Standing Against Racism: Fostering Unity Through Dialogue

Resources for Understanding Racism

To help our viewers better understand the nationwide protests surrounding the killing of George Floyd, MPT has curated the following selection of educational resources. This list is by no means exhaustive, but for those newly grappling with the United States’ ongoing legacies of injustice, racism and inequity, we hope it provides a starting point.

Let us hear from you

We encourage your feedback and would welcome your ideas about ways to engage the community. Send comments to standingagainstracism@mpt.org

STREAM - Programs about Race from PBS and MPT

WATCH - Programs about Race from other sources

  • Baltimore Rising: In the wake of Freddie Gray's death in police custody, peaceful protests and destructive riots erupted as the city awaited the fate of six police officers involved in the incident. Baltimore Rising follows activists, police officers, community leaders and gang affiliates, who struggle to hold Baltimore together. https://www.hbo.com/documentaries/baltimore-rising
  • 13th (Netflix) - In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8
  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (Netflix) - As she fights the tide of violence against trans women, activist Victoria Cruz probes the suspicious 1992 death of her friend Marsha P. Johnson. https://www.netflix.com/title/80189623
  • King in the Wilderness (HBO) - King in the Wilderness chronicles the final chapters of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, revealing a conflicted leader who faced an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. https://www.hbo.com/documentaries/king-in-the-wilderness
  • Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap- An in-depth explainer rather than a documentary, this episode of the Vox/Netflix series explores how slavery, housing discrimination and centuries of inequality have compounded to create a racial wealth gap. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mqrhn8khGLM
  • Hale County This Morning, This Evening- An intimate portrait of a place and its people, Hale County This Morning, This Evening looks at the lives of Daniel and Quincy, two young African American men from rural Alabama, over the course of five years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABWNHTURRmk

LISTEN - Podcasts

  • Penn North: The Epicenter of Unrest, Out of the Blocks (NPR) - The 'Out of the Blocks' team of WYPR radio producer Aaron Henkin and electronic musician Wendel Patrick put together this audio-portrait of the neighborhood that’s become the epicenter of civil unrest in Baltimore. These are the voices of Baltimore City’s Penn North community. https://www.wypr.org/post/epicenter-unrest-penn-north
  • Code Switch (NPR) - Hosted by journalists of color, Code Switch tackles the subject of race head-on, exploring how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/
  • 1619 (The New York Times) - Four hundred years ago, a ship carrying enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. This New York Times podcast examines the long shadow of that fateful moment. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/podcasts/the-daily/1619-project.html
  • Pod for the Cause (The Leadership Conference on Human & Civil Rights) - The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights launched “Pod for the Cause” to expand the conversation on the critical civil and human rights challenges of our day: census, justice reform, policing, education, fighting hate & bias, judicial nominations, fair courts, voting rights, media & tech, economic security, immigration, and human rights. https://civilrights.org/podforthecause/
  • Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast - Co-hosts Chevon and Hiba give their unique takes on race and pop culture, and uplift narratives of hope, struggle, and joy, as we continue to build the momentum needed to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. https://www.raceforward.org/media/podcast/momentum-race-forward-podcast

READ - Books

  • From Slavery To Freedom: A History of African-Americans, by John Hope Franklin - The preeminent history of African Americans, this best-selling text charts the journey of African Americans from their origins in Africa, through slavery in the Western Hemisphere, struggles for freedom in the West Indies, Latin America, and the United States, various migrations, and the continuing quest for racial equality. https://bookshop.org/books/from-slavery-to-freedom-a-history-of-african-americans/9780072963786
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander - “Two years after Obama’s election, Alexander put the entire criminal justice system on trial, exposing racial discrimination from lawmaking to policing to the denial of voting rights to ex-prisoners. This bestseller struck the spark that would eventually light the fire of Black Lives Matter.” —Ibram X. Kendi, The New York Timeshttps://bookshop.org/books/the-new-jim-crow-mass-incarceration-in-the-age-of-colorblindness-anniversary/9781620975459
  • How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi - Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America--but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. https://bookshop.org/books/how-to-be-an-antiracist/9780525509288
  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, by Robin DiAngelo - The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. https://bookshop.org/books/white-fragility-why-it-s-so-hard-for-white-people-to-talk-about-racism/9780807047415
  • Me and White Supremacy, by Layla F. Saad - Based on the viral Instagram challenge that captivated participants worldwide, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey, complete with journal prompts, to do the necessary and vital work that can ultimately lead to improving race relations. https://bookshop.org/books/me-and-white-supremacy-combat-racism-change-the-world-and-become-a-good-ancestor/9781728209807
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race, by Beverley Daniel Tatum - Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. https://bookshop.org/books/why-are-all-the-black-kids-sitting-together-in-the-cafeteria-and-other-conversations-about-race/9780465060689
  • Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, by Jennifer Ebidhardt - With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we need to face one of the biggest and most troubling issues of our time. She exposes racial bias at all levels of society—in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and criminal justice system. Yet she also offers us tools to address it. Eberhardt shows us how we can be vulnerable to bias but not doomed to live under its grip. https://bookshop.org/books/biased-uncovering-the-hidden-prejudice-that-shapes-what-we-see-think-and-do/9780735224933
  • Women, Race, and Class, by Angela Y. Davis - A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. https://bookshop.org/books/women-race-class/9780394713519
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Brian 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. https://bookshop.org/books/just-mercy-a-story-of-justice-and-redemption/9780812984965
  • The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin - At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, The Fire Next Time is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. https://bookshop.org/books/the-fire-next-time/9780679744726

For additional book recommendations, check out An Anti-Racist Reading List, compiled for the New York Times by Ibram X. Kendi, founder of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University, and head of the new Boston University Center for Antiracist Research.

READ - Articles

Programs airing on MPT

The Talk - Race in America
Thursday, June 4 at 9pm

Race Matters - A PBS NewsHour Special
Friday, June 5 at 9:45pm

Independent Lens: Charm City
Monday, June 8 at 9:30pm

Voices of Baltimore: Life Under Segregation
Monday, June 15 at 9pm

Divided We Fall: Unity Without Tragedy
Monday, June 15 at 10pm on MPT2

The Long Shadow
Monday, June 22 at 9pm
>MPT Digital Extra

POV: And She Could Be Next
Monday, June 29 at 9pm

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
Monday, July 13 at 9pm

POV: The Changing Same
Monday, July 13 at 10:30pm

POV: We Are The Radical Monarchs
Monday, July 20 at 9pm

Independent Lens: I Am Not Your Negro
Monday, July 27 at 9pm

Pip & Zastrow, An American Friendship
Monday, August 3 at 9pm

Backs Against The Wall: The Howard Thurman Story
Monday, August 10 at 9pm

American Masters: Miles Davis The Birth of Cool
Monday, August 31 at 8pm

EDUCATION - MPT's Thinkport

Having tough conversations about current and historical events focused on racism, nationwide protests, and racial bias is challenging, uncomfortable - and necessary. Explore our collection of digital resources, booklists, lesson plans, and more to help students, teachers, and families learn more about race, where and how injustice and inequality operate in society, and ways to take action for equity and inclusion.