Beyond Identity: Archived Homework and Recordings

We (Eleanor and Andy) are very excited to welcome you to White Awake’s upcoming online workshop series, Beyond Identity: race, class, power … and winning the world we need. Together we will explore the relationship between capitalism and white supremacy, solidarity principles of organizing, and visions of a world based on mutual care and reciprocity.

Below are all the homework assignments we’ve given out, according to session. *Recordings and Slide Shows for the corresponding session are linked at the top of each homework assignment*


Homework for Session One: capitalism and white supremacy

Recording of session one here.

Slide shows used during session one: Power Over vs Partnership Societies; White Supremacy & Capitalism; C.P. Ellis, “Why I Quit the Klan” (selections for group reading)

Going Deeper (Optional / Resources for later exploration):

What is White Supremacy / 7 min read

Birth of a White Nation (youtube) / 36min watch

Power, Class, and White Privilege (selections from Chris Crass) / 10 min read

Fire in the Hole / watch first 17 minutes (up until “Showdown” section)
You can also read about “Fire in the Hole” here. / “Working on the project, I was struck by the lack of cynicism among these dynamic figures,” says Green. “Back then, people passionately debated politics and philosophy and honestly believed they could shape the world in which they lived.”

The Ludlow Massacre Still Matters (New Yorker article) / 15 min read

Matewan (1987 film) / 2 hours [*if you can find a way to stream this online, let us know! :)]

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Homework for Session Two: solidarity organizing principles

Recording of session two here.

Slide show used during session two: Solidarity Based Organizing

Our homework for session two focuses on three pieces of content. The first two relate to the central themes we’ll discuss in session two:

  • the organizing principle of solidarity
  • shame / blame dynamics that sometimes occur in anti-racism, activist culture

In response to direct requests made in the first live session, we have added another category of homework:

  • further understanding capitalism

You’ll notice that some pieces of homework are “required” and others are optional (and/or “strongly recommended”). As always, we trust you to do your best while respecting your own personal time limitations.

#1 – Solidarity – organizing principles that build power

Shared Foundations – Sarah Ngu (for Jacobin) / 12 min read
A new education project for union members tackles racism using labor’s strongest weapon: solidarity.

The Panthers and the Patriots – Michael Mccanne (for Jacobin) / 12 min read
The story of how a group of poor whites in Chicago united with the Black Panthers to fight racism and capitalism.

Democrats can win by tackling race and class together. Here’s proof – the Guardian / 10 min read

Going Deeper (Optional / for later):

An Organizing Basic: Keep Self-Interest in Mind – David McDowell with Southwest Organizing Project in Chicago / 5 min read

White Anti-Racism Must Be Based in Solidarity, Not Altruism – the Nation / 15 min read

#2 – Shame and blame – damaging tendencies in anti-racism culture

Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice – Frances Lee / 7 min read

How do our allies deserve to be treated? – Tada Hozumi / 10 min read

#3 – Capitalism – resources to deepen our understanding

How Capitalism Exploits Us (And What We Can Do About It) – 7 min video
*Thanks to participant “suess”, who shared this in the chat during session one!
Note: while Richard Wolff uses the system of enslavement to compare and contrast with capitalism, when we discuss capitalism as a historical phenomena, it’s rise – in Europe, and globally through European colonialism/imperialism – corresponds with African enslavement and human trafficking, which created the conditions for white supremacy and amassed much of the wealth upon which today’s global economy was built.

The World Turned Upside Down / song and text – 5 min total
This story of the “Diggers” helps underscore the significance of the enclosure of the commons, a necessary condition for capitalism to begin – and something we take for granted today: private property

Marxism 101: How Capitalism is Killing Itself with Dr. Richard Wolff – 20 min of 35 min video
*strongly suggested: watch first 20 min now, last 15 minutes for session three

Going Deeper (Optional / for later):

Story of Stuff / 20 min video
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues.

Capitalism’s Crisis of Care, by Nancy Fraser / 15 min read
In an interview, Nancy Fraser contends with liberal feminism’s troubling convergence with contemporary capitalism, and offers a radically different vision of gender justice.

Contradictions of Capitalism and Care, by Nancy Fraser / 20 pg PDF
Academic in nature, this article contains vital information about one of capitalism’s inherent contradictions: the relationship between “reproductive labor” (raising children and other “women’s work”) and “productive labor” (work that results in a paid wage). Highly recommended at some point in your studies.

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Homework for Session Three: people’s platforms, and integrating what we’ve learned

Recording of session three here.

Slide show used during session three: Identity and Solidarity Based Organizing

Our homework for session three focuses exclusively on the Leap Manifesto and the lessons this story holds for us around coalition building and the power of a shared vision for the world we want to create.

Please read:

Chapter 13: “A Time to Leap” from No Is Not Enough, by Naomi Klein

If you purchased a copy of this book (as suggested in your homework assignment for session one), great! Just read this chapter. We actually recommend reading the entire book, as you have time. Part IV and the Conclusion are especially relevant to the themes of this class.

If you were not able to purchase a copy of the book, no worries! We have scanned this chapter to share with you. The chapter is divided between two pdf’s: Part One, and Part Two (please read both, to read the entire chapter).

Going Deeper (Optional / for later):

“NO ONE’S EVER ASKED ME BEFORE” – Conversations with North Carolina’s Rural Communities
Down Home North Carolina 2018 Report Findings
We highly recommend your reading Down Home NC’s full report, as a supplement to our sharing about this organization in session two.

Marxism 101: How Capitalism is Killing Itself with Dr. Richard Wolff –  last 15 min of 35 min video
Assuming you watched first 20 minutes prior to session two, we recommend you watch the last 15 minutes for session three

The Movement for Black Lives Platform
A strong example of a People’s Platform coming out of the United States; referenced in No Is Not Enough

The Trillbilly Workers’ Party – Scalawag
A new podcast drawing national attention to Central Appalachian leftist organizing efforts.

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