Week #4: Teaching History

On our nation's bitter past and its implications on the present and future.

Hello friends 👋🏽

We’re back with the fourth edition of the Anti-Racist Learning Community newsletter! If you’re new, we’re so happy that you are here and hope we can make your time worthwhile. We wish that you stick around and join the pivotal conversations that we should all be having as members of the human race.  

On June 19th, we observed Juneteenth, the oldest national celebration of ending slavery in the United States. It was on June 19th, 1865 that Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas with news that those enslaved were now free. This event occurred more than two years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. What happened in Galveston was long overdue, as was the amount of attention Juneteenth received this year. Celebrating the holiday is an amazing starting point, but the system is still so broken. With this being said, this week, we decided to center ourselves around the afterlife of slavery in our contemporary American society; however, in order to fully understand the gravity of the past today, it is imperative to learn the history behind it. When reading this week’s resources, we hope you take the time to see the open wounds from slavery.

Every Sunday, we will send out a newsletter with shorter resources to read, watch, and listen to. Monthly, we will select a book to read in alignment with the syllabus above. The final Sunday of each month at 8 pm EST we will host a facilitated zoom conversation to discuss the text collectively. The first of these conversations will happen on June 30; please sign up here

We are not an authority on anti-racist education nor are we experts, but we are people who care enough to try to learn, to do, and to be better. We see our role as curating existing material into a tangible and simplified format that makes anti-racist education accessible. We ask for your support in sharing these resources with your families, peers, and coworkers because ultimately these conversations need to happen across our dinner tables, at work, in our places of worship, as well as in the classroom.

If you have questions or suggestions for our group, please feel free to reach out. 

In community, 


Weekly Resources 💡

Read 📚 The Case for Reparations, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, explores the 250 years of slavery, and almost 200 years of segregation and racial inequality experienced in America. Coates details the racial inequality present in the economy, politics, and society of America. The article starts by following the life of Clyde Ross, born to two Mississippi landowners to sharecroppers, who escaped the racist South to a racially segregated Chicago. The Atlantic features the effects of slavery from sharecropping and redlining to the mortgage disparities present in 21st century America. This article highlights and scrutinizes different parts of American history that are generally brushed aside, and causes one to question the current state of racism while educating the ill-informed. 

The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates, via The Atlantic, June 2014

Listen👂 The 1619 Podcast From The New York Times

This podcast created by The New York Times has six episodes following the historical narrative detailing the beginning of slavery in America and it’s impact on the economical, cultural, and societal status of Black Americans. The story starts with that day in 1619 when the first slave ship landed on American soil. The New York Times made it their prerogative to tell this story to help promote The 1619 Project and educate people about the life altering event that occurred over 400 years ago.

The podcast can also be found on: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher

1619 podcast cover via The New York Times, 1/23/20

Act ☑️ Follow The Zinned Project

Based in the framework outlined in Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, the Zinn Education Project aims to teach a "people's history," a story of our past that flips the narrative of the typical history book, focusing on the everyday individual— the garment factory worker, the doubtful soldier, the participant in the Civil Rights movement— rather than on those in positions of power. By providing teaching materials, lectures, resources, and seminars, the Zinn Education Project works to help everyone learn real history, from all perspectives, not just history that benefits the Establishment.

Did you learn something new? Feel uncomfortable? Challenge your own idea of race? We'd love it if you shared the resources above with a friend, a coworker, or a community member to help them do the same. 

Share Anti-Racist Learning Community

P.S. If you’re interested in getting involved with curating, writing, or organizing within this learning community, please email us at (antiracistlearning@gmail.com)  ❤️