A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL to find research inspiration.
By Michelle Eickmeyer
A fair skinned woman with a weave claims to be black. A white kid with twisted views killed nine innocent blacks while attending a Bible study. The president said the n-word. A lot of people are talking about a flag. The last two weeks have been filled with conversations of race and what it means in America.
If Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, why can’t Rachel Dolezel be black? – or – Of course she’s white; look at her parents!
The flag is just a piece of our history; I’m not offended by it so it’s fine.. – or – We don’t do a lot of things we used to do. Because they were bad ideas. Take it down.
Race is a divisive issue. Conversations can cause the most intelligent person to seem completely ignorant… or highlight the ignorance of the uninformed. It calls assumptions to the carpet and forces tradition to take a long hard look at itself. In a conversation about literal black and white, there sure are a lot of figurative gray areas.
This post will contain a mixture of eBooks on GVRL and other electronic resources from Gale. Here are some titles that address race from different perspectives:
Fundamentally, the United States has come a long way in fighting racial discrimination. But holy cow were we late to the game! The church of London first condemned slavery in 1102. ELEVEN OH TWO! Sure, it took another hundred or so years to really make it illegal, but most of Europe had outlawed slavery before settlement in the Americas had even begun. (A fact which I find heartbreaking.)
The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was fifty years ago. Sadly, there are many threads of those conversations still being had today. Provide your students and faculty a look into the events of the times with these small, cross-searchable primary source collections, including Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Enforcement of the Federal Law in the South, 1871-1884, FDR, the New Deal, and Race Relations, 1933-1945, and We Were Prepared for the Possibility of Death: Freedom Riders in the South, 1961.
What does it mean to ‘feel’ like you belong to a race different than that of your heritage? Racial identity is a concept new to many in the last several weeks, but is not new to anthropologists and sociologists. “Racial identity is the psychological sense of belonging perceived by oneself and others based on membership in existing racial categories.” Learn more about this facet of identity in this Sage title.
Everyone can be racist. Everyone. There is no such thing as reverse racism. Racism doesn’t have a “direction.” Anyone who thinks they are better than anyone else simply because of the color of their skin is a racist, regardless of the color of their skin. Explore the history and debate over this social disease.
Extremists are a scourge the world over. They given good people a bad name and insist they are speaking for the majority. But how does it go so wrong for these sick people? Explore the philosophy and history of these troubled and troubling groups in this new title.
Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive
This four-part primary source archive offer insights on the business of slavery and the struggle of the globe to finally let go of this horrible practice.
Michelle is an “anytime!” traveler and language enthusiast. She has degrees in talking from Central Michigan and Michigan State University. She is currently becoming a runner and used to play golf in high school.