23-1 “Beyond Racism” Resource Guide

Aug 15th, 2011 | By | Category: 23-1: Beyond Racism, Online resource guides, Resource Guides, Web Exclusive
By Michael W. Simpson

Race and ethnicity Resource Guide: Can we finally have “The Talk”?

We have never really had “The Race Talk” in this country. It is simply too uncomfortable, or too emotional—or, as some claim, no longer necessary in a post-racial, post-colonial world.

Of course, that subject looks differently to those who live in the world where race and colonization have not ended.

The assertion that we are post-anything is itself an expression of privilege. This country historically presumed that the light-skinned people coming from northern and western Europe were superior to Indigenous people. This is simply too uncomfortable. We hide both in our national narrative and school curriculum. But we need “The Talk” as badly today as we did in 1950 or 1850 or 1750 or 1650.

My task was to find a positive way to deal with the issue and to emphasize a way forward. However, for a nation and a people in denial so long, how can removal of the disease not be painful? Is not the pain part of the process of healing? Has not the pain been borne by our brothers and sisters of color too long? Have Whites been denied the healing of their spirits for too long? My task as a critical educator is to offer hope and love. In order to do this, I must overcome the new “censorship of positive.”

The resource guide concerns race/ethnicity. However, we must always be reminded that while American Indians are increasingly racialized as part of the colonial project, they have a unique legal and political status.

This guide is for everyone who thinks they do not need it and everyone who know they do.


Bonilla-Silva, E. (2003). Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

This book explores the central frames of color-blind racism, the ways color-blind racism talks nasty without sounding racist, the stories of color-blindness, and much more.

Chesler, M., Lewis, A. & Crowfoot, J. (2005). Challenging Racism in Higher Education: Promoting Justice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

This book contains research along with the voices of people, including American Indians. The authors recognize that diversity and multicultural initiatives are not fruitful until Whiteness is included within the scope of those terms. They recognize the institutional nature of racism and suggest ways to change.

Chavers, Dean. (2009). Racism in Indian Country. New York: Peter Lang.

With chapters on everything from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and mascots to border towns and oil and gas royalties, the author admits in this introduction that this book—his 24th—is the hardest he has ever written.

Cruz, Barbara C. (2001). Multiethnic Teens and Cultural Identity. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers.

A book for young adults that discusses issues such as discrimination and the search for ethnic identity.

Delgado, R. (1995). Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Over 40 contributors make this an essential volume in the critical study of race. Essays provide a critique of liberalism, incremental civil rights litigation and activism, faith in the legal system, and a belief that everything is progressing. Many of the essays use the power of storytelling as a method of countering dominant thought. Essays explore historical revisions, social science, structural determinism, intersections of race with class and other factors, law, pedagogy and critical White studies. It contains important questions for discussions and further resources.

Freire, Paolo. (1973). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: The Seabury Press.

This 1968 book, within which the author critiques traditional teaching methods, remains relevant today.

Gould, J. (1996). The Mismeasure of Man. New York: W.W. Norton and Co.

This is a historical study of scientific racism and a definitive refutation of biological determinism. Even though science has refuted the racism of the past, the ideas persist in popular imagination.

Hill, J. (2008). The Everyday Language of White Racism. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

White racism is not fading because it is a pervasive and adaptive cultural system. Racial talk is framed by a folk theory of racism that contains overt and covert racism and slurs. The book applies theoretical perspectives to aid the reader in becoming more critical.

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