The national conversation about race is alive in our community. Across the nation, including Montana, small and mid-sized communities are playing an important role as they step up to be part of the dialogue about anti-racism and inequity.
We have created this list of anti-racism resources with many materials that are available right now, without waiting. Our librarians are busy ordering more copies of books to keep up with the surge of holds put on these popular titles.
Read the full letter from ImagineIF Libraries' Leadership Team here.
For many Americans, the calls for racial equality and a more just society emanating from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, deeply affected their views of racial segregation and intolerance in the nation. Since the occasion of March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 50 years ago, much has been written and discussed about the moment, its impact on society, politics and culture and particularly the profound effects of Martin Luther King's iconic speech on the hearts and minds of America and the world. Several interviewees from the Civil Rights History Project discuss their memories of this momentous event in American history.
Continue reading and listen to interviews at the Library of Congress Civil Rights History Project.
Anti-racism is "the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts."
Learn more from the National Education Association - Racial Justice in Education
Black Lives Matter has always been more of a human rights movement rather than a civil rights movement. BLM's focus has been less about changing specific laws and more about fighting for a fundamental reordering of society wherein Black lives are free from systematic dehumanization. Still, the movement’s measurable impact on the political and legal landscape is undeniable.
What gets referred to as “the Black Lives Matter movement” is, in actuality, the collective labor of a wide range of Black liberation organizations, each which their own distinct histories. These organizations include groups like the Black Youth Project 100, the Dream Defenders, Assata’s Daughters, the St. Louis Action council, Millennial Activists United, and the Organization for Black Struggle, to name just a few.
Continue reading at American Civil Liberties Union
A little after Thanksgiving in 2015, I woke up burdened. It felt like a ton of bricks were on top of me that morning and I could not get out of my bed. I laid still, heavy, wondering what was the source of my sadness. I thought about how, earlier that year, my family and I had experienced the sudden and tragic loss of my uncle Ali—may he rest in peace.
I thought about how present I was for and to Black death and pain through my organizing work with various activist collectives in New York City, and the ways I felt bombarded by these things on a daily basis. By the time I woke up that morning, I had already made a commitment to not watch anymore videos of Black death and continue refusing to repost them anywhere on the internet
I decided that my Social media timelines needed some smiles amidst the sharing of important information, thoughts, art, photos and videos that can be upsetting and at its worst depressing and traumatizing. I posted a picture of my mom smiling and asked for others to post their #BlackJoy moments. I then decided to take on a 30-day personal challenge (that I kept to myself) to share photos of Black joy. After a few weeks and a couple of moving responses, it seemed right to make this a regular installation and share it more openly. It was then that The Black Joy Project was formally born. It has been over 2 years now of travelling across the African Diaspora to understand what Black joy means to Black people around the world, how it can be a source of healing, community building and ultimately a contribution to revolutionary practices that will determine global Black liberation.
Find out more about The Black Joy Project by Kleaver Cruz
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.
Learn more by reading the Coretta Scott King Blog.
"When kids regularly read about characters from different backgrounds or races or countries, the shared humanity of the characters becomes more important than anything else. We need diverse books to be mirrors and windows so all young people can not only see themselves in literature, but see outside themselves, which makes them more aware of our connections as human beings. " - Kwame Alexander
Signs of implicit bias lurk within our inboxes, social networks and the patterns of our daily lives. Looking at our own data can help us change our ways. POV's Saleem Reshamwala unscrews the lid on the unfair effects of our subconscious.
Watch the videos, Who, me? Biased? from The New York Times
Language can be used deliberately to engage and support community anti-racism coalitions and initiatives, or to inflame and divide them. Discussing definitions can engage and support coalitions. However, it is important for groups to decide the extent to which they must have consensus and where it is okay for people to disagree. It is also helpful to keep in mind that the words people use to discuss power, privilege, racism and oppression hold different meanings for different people. For instance, people at different stages of developing an analysis tend to attach different meanings to words like discrimination, privilege and institutional racism. Furthermore, when people are talking about privilege or racism, the words they use often come with emotions and assumptions that are not spoken.
Access a glossary from Racial Equity Tools