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Books

Racial Justice and the Catholic Church
Bryan M. Massingale

Racial Justice and the Catholic Church examines the presence of racism in America from its early history through the Civil Rights Movement and the election of Barack Obama. It also explores how Catholic social teaching has been used – and not used – to promote reconciliation and justice. Massingale writes from an abiding conviction that the Catholic faith and the black experience make essential contributions in the continuing struggle against racial injustice that is the work of all people.

Small, Great Things
Judy Picoult

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates

Presented in the form of a letter to his adolescent son the author shares with his son—and readers—the story of his own awakening to the truth about history and race.

Just Mercy
Bryan Stevenson

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

When Race Becomes Real
Ed. Bernestine Singley

In this deeply moving book, 30 of America’s best-known writers on race step from behind the curtain of objectivity to turn the spotlight on themselves and bear witness to the racial divide.

The Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd

Inspired by actual historical figures like Sarah and Angelina Grimké and Denmark Vesey, and enlivened by original creations like Charlotte and Handful, The Invention of Wings is the story of two struggles for freedom: the battle of Handful to find the wings her mother promised and the equally intense quest of Sarah to liberate her mind and spirit.

 Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time: The Oblate Sisters of Providence 1828-1860
Diane Bates Morrow

Founded in Baltimore in 1828 by a French Sulpician priest and a mixed-race Caribbean immigrant, the Oblate Sisters of Providence formed the first permanent African-American Roman Catholic sisterhood in the United States. By their very existence, the Oblate Sisters challenged prevailing social, political and cultural attitudes on many levels.

Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age
Kevin Boyle

Boyle, a history professor, brings immediacy and drama to the social and economic factors that ignited racial violence, provoked a compelling court case and set in motion the civil rights struggle.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations
Beverly Daniel Tatum

Tatum illuminates why talking about racism is so hard and what we can do to make it easier, leaving her readers more confident about facing the difficult terrain that is anti-racism work.

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking
Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell translates neuroscience and psychology research into compelling storytelling to persuade readers to think small and focus on the meaning of “thin slices” of behavior, relying on our “adaptive unconscious” for instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, “read” a stranger, or react to a new idea.

White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism
Paula Rothenberg

Rothenberg has compiled and reduced some very important and complex discussions on whiteness from a variety of social contexts: how whiteness developed as a social construct, what whiteness has meant to numerous people, how various “others” have become white and how whiteness is navigated and construed by people of color.

The Help
Kathryn Stockett

This novel is set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver.

Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself: U.S. Catholic Bishops Speak Against Racism
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

This collection of articles written by bishops on racism includes articles on Catholic social teaching, Catholic expressions/activities, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, hate crimes, healing and ecumenical/interfaith issues.

A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present
Howard Zinn

America’s story from the point of view of America’s women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor and immigrant laborers. The book features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.

 

DVDS

Remember the Titans
Run It Up Productions, Inc. 2000

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

The Butler
Follow Through Productions, 2013

This docudrama stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, an African-American butler who served eight presidents during his tenure at the White House. The film traces how the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and other major events impacted his life, the life of his family and American society.

Crash
Bull’s Eye Entertainment, 2005

Several stories interweave during two days in Los Angeles, involving a collection of inter-related characters whose stereotypes affect their judgment, beliefs and actions.

Fruitvale Station
Significant Productions, 2013

A drama based on based on the true story of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station in Oakland, Calif.

Malcolm X
40 Acres and Mule Film Works, 1992

This biopic, adapted from the biography by Alex Haley and directed by Spike Lee, traces the life of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader Malcolm X, played by Denzel Washington.

Race: The Power of an Illusion
California Newsreel, 2003

Race: The Power of an Illusion questions the very idea of race as biology, suggesting that a belief in race is no more sound than believing that the sun revolves around the earth. Yet just because race doesn’t exist in biology doesn’t mean it isn’t very real, helping shape life chances and opportunities.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Universal, 1962

Through the eyes of Scout, a feisty 6-year-old tomboy, the movie carries us on an odyssey through the fires of racism and injustice in 1932 Alabama.