Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life

The issue of race casts a long shadow in the evolution of America’s political and social development. Race and racism is and has been an integral part of American politics, with deep roots dating back to the early beginnings of the republic. The legacy of race and racism is embedded in every fabric of American life and its pernicious persistence impacts groups that have been historically oppressed, in profound and definable ways. These resources will help students understand the impact of race and racism on their daily lives and their communities.

TypeTitleNotesDescriptionCategory
VideoRacial JusticeA three-part series that explores the many ways black Americans face racial bias. These short films—Racism is Real, Black Protests vs. White Riots, and Prison System by the NumbersRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
VideoPreying on Puerto RicoA two-part series showing how hedge funds that profit off of the misery of places like Puerto Rico are raking in massive dollars by forcing schools to close and making education unaffordable.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonCivil Rights MovementCivil Rights MovementRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonLegacy of the Civil WarCivil WarRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
ReadingThe Debate Over Reparations for Slavery in the United StatesDebate Over Reparations for SlaveryRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
ReadingWhat Is Colorism - Skin Tone Discrimination in AmericaHow does colorism play out in AmericaRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonThe Immigration Debate: A Lesson from Viva La CausaIn this lesson, students will explore social justice issues within our nation’s immigration debate—a debate that is largely connected in the public psyche to undocumented Latino workers. Students will examine a commentary by Mary Bauer, Legal Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, that encourages everyone to take a hard look at the harm and devastation done to people of Alabama because of the state’s anti-immigrant legislation, HB 56, passed in 2011.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
ActivitiesLynching
in America
Interactive website that covers a variety of topics about lynching and racial justice from a historical perspective. Includes a teacher’s guide with lessons and activities.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonIssues of PovertyIssues of Poverty” is comprised of four lessons with two overarching goals. First, the lessons aim to help students understand that poverty is systemic, rooted in economics, politics and discrimination. Second, the lessons provide evidence to show that poverty, far from being random, disproportionately affects Americans who have traditionally experienced oppression—African Americans, Latinos, immigrants and children.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
VideoTa-Nehisi Coates – Black Boy Interrupted: American Plunder and the Incomplete Life of Jordan DavisKeynote address at the For the Public Good Conference.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonRacial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System Racialized social control has adapted to race-neutral social and political norms in the form of mass incarceration. Criminalization stands in as a proxy for overt racism by limiting the rights and freedoms of a racially defined undercaste.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonMarch on Washington, 50 Years Later: Have the Goals Been Met?Students understand and explore the demands laid out at the March on Washington and determine if those demands were met during the Civil Rights Movement and how they measure up today.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonLatino Heritage: A Discussion Activity Teaching Tolerance offers the following essays and activities to help students gain a deeper understanding of past and present struggles for Latino civil rightsRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
VideoOur Private Idaho The episode “Our Private Idaho” takes viewers to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Once the epicenter of the Aryan Nations’ white-supremacy movements, Coeur d’Alene has nearly doubled in population in the last two decades. Nearly 90 percent of its new arrivals are white, and although the percentage of nonwhite residents is gradually increasing, it’s still tiny at 5.5 percent.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
VideoThe Groveland FourThe false conviction of the Groveland Four for a crime that never happened serves as a foundation for the distrust between African Americans and police in the United Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
VideoSlavery to Mass IncarcerationThe film illustrates facts about American slavery and the elaborate mythology of racial difference that was created to sustain it. Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
VideoThe Legacy of SupremacyThe Legacy of SupremacyRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
VideoThe Unequal Opportunity RaceThe Unequal Opportunity RaceRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
ReadingUnchaining Civil RightsThis documents and describes the institutional and structural exclusions in the four Es - employment, education, enfranchisement and equality and the ways that these exclusions result in de facto discrimination of racial minorities.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonHow Natural Disasters DiscriminateThis lesson provides an opportunity for students to define and learn more about natural disasters, reflect on their own thoughts, opinions and experiences with natural disasters and consider the ways that natural disasters do discriminate in that they impact certain identity groups in disproportionate ways.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonNoose Incidents and Their Historical ContextThis lesson provides an opportunity for students to understand the historical and current day use of the hangman’s noose, reflect on the context of the history of lynching in the U.S., consider the increase of these hate symbols and explore what can be done about it.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
Lesson UnitStealing Home: Eminent Domain, Urban Renewal, and the Loss of CommunityThis unit looks at the history and literature of stolen homes and land—from Native American “removals” to reservations, to the violent expulsions of African Americans during the 1920s and ’30s, to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. We look at the resistance that emerged. The last segment of the unit—eminent domain and urban renewal—brings the teaching back to our neighborhood and the students’ anger over gentrification that initiated our investigation.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonParallels Between Mass Incarceration and Jim Crow What are the most salient similarities between mass incarceration and Jim Crow? Mass incarceration is a system of racialized social control that, like slavery and Jim Crow before it, operates to discriminate and create a stigmatized racial group locked into an inferior position by law and custom.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonUnderstanding the Prison Label What is the long-term harm and wider impact of mass incarceration on people and communities of color? The racial caste system established and perpetuated by mass incarceration continues beyond a prison sentence and extends into families, communities and society at large. The criminalization and demonization of black men creates a “prison label” of stigma and shame that damages the black community as a whole.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
ReadingYes, You Can Measure White PrivilegeWhite PrivilegeRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
Teacher GuideCreated EqualThe Created Equal film set and websiteRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonThe Loving StoryThe Loving StoryRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
VideoRevolution '67Copies of this film can be borrowed from YCCS.REVOLUTION '67 focuses on the explosive urban rebellion in Newark, New Jersey, in July 1967, to reveal the long-standing racial, economic, and political forces which generated inner city poverty and perpetuate it today.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
VideoCopies of this film can be borrowed from YCCS.The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow offers the first comprehensive look at race relations in America between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
VideoCopies of this film can be borrowed from YCCS.Black America Since MLKRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonBanishedCopies of this film can be borrowed from YCCS.A hundred years ago, in communities across the U.S., white residents forced thousands of black families to flee their homes. Even a century later, these towns remain almost entirely white. BANISHED tells the story of three of these communities and their black descendants, who return to learn their shocking histories. Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
LessonUnfinished Business: Would Martin Luther King Be Satisfied with the Pace of Progress? 50 years after March on WashingtonRace and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life
ReadingThe Contested History of American FreedomA thematic essay by Pulitzer prize-winning historian Eric Foner explores the centrality of freedom to America's identity and its complicated legacy.Race and Democracy : The long shadow of race in American political life