This page is for registered participants in the online course Roots Deeper Than Whiteness (Feb-March, 2019.) Please do not share this page outside of the course (though you are welcome to share any of the homework materials).
These materials will remain up for a minimum of three months (until the end of June, 2019), if not longer. Please take your time in completing the coursework!
Facebook group for course – Click here to request approval. Note: If your FB profile is different than the name you registered with, please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org (and/or watch for a FB message from David verifying your registration). Thanks!
On this page you will find:
- Homework assignments
- recordings are linked below the corresponding session’s homework assignment
- please do not share recordings outside of the course
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Homework for Session One
*Recording of Session One here*
- Our Analysis – White Awake (10 min)
- What is White Supremacy – Elizabeth Martínez (15min)
- Indigenous Nationhood and Colonial Nation States – selections from Jacqueline Keeler and Dr. Niigaan Sinclair (20 min)
- Qallunology 101: A Lesson Plan for the Non-Indigenous – Derek Rasmussen (5 min)
- Healing Your Thousand-Year-Old Trauma – Resmaa Menakem (5 min)
- Optional: Birth of a White Nation – Jacqueline Battalora (30 min video)
- Why are you taking this course?
- Did you experience any a-ha moments while engaging with your homework assignments? Any new information? Or things put together in a new way? Any lingering confusion or discomfort?
- Do you feel rooted? Do you feel uprooted? Where and/or how do you feel these things?
Homework for Session Two
*Recording of Session Two here*
Chat log for Session Two here
- James Baldwin Clip (short video clip)
- Roots Deeper than Whiteness: Remembering who we are for the well-being of all – David Dean (20 min read)
- The World Turned Upside Down – song by Leon Rosselson; popularized by Billy Bragg (video and short reading; 7 min total)
- Tim Wise: The Creation of Whiteness (5 min video)
- “La Cultura Cura” – Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D, speaks on the importance of teachers connecting all students to their ethnic roots (2 min video)
- What do you know about your family’s “coming to America” story and their way of life prior to their arrival?
- Why did they come, and what was the process by which they were assimilated into American society as “white people?”
- 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?
Homework for Session Three
*Recording of Session Three here*
Chat log for Session Three here
Homework for this session is divided into sections, to help define the themes. Remember, you have an extra week to prepare! Our next live class is March 17.
Divide and Rule: same strategy, changing form
- 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)
- The Southern Strategy (short reading and two video clips; 10 min total)
Divide and Rule meets Solidarity
- Why I Quit the Klan – C.P. Ellis narrative collected by Studs Terkel (15 min read)
Solidarity Based Strategies for Change
- Oakland has a school-to-prison pipeline. The teachers’ strike is our best hope to end it. – Shane Ruiz (10 min read)
- Down Home North Carolina report: “No One’s Ever Asked Me Before” – Conversations with North Carolina’s Rural Communities – (12 min to read selections listed below; optional 6 min video as well)
- In your lifetime, how have you seen corporate interests, politicians, and’or media use racism as a tool to divide people with common economic interests?
- What impact has this had on your family and friends? What impact do you feel this has had on white Americans in general, and the country as a whole?
- Have you participated in, or been privy to, a solidarity campaign in action?
- Michelle Alexander, Naomi Klein, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor in conversation (45 min video)
- Interview with Key Organizers of Down Home North Carolina (5 min read)
- Shared Foundations – “A new education project for union members tackles racism using labor’s strongest weapon: solidarity.” (10 min read)
Homework for Session Four
*Recording of Session Four here*
Chat log for Session Three here
Arranged according to themes, with a few additional resources at the end.
- Toward a Radical White Identity by Susan Goldberg and Cameron Levin (edited version / 10 min)
- Mariame Kaba: Social Movements Brought Down Rahm—Now They Can Transform Chicago (10 min)
- About the Leap Manifesto – video clip of Naomi Klein in conversation with Michelle Alexander and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (7 min) and/or read Time To Leap – selection from Cp 13 of No Is Not Enough (15 min read)
- Optional: The Leap Manifesto itself (7 min read)
- The New Poor People’s Campaign: A call to address systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, environmental degradation, and national morality (8min watch)
Contrast solidarity vs ally model:
- Democrats can win by tackling race and class together. Here’s proof. (5min read)
- Eric Ward: The Evolution of Identity Politics (12 min)
- This interview is an important commentary on the history of identity politics, it’s contribution to liberatory politics, and the shortcomings of how it has developed and been used.
- There is a special section on anti-Semitism, how it fuels white nationalism, and the failure of identity politics to adequately address anti-Semitism in the US and in our movement spaces
- Clip from Trumpland, a film that examines the social and political forces that have emboldened white nationalists in the age of Trump. (6 min)
- Optional: Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice (7 min)
Part One: Identity Development for Collective Liberation
In this course we have worked with:
- Tools for working with shame and/or other difficult emotions that can arise around the topic of racism.
- Histories of European displacement from land, culture, and radical political traditions, and the processes by which our ancestors became “white”
- Political analysis of white supremacy as a divide and conquer tool to uphold capitalism, and the need for multiracial solidarity
- Knowledge of an unbroken legacy of multiracial resistance to racism and economic exploitation that we can connect to today
Has our focus on these things helped you feel more grounded? emotionally resilient? able to approach the work of social change from a place of strength?
If so, how?
What ongoing practices or other forms of support might you need to further build up a healthy sense of self, from which you can work with others towards collective liberation?
Part Two: Engaging in Social Change
Esp for folks already active:
- What forms of social change work are you already involved in?
- Do you feel these activities make best use of your personal skill, passion, capacity?
- Do you feel these activities are effective in terms of strategy and the long term goal of collective liberation?
Esp for folks who are not as active, new to social change work, and/or looking to make a change:
- What forms of social change work could you be involved in right now?
- Assess: your location, time capacity, personal skills and/or resources, etc.
- Consider: local community organizing (esp around a People’s Platform or shared local concern that effects a diverse group of people); union and/or workplace organizing (either directly in your workplace, or in a supportive role – such as supporting a teacher’s strike or protecting public sector unions); national networks with local chapters such as like Cosecha, Resource Generation, SURJ, DSA, 350.org, etc; Indigenous organizing, such as around a pipeline, land rights issue, environmental racism; political education and/or awareness raising programs; organizing or education within your spiritual community or school; … what else?
- Have you ever had trouble with burn out as it relates to social change work? Have you ever questioned the strategy behind what you are doing?
- Is it time to start something new? start something for the first time? bring new energy or awareness to what you are currently involved in?
- Has the work of this class enriched what you’re already doing, or helped inform what you might contribute towards? If so, how?
- What ongoing practices or forms of support might you need to stay engaged in the work of social change for collective liberation?
Additional resources for folks who have been doing racial justice work in their local communities for multiple years:
- Powerful Partnerships: Transformative Alliance Building by Shelly Tochluk and Cameron Levin of AWARE-LA
- Understanding Antisemitism: an Offering to Our Movement – selections from a resource on anti-semitism and racism put together by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (link to full PDF inside Google doc)
- Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism by Eric Ward
Another resource esp for Jewish participants:
- Liberal Jews: It’s Time to Stand up for others and ourselves by Brandon Mond & Noah Shoen