alabama.

Based on Bob Zellner's autobiography, The Wrong Side
of  Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom  Movement, this film portrays how a Southern young man with family roots in the Klan became immersed in the Civil Rights movement and was regarded by whites as a race traitor. This film that has not received the attention it merits is worth seeing. 

This powerful film dramatizes how an interracial couple,
  Richard and Mildred Loving, challenged the miscegenation law in Virginia by eventally taking their case to the Supreme Court of America and winning.  

An extremely powerful film about the mother of the fourteen year old Emmett Till, who was brutally murdered in 1955 Mississippi, and channelled her grief into social activism as she sought justice for her son's killers.

This Netflix minseries is an excellent part drama, part documentary about the former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernik, who looks back on his youth and the difficulties he experienced as the adopted child of white parents. Directed by the talented Ava DuVernay.

No comments:

Post a Comment