THE SAN DIEGO PARTICIPANT OBSERVER Participant Observation is the Process of Learning by Observing and Participating in Cultural Life
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October, 2020 - (Click Here for Previous Issues)
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June 19, 2020

(View Social Justice Resources by Category)

Today is Juneteenth (aka Freedom Day, Emancipation Day) which celebrates the day when the Emancipation Proclamation was adopted by every state in the United States. Want to know more about this holiday, where it is celebrated, and what happens in San Diego to honor the day? Then read our article: It’s Time To Commemorate Juneteenth Nationwide!

Today we will provide virtual resources and information on the pernicious problem of systemic or institutionalized racism in America. Racism is not just a problem of individual beliefs, but also how those beliefs have been encoded and embedded in our laws, schools, corporations, policies and "normal ways of doing things". We hope you find these resources illuminating and encouraging you to become a more active in the fight for social justice and enacting lasting change in our society.

Useful Resources
Act Blue Split a donation between 70+ community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers.
Criminal Justice Fact Sheet from the NAACP
Communities United for Police Reform
The Marshal Project Nonprofit journalism about criminal justice.
Master List Of Resources On How To Dismantle Systemic Racism An absolutely HUGE Google spreadsheet of anti-racism resources courtesy of Fantasy World.
The Loveland Foundation Supporting communities of color (especially women and children) in unique ways.
Black Lives Matter Resources from the San Diego Housing Federation.

Books about systemic racism in a wide range of contexts
The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran
A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind by Harriet A. Washington
Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class by Ian Haney López
Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy by Darryl Pinckney
Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, a multi-award winning book by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

Podcasts that discuss race in America and related topics
Floodlines from the Atlantic
1619 from the New York Times
What's Next from Slate magazine
Beyond Prisons is a podcast on incarceration and prison abolition that elevates people directly impacted by the system.
Ear Hustle The daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it.
Code Switch from NPR
Groundings hosted by Devyn Springer
The Stoop Stories from across the Black Diaspora
The Chicken and Jollof Rice Show A podcast featuring 4 first-generation African Americans and their humorous perspectives.
The Nod Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life.
Truth Be Told hosted by Tonya Mosley
Black History Year

Articles and Online Resources
Four Ways Schools Can Support Teachers to Become 'Actively Anti-Racist' from Education Week Teacher
U.N. Resolution on the Elimination of Racism
Taking Steps to Eliminate Racism in the Workplace by The Society for Human Resource Management
Is Your Company Actually Fighting Racism, or Just Talking About It? from the Harvard Business Review
Strategies and Activities for Reducing Racial Prejudice and Racism from the exquisitely robust Community Tool Box service of the Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas.
Beyond Protests: 5 More Ways To Channel Anger Into Action To Fight Racism from NPR

Local Happenings:
Living Room Learning: World Music & Dance Ongoing. From the Center for World Music
Virtual Film Screening: Il Campione (The Champion) Thursday, June 25 - 6:00 PM, by the San Diego Italian Film Festival
Virtual Film Screening: Yourself and Yours Ongoing from the San Diego Media Arts Center
3 Day Black Music Summer Soulstice Celebration (virtual) live performances June 26-28 daily at 7:00 -9:00 PM
The Cooper Family Foundation virtual Juneteenth Celebration Saturday, June 20 - 2:00 PM
Virtual Talk: A Day In The Life Of A Physician In Ancient Egypt by Phil Goscienski, MD presented by the San Diego Archaeology Center
Shakespeare Society Open Readings - Virtual Edition Tuesdays 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Television and Film

Another avenue to learn more about social justice affecting communities of color is to watch TV series and Movies directed by, written by and starring people of color.

The Chi (United States) Hulu, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, HBO Max

The Chi is a coming-of-age drama set in south Chicago. The drama in Chi revolves around 4 shootings and how these events affect the characters in the large cast. The show has been praised for its humanizing approach, seeing each character as a complex individual, not a stereotype, and Variety observes, "It transforms the word 'Chicago' from something approaching an epithet into a three-dimensional place". Several reviews speak about the consequences (sometimes life and death) of small actions set in an unforgiving world. The show's creator, Lena Waithe, the first Black woman to receive a prime time Emmy for comedy writing (and she stars in Master of None and was a writer for Bones) said about The Chi, “It’s not, ‘Let’s show Black people in Chicago in a positive light. . .I want to show people in a human light.”

Teach Us All (United States) Netflix

In 1954 the US Supreme Court unanimously decided that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional as were "separate but equal" schools which had been allowed under the prior Plessy vs. Ferguson. School systems, particularly but not exclusively in the South, resisted implementation by closing schools and displacing Black educators and, despite the ruling, a very large number of schools implemented policies that ensured de facto segregation. (Ed note: I grew up the 50s and 60s in a suburb outside of Philadelphia and all the public schools I attended were internally segregated). The documentary Teach Us All was produced by the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heros and they have developed an associated curriculum. The LMCUH says: "Through case studies in Little Rock, New York City, and Los Angeles, our feature-length documentary film seeks to bring the critical lessons of history to bear on the current state of U.S. education and investigate: 60 years later, how far have we come - or not come - and where do we go from here?" The film's director, also wrote and directed Black Boys. The Executive Director of the film is the two-time Super Bowl Champion Malcolm Jenkins who co-founded the NFL Players Coalition in 2017 to address social injustice and racial inequality.


The Hate You Give (United States) Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, Hulu, Vudu

Based on the young adult book of the same name by Angie Thomas, The Hate You Give is a drama about a young Black girl, Starr Carter, who lives in a poor Black neighborhood but attends a mostly white prep school. Starr witnesses her best friend Khalil being shot and killed by a police officer who has pulled the car over for failing to use his turn signal. The aftermath of the killing brings the differences between the two worlds Starr inhabits into bold contrast. Caught between a local gang that she has offended and a system that prevents real justice, between the neighborhood she grew up in and the elite school she attends, Starr is forced to grow up and take a stand for what is right. Empire Magazine has said ". . . this is a scintillating, angry roar of a film that rewires the possibilities of what a teen movie can say and do."

Cry Freedom (South Africa, England) Amazon Prime, Hulu, You Tube, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes

Cry Freedom is a 1987 historical drama about the anti-Apartheid activist Steve Biko. The movie is based on a pair of books penned by a white liberal South African Journalist who initially opposes Biko's political views until the two met when Biko invites Woods to visit to a Black township so that Woods can see firsthand the horrific effects of Apartheid. The movie traces how Biko is harassed, jailed, beaten and murdered by the South African security forces, despite Biko's commitment to non-violent protest and change. While the film is a good primer on the horrors of Apartheid and has standout performances by Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington, the movie has been justly criticized and focusing far more on the struggles of Woods to escape South Africa than on Biko himself, and everything that transpires in the movie is basically seen through Wood's eyes.

You can find a huge Pinterest page of movies and TV series featuring African-American actors, casts, directors and stories here.

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