This page is for registered participants in the online course Roots Deeper Than Whiteness (Oct-Nov, 2019). Please do not share this page with anyone who is not taking the course (you are welcome to share any of the homework materials).
- Please allow 2-3 hours per session for homework. Your first, second and third assignments are posted in chronological order below.
- Recordings are posted 2-3 days after each live session. We need time to edit and upload them. Thanks for your patience.
- Recordings #1 and #2 are posted at the top of the corresponding homework assignment.
- Please do not share recordings outside of course participants. Thank you!
If you have not visited the Logistics & FAQ page for this course, please do so! This page includes all the logistical information you need to participate fully.
Homework Assignment for Session One / Oct 6
Recording of Session One is posted here.
Chat Log of Session One is archived here.
- What is White Supremacy – Elizabeth Martínez (10-20 min read)
- Toward a Radical White Identity – version on Google Drive (15-30 min read)
- Healing Your Thousand-Year-Old Trauma – Resmaa Menakem (5-10 min read)
- Cultivating Resilience: antidotes to White Fragility in racial justice education – Katherine E. Roubos (10-20 min read)
- We are only assigning the abstract of Roubos’s thesis; for your reference, the full paper can be found here
- Clip from Trumpland, a film that examines the social and political forces that have emboldened white nationalists in the age of Trump. (6 min video)
- Optional: Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice (7-15 min read)
- Why are you taking this course?
- Were there any a-ha moments while engaging with your homework assignments? Any new information you didn’t have? Or things put together in a different way?
- Do you feel rooted? uprooted? where and how …
Homework Assignment for Session Two / Oct 13
Recording of Session Two is posted here.
Chat Log of Session Two is archived here.
During session two, several participants requested that Annemaree share her resources on Gaelic cultural grief. She graciously compiled these in a document for you all to peruse – we’ve uploaded it to Google Drive here.
- James Baldwin Clip (short video clip)
- Roots Deeper than Whiteness: Remembering who we are for the well-being of all – David Dean (35-40 min read)
- If you prefer listening to reading, feel free to use the audio version of this article instead.
- The World Turned Upside Down – song by Leon Rosselson; popularized by Billy Bragg (video and short reading; 12 min total)
- White immigrants weren’t always considered white — and acceptable – Brando Starkey / The Undefeated (10-20 min read)
- When the Irish became white: immigrants in mid-19th century US – Patrick McKenna / The Irish Times (7-15 min read)
- How Jews Became White Folks — and May Become Nonwhite Under Trump – Karen Brodkin / Forward (10-15 min read)
Optional enrichment: “Race: the Power of an Illusion” (especially Episode 3, “The House We Built”) / rented online streaming available on Vimeo (scroll down to rent specific episodes)
- What do you know about your family’s “coming to America” story and their way of life prior to their arrival? (*folks outside the US, see note below)
- Why did they come, and what was the process by which they were assimilated into American society as “white people?” (*folks outside the US, see note below)
- Where has your sense of identity and belonging come from, throughout your life?
- Does the work of this class influence your exploration of this question, expose anything that might be missing, or highlight things that are (or could be) a source of strength?
*Note for folks participating from outside the US:
The underlying goal of these first two questions is to think through how your ancestors or family members assimilated into whiteness, including what preceded that assimilation. For folks in places like Australia or Canada (other nation states founded in European settler-colonialism), you can simply substitute your home country for the US in these questions.
For folks from Europe, whose ancestors never left and migrated elsewhere, but nonetheless hold a white identity that shapes their social and economic experience, you might relate to these questions along the following lines:
- How did your ancestors live before they were socially classified as “white”?
- What did the process of becoming white look like, and how has assimilation impacted your family history?
- Note: This process would have included loss of traditional, “folk” ways of life, and could be very old. The assimilation process could have also included the loss of radical politics or activities of resistance to capitalist forces, including resistance to the land enclosures David writes about in the Roots Deeper Than Whiteness article.
- We recognize that research may need to be done in order to answer these questions more fully; we hope the inquiry (which you may consider as parallel but distinct from the evolution of whiteness within the US, as focused on in this course) is one you can hold with you and continue to explore over time.
Thanks to the participant who pointed out the lack of options for folks outside the US!
White Awake is a US based organization, and our area of focus is the US, however we know we are joined by participants from other countries, and are humbled that our curriculum is of service abroad. For more see our About page.
Homework Assignment for Session Three / Oct 27
The overall focus of session three is on developing a strong political analysis for collective liberation. Homework for our next session is a bit more extensive, and divided up according to three different (but inter-related) themes.
We do not have specific reflection questions for this session’s homework assignment. We hope you will reflect on the resources we’ve shared, and come to the next live session with your questions and thoughts! 🙂
Political Analysis for Collective Liberation
- Our Analysis – White Awake (15-20 min read)
- Birth of a White Nation – Jacqueline Battalora (36 min video)
- Matewan Union Speech – from original 1987 motion picture (5 min video)
Divide and Rule: the last 50 years
- Excerpt from MLK’s 1965 Speech in Montgomery about how Jim Crow (racial segregation) was a tool explicitly (and effectively) designed to destroy the multiracial Populist movement that flourished briefly after the Civil War. (4 min read)
- Fred Hampton on how racism is used by those in power – short video clip
- The Southern Strategy (short reading and two video clips; 10-15 min total)
- Bernie Sanders: The straightest path to racial equality is through the one percent – (10-15 min read)
- Selections from “Understanding Antisemitism: an Offering to Our Movement” – Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (20-30 min read)
- Eric Ward on Antisemitism / Excerpt from Tikkun Interview, 2018 (7-15 min read)