What is racism?
Racism is prejudice + power; anyone of any race can have/exhibit racial prejudice, but in North America, white people have the institutional power, therefore racism is a systematized discrimination or antagonism directed against people of color based on the belief that whiteness is superior. It is insidious, systemic, devastating, and integral to understanding both the history of the United States and the everyday experiences of those of us living in this country.
What does it mean to be anti-racist?
Anti-racism is made up of strategies, theories, actions, and practices that challenge and counter racism, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on race. You do not have to dismantle your own internalized racism in order to be anti-racist, though that is part of the work.
"No one becomes “not racist,” despite a tendency by Americans to identify themselves that way. We can only strive to be “anti-racist” on a daily basis, to continually rededicate ourselves to the lifelong task of overcoming our country’s racist heritage.
We learn early the racist notion that white people have more because they are more; that people of color have less because they are less. I had internalized this worldview by my high school graduation, seeing myself and my race as less than other people and blaming other blacks for racial inequities.
To build a nation of equal opportunity for everyone, we need to dismantle this spurious legacy of our common upbringing."
- Ibram X. Kendi (An Anti-Racist Reading List, NYTimes)
The journey towards anti-racism does not, and should not, feel like homework. Enjoy fiction from Black authors, watch movies from Black creators/directors/actors. Some of these resources fall into a more educational vein and some do not. Choose the resources right for where you are now.
Below are just some of the resources available as you begin or continue your journey in learning about anti-racism. The ebook and print book sections are limited to titles that the Transy Library has access to; however, we are committed to expanding this collection as we're able. This guide will be updated as more resources are identified and become available to us. If you have suggestions on additions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To access the eBooks, you need to be logged in with your Transy credentials, or using campus wifi. To access print books, please email email@example.com to arrange pick-up.
In order to access some of these resources, you may need to be logged into your Transy account, or using campus wifi
As Transylvania Library does not generally serve a children and youth audience, our collection cannot fully support some books geared towards a younger demographic. However, we recommend looking at your local library for both books and lists of suggested reading. The links below are primarily to resource lists, or articles written by experts on the topic of discussing race.