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Sacred Heart University Library Newsletter for Faculty No. 21 (June 2020)

Resources on race and systemic racism in America

A Video Series You Should Know About: Black America in MLK: And Still I Rise

Video Series: Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise (PBS)

undefinedBlack America Since MLK: And Still I Rise.  Film series by McGee Media, written by Henry Louis Gates.  PBS Video: 2016-2018.

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise looks at the last five decades of African American history since the major civil rights victories through the eyes of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., exploring the tremendous gains and persistent challenges of these years. Drawing on eyewitness accounts, scholarly analysis and rare archival footage, the series illuminates our recent past and paints a complex and comprehensive portrait of black America since 1965, while raising urgent questions about the future of the African American community — and our nation as a whole. (—from PBS Website)

Full transcripts and clips are available from Academic Video Online (AVON).

Series trailer:

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Digital book: The New Jim Crow

undefinedThe New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. By Michelle Alexander. Rev. ed., with a new foreword by Cornel West. New York: The New Press. 2012. 

undefined Ebsco E-Books

This is a foundational text for the events of 2020.  Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness.

(—From the publisher's description) (Unlimited concurrent user access)

A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law

Digital book: A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law

undefinedA Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law. By Sherrilyn A. Ifill, Loretta Lynch, Bryan Stevenson, and Anthony C Thompson.  New York: The New Press, 2018.

Ebsco E-Books

A no-holds-barred, red-hot discussion of race in America today from some of the leading names in the field, including the bestselling author of Just Mercy. This blisteringly candid discussion of the American dilemma in the age of Trump brings together the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the former attorney general of the United States, a bestselling author and death penalty lawyer, and a star professor for an honest conversation the country desperately needs to hear. Drawing on their collective decades of work on civil rights issues as well as personal histories of rising from poverty and oppression, these leading lights of the legal profession and the fight for racial justice talk about the importance of reclaiming the racial narrative and keeping our eyes on the horizon as we work for justice in an unjust time.

(—From the publisher's description)(Unlimited concurrent user access)

Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage

Digital book: Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage

undefinedReproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage. By Daria Roithmayr. New York: New York University Press, 2014.

Ebsco E-Books

This book is designed to change the way we think about racial inequality. Long after the passage of civil rights laws, blacks and Latinos possess barely a nickel of wealth for every dollar that whites have. Why have we made so little progress? Legal scholar Daria Roithmayr provocatively argues that racial inequality lives on because white advantage functions as a powerful self-reinforcing monopoly, reproducing itself automatically from generation to generation even in the absence of intentional discrimination. Drawing on work in antitrust law and a range of other disciplines, Roithmayr brilliantly compares the dynamics of white advantage to the unfair tactics of giants like AT&T and Microsoft.With penetrating insight, Roithmayr locates the engine of white monopoly in positive feedback loops that connect the dramatic disparity of Jim Crow to modern racial gaps in jobs, housing and education. Wealthy white neighborhoods fund public schools that then turn out wealthy white neighbors. Whites with lucrative jobs informally refer their friends, who refer their friends, and so on. Roithmayr concludes that racial inequality might now be locked in place, unless policymakers immediately take drastic steps to dismantle this oppressive system.

(—From the publisher's description)(Unlimited concurrent user access)

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

Digital book: Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

undefinedAlgorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. By Safiya Umoja Noble. New York: New York University Press, 2018.

 JSTOR E-Books

A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms. Run a Google search for “black girls”—what will you find? “Big Booty” and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in “white girls,” the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about “why black women are so sassy” or “why black women are so angry” presents a disturbing portrait of black womanhood in modern society. In Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color. Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. As search engines and their related companies grow in importance—operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond—understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices is of utmost importance.An original, surprising and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century.

(—From the publisher's description)(Unlimited concurrent user access)