Champlain College faculty and staff who teach courses about race and work in the diversity and inclusion field share their recommendations on what to read, listen to, and do to further educate ourselves.
We are in the midst of a movement moment right now. People around the world are advocating for racial justice in a variety of ways—donating, protesting, signing petitions, reading, listening, and more. Social media users are flooding their timelines and stories with educational resources, calls to action, and links to pre-composed emails to send to local and national government officials. The impact is spreading far and wide as people fight for racial justice in the name of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, and every Black individual who has lost their life due to racist acts of violence.
It’s important the momentum of the movement continues on, and we do not lose sight of the ongoing education needed to make change in a world plagued by systemic racism.
We tapped Champlain’s Core faculty members who teach courses on race relations to find out what they recommend we read and listen to in order to further our understanding and education. You will also find resources from our expert staff who work in the field of diversity and inclusion.
Everyone’s educational journey is going to look different. But it’s important to start somewhere; do something, and continue to read deeply and widely and truly engage with the work. We hope these titles and recommendations provide some guidance, but please note this is by no means an exhaustive list.
What to Read
The Champlain College Library has created a LibGuide with anti-racism reading recommendations. Many of the titles listed below are represented in the guide. Members of the Champlain community are encouraged to take advantage of the Library’s contactless book checkout service. When deciding to buy one of these books, we encourage you to think about where you’re buying from. Supporting Black-owned businesses and bookstores is just one way you can support the movement and lift up the work of Black entrepreneurs.
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- Works by Ibram X. Kendi
- How to be an Anti-Racist
- Stamped From the Beginning
- The American Nightmare | Article in The Atlantic
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahisi Coates
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. Joy DeGruy
- White Like Me by Tim Wise | Recommended for white folx looking to examine whiteness and white supremacy more closely
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Tatum
- When They Call You a Terrorist: Black Lives Matter Memoir by Asha Bandele and Patrisse Cullors
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Essays, texts, and speeches by Angela Davis, such as Freedom is a Constant Struggle
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Works by Jesmyn Ward
- From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime by Elizabeth Hinton | An exploration of the intersections of race, class, and policing. This is a great talk by her about her work, and here’s a recent op-ed piece she authored
- The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Dubois
- American Slavery, American Freedom by Edmund S. Morgan
- White Over Black by Winthrop D. Jordan
- Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement edited by Kmberlé Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, Gary Peller, and Kendall Thomas
- The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People
- Design Justice by Sasha Costanza Shock
- Feministkilljoys | Blog site
- Fugitive Science by Brit Rusert
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
- Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington
- Mapping Global Racisms | Book series
- Works by Frantz Fanon
- Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples by Linda Tuhiwai Smith
- Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus | A collection of articles for educators
What to Watch
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, On Demand and more. Titles exploring the history of race in America and the ongoing fight for racial justice are right at your fingertips. Diversify your regularly scheduled programming and educate yourself about the lived experiences of Black people by watching these films and shows.
- Just Mercy
- When They See Us
- The Hate U Give
- I Am Not Your Negro
- Dear White People
- Do The Right Thing
- Fruitvale Station
- True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality
- White Privilege: Racism, Denial and the Costs of Inequality by Tim Wise | Screening provided through Alexander Street, ProQuest, which Champlain students, faculty, and staff have access to via the library
- MTV Decoded | Sketch comedy vlog
What to Listen to
Diversify your collection of podcasts, music, audiobooks, YouTube videos, and radio/online interviews to include Black creators and topics of racial justice.
- “Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence,” Resmaa Menakem’s On Being interview about race and trauma
- If you’d prefer to listen to James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, you can listen to the audiobook here
- A.D. Carson/Aydee The Great | Hip hop/rap performance artist and educator
- Irresistible | Healing justice podcast
- What Matters | Black Lives Matter podcast
- 2 Dope Queens | Live comedy show/podcast
- Many Black artists and creatives make art that reach straight to the heart of the struggle against racism. Below are just two examples.
What to Do
As you do this work and educate yourself about race in America, what will you do with the lessons you learn? What actions will you take? How will you step up and fight systemic racism?
- 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge | Includes a detailed reading list
- What Can We Do? | Article on becoming part of the solution
- Unpack Your White Privilege
- 10 Simple Ways White People Can Step Up to Fight Everyday Racism
- Get involved in your local Black Lives Matter chapter
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Increase Your Understanding With These Racial Equity Tools
- Show Up for Racial Justice
- Imagine a World in Which All Children Can See Themselves in the Pages of a Book
- Teach Tolerance | Educator/school resource
- Learn About the Algorithmic Justice League
- Read and support the work of RaceForward
- Follow The Nap Ministry on Instagram and Twitter
- Learn & Participate: Decade for People of African Descent
Vermont specific: What to Read
Read the work of some of Vermont’s renowned Black poets and writers and take a deep dive into their stories of race, class, relationships, and the history of slavery in Vermont.
- Their Names Are Mine by Burlington-based poet, Rajnii Eddins | Contact Eddins at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing a copy or joining a facilitation, reading, or dialogue
- Life Lessons and Lyrical Translations of My Soul by Kiah Morris
- The Problem of Slavery in Early Vermont, 1777-1810 by Harvey Amani Whitfield
- Major Jackson | Award-winning poet teaching at the University of Vermont
- Black is the Body by Emily Bernard
Vermont specific: In the Arts
Listen to and support Vermont’s Black artists.
- King Cobras | Dance group
- Myra Flynn Music
- ROUGH FRANCIS | Rock-n-roll band
- Rajnii Eddins | Poet, emcee, teaching artist
- Brown ‘n Out | A podcast about LGBTQ people of color in Vermont
- Will Kasso Condry | Visual artist, graffiti scholar, educator
- Craig Mitchell | Musician, DJ, producer
- KeruBo | African folk/jazz artist
- JAG Productions | New, contemporary and classical Black theatre
- Mikahely | Musician and guitarist
Vermont specific: What to Do & How to Get Involved
- To hear about upcoming protests, connect with the UVM Women & Gender Equity Center and the Peace and Justice Center, VT.
- Looking for ways to get involved in racial equity? Check out the Action & Allyship guide, created by the State of Vermont’s Racial Equity Task Force
- Support your local Black Lives Matter of Greater Burlington chapter
- If you identify as White, attend BLMGB’s White Caucus meetings.
- Vermont Racial Justice Alliance
- Justice For All
- ACLU VT
- Check out and support The Clemmons Family Farm and the Rokeby Museum
- Support and buy from Black-owned Vermont businesses
- Discover Black Vermont: The African-American Heritage Trail
What to Read, Through a Criminal Justice Lens
Tony Perriello, J.D., is the Assistant Dean and Director of Champlain’s Criminal Justice Program. “Our focus is on providing students with a broad education in criminal justice and criminal justice reform,” he says. “We not only provide students an academic path toward a career in law enforcement, but also provide them with a broader sense of the system, its flaws and the possibilities for reform.” The program includes required courses in social justice, oppression, restorative justice, and a seminar in criminal justice reform. Below are some reading suggestions (in addition to some of the books mentioned above) that Perriello recommends to the Champlain community.
- No Equal Justice by David Cole
- Inside Private Prisons: An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Lauren-Brooke Eisen
- Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission by Barry Friedman
- The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton, with Lora Love Hardin
- Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
- White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race, 2nd edition, by Ian Haney López
- Punishment without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal by Alexandra Natapoff
- Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform by John F. Pfaff
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- When Police Kill by Franklin E. Zimring
Diversify Your News Intake
Do you always go to the same outlets to get your news? Consider diversifying your news feed and the content you read.
What to Read, Watch, and Listen to: Indigenous/Native Resources
Sahar D. Sattarzadeh, former Assistant Professor of Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies in our Core Division, shares resources and recommendations to learn about the history of Indigenous/Native people in the United States and around the world.
- A Tribe Called Geek | Media platform for Indigenous Geek Culture and STEM
- A Tribe Called Red | Indigenous Canadian DJ collective
- Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace | Aboriginal/Indigenous research-creation network
- All My Relations | Podcast on discussions of relationships of Native peoples
- An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
- As We Have Always Done by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
- Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage by William Loren Katz
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- Breakdances with Wolves | Podcast on Native experiences and perspectives
- By Blood | Documentary
- Custer Died for Your Sins by Vine Deloria, Jr.
- Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
- Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society | Open access academic journal
- “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor” by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang
- Frank Waln | Award-winning Sicangu Lakota Hip Hop artist and music producer
- Giniw Collective Indigenous womxn-led frontline resistance
- Gyasi Ross | Author, speaker, storyteller
- imagineNATIVE | Largest platform for Indigenous screen content
- Indian Country Today | News
- Joy Harjo | Poet Laureate
- “Land-grab Universities” by High Country News
- Māori Association of Social Science | MASS
- Medicine Resistance | Podcast
- More Than a Word | Documentary
- Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA)
- Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science by Kim Tallbear
- Native Appropriations | Blog site
- Native Public Media | News
- Native Wellness Institute
- Not Your Mascots
- Red Skin, White Masks by Glen Sean Coulthard
- Sarain Fox | Artist, activist, and ambassador
Interested in exploring the work of more scholars who write about racism and intersectionality in the U.S.? Here are a few others our faculty and staff recommend learning from:
- Cornel West
- Bell Hooks
- Audre Lorde
- Barbara Smith
- Mary Frances Berry
- Gloria Anzaldua
- Toni Morrison
- Peggy McIntosh
- Peter McLaren
Thank you to the following people for contributing to this article: the Champlain College Library, Betsy Allen-Pennebaker, Jen Berger, Duane Dunston, Ashley Michelle Fowler, Amy Howe, Ph.D., Robert Mayer, Ph.D., Tony Perriello, J.D., Sahar D. Sattarzadeh, Ph.D., and Faith Yacubian.
Do you have a resource or recommendation you’d like to add to this list? Email email@example.com.