Resources on Racism in Madison and the US

In our adult forum today, we’re joining the conversation about racism and inequity that has been taking place in Madison and across the country over the last year. I’m posting here some resources that might help us think about these issues in our own lives and in our community.

First of all, white privilege. Peggy McIntosh’s 1988 article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack” introduced the term: white-privilege

Second,the conversation was jumpstarted in Madison by an article by the Rev. Alex Gee, Jr. That is available here. In the year since its publications, Gee has formed a new orgnizationt, Justified Anger, that seeks to keep issues of race and inequity at the center of our political and cultural life in Madison.

About the same time that this conversation began, the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families released its Race to Equity Report that provided a shocking look at racial disparities in Dane County, WI (where Madison is located). The report is available for download here: WCCF-R2E-Report.

Some books to read:

James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree

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

If you’ve never read it, or if you haven’t read it recently, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail is a powerful challenge to whites, especially white Christians, who criticized the nonviolent protests and boycotts in Birmingham in 1963. More than fifty years later, in the wake of Ferguson and Eric Garner, its words retain their power and are as relevant as ever. Read it here: king


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