2012/13 Study Group – Challenging White Supremacy

This study group took place in the winter of 2012/13. The topics and readings were chosen by various participants of WWHAT’S UP!? The intention of this study group is to create space for white people to study, discuss, and challenge thoughts, ideas and history centered around white supremacy. It is an intentionally white space so that white people can take risks and challenge their own ideas without hurting people of color. The majority of the readings are by people of color.


1.”Love as the practice of freedom” — bell hooks
Download/Read Here (It’s the first article on this pdf.)
2. Transcription of a speech by James Baldwin
Download/Read Here  (Page 8 on pdf — It’s the 2nd article)
3. What happened after emancipation? A big mess.  W.E.B Du Bois: “Of the Dawn of Freedom” This essay builds to an important point on page 378, in the paragraph beginning “Thus did the United States Government definitely assume…” And on page 382, in the passage beginning: “Lee had surrendered, Lincoln was dead, and Johnson and Congress were at loggerheads…”And from the middle of page 389 to the end.
4. “The Model Minority: Asian American ‘Success’ as a race relations failure.” By Frank H. Wu. This seems long but reads quickly!
5. SKIMMABLE and easy to read: “The Fourth Enlargement of American Whiteness” by Nell Irvin Painter
6. OPTIONAL (but short and fabulous!): Ralph Ellison, “On Being the Target of Discrimination”, a mini-memoir


3. “What is White Supremacy?” Betita Martinez
Download/Read Here (page 32 on the pdf: the last article)
4. “Yellow Face,” a play by David Henry Hwang.
5. “Truth in Fiction,” by novelist Nicholas Montemarano

Week Three: Personal Transformation – Nov. 26th

1. From White Racist to White Anti-Racist: The Lifelong Journey
2. White Supremacy Culture
3. Anti-Racist Organizational Development
4. Anti-Racism Assessment Chart
You can view/download a PDF of the readings for Week 3 here.
5. Barriers to Organization Between Anti-Racist White People by Joanie Mayer

Week Four: Gentrification – December 10th

  1. Community: Loving Communion taken from All About Love by b.hooks (attached pdf.) PART1 and PART2
  2. Shadow Lounge conspiracy  Audio clip from Rustbelt Radio (10:00 min)
  3. Hipster Invasion (2 pg.)
  4. Gentrification: Artists and Yuppies working Together (3 pg.)
Challenge by Choice:
  1. East of Liberty: The Story of Good Intentions
  2. Fox News does Gentrification:  Top US revival cities worth visiting http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2012/07/30/post-industrial-cities/
    • http://archive.org/details/Home_Is_Where_The_Hood_Is_Part_1
      MOVIE at minute 5, PRZDLD (Praise the Lord) talks about her outreach ministry and how grassroots can transform a hood how can we get to a community of love and transformation?  alternatives to gentrifying change.
    • The Safe Streets Program in LA puts cops on the streets to deter criminal activity in low income neighborhoods.  The residents speak out against this and discuss how they want money to be spent to revitalize their community. http://archive.org/details/LaConnections
      Rustbelt RADIO The WEED and SEED program services the HIll and East Liberty to mixed reviews, minute 8ish http://archive.org/details/rustbelt-2007-08-20
    • There Goes the Hood – Interviews with long term residents about the changes the see happening in Harlem and Clinton Hill – attachment here

BREAK – (focus on family history over break)

Week Five: Family History – January 14th
1.  Family History Research Questions
2.  Time and Distance Overcome by Eula Bliss
3. Love Letter From Ariel Lucky

Choose One of the Following 
We also will Choose one of the following Articles – All in Shared Document
-On Being White and Other Lies; A History of Racism in the U.S. by Mab Segrest (45 pages)
– Patrimony by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz from Red Dirt Growing up Okie (6 pages)
-Italian Americas: Say Basta to Columbus (4 pages)
-How did Jews Become White Folks by Karen Bodin Sacks (22 pages)
– Jews in the U.S. The Rising Cost of Whiteness by Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz (17 pages)
– Time Traveling and Border Crossing Reflections on White Identity by Beck Thompson (17 pages)You can Download/Read of the Week 5 Readings here.

Week Six:  – January 28th

Field Trip – some went to see Django.

Week Seven -February 11th – Education

All readings are scanned into this one document. Click here.
And there is one video that we’d like for you to check out! See below.
 Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
We’ll be reading Ch 3 from this book “Why White Parents Don’t Talk About Race” The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s
Children by Lisa Delpit An article that discusses power dynamics in educational settings

Beyond Anthologies: Why teacher choice and judgment matter
by Linda Christensen
A short piece about how to go about creating a curriculum of social justice in the classroom.Talking Wrong by Patricia Smith
A one page first person essay about race, language, and talking
“right” or “wrong.”Interview with Geneva Smitherman by H. Samy Alim
An interview with a revolutionary linguist.Looking Past the Spin: Teach for America by Barbara Miner
An investigative piece that looks at the Teacher for America program. Book Discussion on The Children in Room E4 – Video
Author speaks on lawsuit for equal education in segregated schools.

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