Assembled by the Tea-for-Forty Listserv: Last updated 3/19/18

Waking Up White by Debby Irving provides a kind of beginning look at unpacking privilege. It feels very accessible and honest and recounts the history of a woman who just kept working at this even though she really did not understand anything about structural racism for many years. So it’s painful, but also provides a sense of hope and direction for getting started.

A less personal and more systematic look at structural racism, which is also very readable, is White Rage by Carol Anderson. That book provides historical accounts and stories of about five of the most reactionary periods in U.S. history, periods when Afro-Americans had been able to begin building toward something better and so angry Euro-Americans descended to eviscerate those gains.

Sarah Ahmed’s book On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life, an ethnographic study of “diversity” initiatives at British universities. She describes and critically analyzes the work and those who do and the institutional features. Excellent and I think necessary read for doing “diversity and inclusion” work at any educational level.

Race Matters by Cornel West analyzes moral authority and racial debates concerning skin color in the U.S. The book questions matters of economics and politics, as well as ethical issues and spirituality, and also addresses the crisis in black leadership.

We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity by bell hooks

A collection of ten essays on how white culture marginalizes black males. The essays are intended to provide cultural criticism and solutions to the problems bell hooks identifies. In We Real Cool, hooks suggests that black males are forced to repress themselves in white America. She suggests the ways in which racist and sexist attitudes developed in American culture have criminalized and dehumanized black males, and how these myths have harmed the black community.

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home

Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me,

Robin D’Angelo, Is Everyone Really Equal?

Robin D’Angelo, What Does It Mean to Be White

Robin D’Angelo, White Fragility

Lisa Delpit, Other People’s Children: Cultural conflict in the classroom

Lisa Delpit, Multiplication is for White People: Raising expectations in other people’s children

Lisa Delpit, The Skin We Speak:Thoughts on language and culture in the classroom

Christopher Emdin, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education

bell hooks, Beyond Lean In

Gary Howard, We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools

Enid Lee, Deborah Menkart, and Margo Okazawa-Rey , Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to Anti-Racist, Multicultural Curriculum and Staff Development (Network of Educators on the Americas, 1998).

Pedro Noguera, The Trouble with Black Boys (and other essays)

Claude Steele, Whistling Vivaldi

Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why Are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria and Other Conversations on Race

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Can We Talk About Race


Jean Anyon, Ghetto Schooling

Jonathan Kozol, Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools

Jonathan Kozol, The Shame of A Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America

And for understanding the truth about the longevity of slavery (up to 1940) in America read: Slavery by Another Name – Doug Blackmon (Pulitzer Prize Winner), both the book and PBS documentary.

Teaching resources

Teaching the Taboo by Rick and William Ayers

Schooling for Resilience: Improving the life trajectory of Black and Latino Boys by Edward Fergus, Margary Martin, and Pedro Noguera

Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children by Gloria Ladson-Billings

Teaching with Poverty in Mind by Eric Jensen

Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools by Glenn E. Singleton

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough


From Bad Feminist the essay “Peculiar Benefits” by Roxane Gay, a look at talking about and recognizing our privilege

Shelly Tochluk, Witnessing Whiteness

“10 books I wish my white teacher had read”:

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack

In considering the ways her life is adversely affected by male privilege, Peggy McIntosh identifies 26 oft-overlooked ways in which she, a white female, benefits from white privilege.

Talking About Racism With White Kids

“Do we — and by ‘we’ I must mean white people — really have to embrace so much ‘discomfort’ in our effort to address racism with our children, and with ourselves? Yes. Stack up discomfort, difficult conversations, guilt, and worry against the nonwhite reality… Consider the ‘discomfort’ of cautioning your son: ‘Yes, I know you don’t get into trouble, and I know you are going to college, but you have to listen to me about what to do and what not to do if you are ever stopped by the police…’”

Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–from Ferguson to Charleston

And the 13th movie… for understanding the roots of inequity in the US and the structural racialization of our society.


American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) resources and analysis on militarization of police, reports include:

Do Cops Really Need Tanks to Keep Us Safe?

The Real Reason Ferguson Has Military Weapons

To Terrify and Occupy

Local Police, Armed with the Weapons of War, Too Often Mistakenly Shoot and Kill

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Michelle Alexander deals primarily with the issue of the current mass levels of incarceration in the U.S. and what she perceives as societal repression of African-American men. She discusses the social consequences of various policies for people of color, as well as for the U.S. population as a whole. Alexander maintains that many young black men, once they are labeled as “felons,” become trapped in a second-class status that they find difficult to escape.

Thoughts on Ferguson and Its Relationship to Our Work as Educators

Antwan Wilson, superintendent of Oakland Unified School District, offers a call-to-action for all educators to model the values we want for our students, recognize the inherent good in all children, and re-examine our own biases.

Do’s and Don’ts for Teaching About Ferguson

“If education is not dedicated to empowering our youth to solve the problems they face in their communities, in our nation and in our world, then it isn’t really an education at all—it is an indoctrination designed to reproduce oppression.”

Preparing to Discuss Michael Brown in the Classroom

A teachers’ guide created by the District of Columbia Public Schools that includes suggestions for preparing and framing the conversation, resources teachers can use to build their own background knowledge or to share with students to help frame classroom discussions, and a protocol for engaging students in a process for examining, understanding, and responding to complex issues related to diversity and equity in schools.

Teaching About Ferguson

A collection of classroom resources and articles from Teaching for Change’s Julian Hipkins III. Topics include: police brutality, history of racism, international human rights, militarization of the police, student fear and resilience, and housing inequality.

Happening Today, Happened Tomorrow

Renée Watson’s article in the winter 2014-15 issue of Rethinking Schools on teaching the ongoing murders of black men.

Janee Woods: A Different Kind of Justice

Holding the belief that disbanding systemic racism starts with communities, Janee Woods explains why putting Officer Wilson in jail would not fix America’s race problem.


African-American History: The Modern Freedom Struggle

From Stanford University, this course takes a look at historic African American figures and uses their lives to discuss larger issues of race in America. For example: W. E. B. Du Bois, Tupac Shakur, Barack Obama, and Malcolm X.

Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History & Ourselves is an organization that uses the history of racism, prejudice, and genocide to help students and educators make important connections between history and the moral choices they face today. The group offers professional development to schools, organizations, and individuals, and provides lesson plans and resources for use in the classroom. They have local offices in greater Boston, Chicago, LA, and SF, as well as online offerings.

Ten Lessons for Taking Leadership on Racial Equity by the Aspen Institute

“Ten Lessons summarizes what we’ve learned about how to navigate that terrain and take leadership around race. They are especially for those who want to play more of a role in promoting racial equity but aren’t sure about where or exactly how to begin. While there are, of course, many more than ten lessons that might inform the daily work of building racial equity, we hope that these ten will encourage new actors, and that they will be a useful tool for those already playing active roles.”

We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality.

Lee & Low Books is an independent children’s book publisher specializing in diversity. It is the company’s goal to meet the need for stories that children of color can identify with and that all children can enjoy.

Something is Wrong: Exploring the Roots of Youth Violence

The Chicago Freedom School, Project NIA and Teachers for Social Justice partnered along with other volunteers to develop a curriculum guide in order to contribute to the ongoing efforts by young people and their adult allies to analyze the root causes of youth violence and to create local solutions. While this guide focuses on the causes of youth violence, topics include considerations for facilitating discussion, understanding oppression, types of violence encountered by young people, artivism, youth-led research and organizing, and curricular resources.

How Teachers Can Talk to Students About Ferguson

The events in Ferguson have sparked discussions in homes and communities, including schools. Correspondent Jeffrey Brown speaks with #FergusonSyllabus creator Marcia Chatelain of Georgetown University and Liz Collins of Washington Latin Public Charter School on how teachers can use Missouri history and the role of the media to teach and discuss what is happening in Ferguson.

How to Teach Kids About What’s Happening in Ferguson

From The Atlantic: A crowdsourced syllabus about race, African American history, civil rights, and policing by #FergusonSyllabus creator Marcia Chatelain.

Talking to Children about Ferguson and Social Justice

Some practical suggestions about how to talk to children using KWL approach.

Intercultural Competency Toolkit by University of Washington

Offers materials on assessing your own beliefs, values, and actions, and provides materials on working with ESL students.

Teaching Tolerance

An informational hub for teachers that offers pedagogical advice to teaching tolerance and diversity.

Morningside Center

A site where educators offer advice about teaching difficult issues and offer sample lesson plans and short activities. Focus areas cover a lot of ground, including: Ferguson, The War on Terror, Hiroshima, Apartheid, Poverty, LGBT Rights, Civil Rights, and more.

Racial Equity Tools

Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. The site offers tools, research, tips, curricula, and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice.

SFUSD: Black Lives Matter LibGuide

A collection of resources from SF Public Schools, made up of teacher resources, personal reflections, videos, newscasts, and more.

Strategies for working with diverse learners

A short research review of best practices for working with diverse student populations. Key points include having high expectations, providing culturally relevant instruction, establishing caring relationships, and having high parent and community involvement.

The Fire Which Time? On White Supremacy and the Dehumanization of Black Bodies

Chris DiNardo takes a look at white supremacy in a “post-racial” America, and calls for police reform in the wake of the near-daily deaths of black and brown people by those sworn to serve and protect.


A daily news site focused on race, featuring award-winning investigative reporting and news analysis. Colorlines is published by Race Forward, a national organization that advances racial justice through research, media, and practice.

Ill Doctrine

A video blog hosted by Jay Smooth, founder of New York’s longest running hip-hop radio show, WBAI’s Underground Railroad. The series discusses hip hop, politics, and social justice, and is possibly best known for the installment “How To Tell Someone They Sound Racist” (which Xavier from CFS mentioned at SDC14)

Jami Jivani on Racial Profiling (TEDx)

After being a victim of racial profiling himself, activist Jami Jivani wants to change the way that the police engage with local citizens. In his TEDx Toronto talk, Jamil discusses the importance of mediating the relationship between the police and the public.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Danger of a Single Story

Chimamanda warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk critical misunderstandings.

Bryan Stevenson, “Ted, We Need to Talk About an Injustice”

In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America’s unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight, and persuasiveness.

The Biased Eye

A look at implicit racial biases, and how they lead to violence against black and brown people, using two Stanford studies as supports: “The core finding — that even stereotypes we don’t know about can shape how we see — is startling. It suggests the possibility that when it comes to bias and its power to suffuse how we see, what matters is less what’s going on in our own heads and more what’s going on out there in the wider social world of which we are a part. As these studies indicate, it may be that prejudice goes beyond the individual.”

Why Teachers Need To Talk About Their Own Racial Bias: Report

Huffington Post reviews this report from Discipline Disparities Collaborative titled “You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Look At: Acknowledging Race in Addressing Racial Discipline Disparities.” The authors highlight how our interactions across racial lines continue to yield differential outcomes in school discipline, with devastating consequences for many youth of color. Instead of avoiding the topic, the paper suggests giving schools specific recommendations for addressing the difficulties in tackling the racial dynamics in disparities in discipline.

Teach About Mike Brown. But Don’t Stop There.

Renée Watson urges us to “think about how our classrooms and curricula challenge or support stereotypes, how they liberate or stifle our young people.”

“As educators, we are not just teaching science, math, or English. We teach culture and norms. Our students notice the jokes we laugh at and the ones we don’t. They pick up on our low expectations when we overly praise them as if we are surprised they could actually complete the assignment we gave them. They are learning whose stories matter by the books we assign. They see who we kick out of class and who we give second and third chances to.”

Occupy The Syllabus

“The white male canon is not sufficient for theorizing the lives of marginalized people. None of the thinkers we studied in this course had a robust analysis of gender or racial oppression. They did not even engage with the enduring legacies of European colonial expansion, the enslavement of black people and the genocide of indigenous people in the Americas. Mentions of race and gender in the white male canon are at best incomplete and at worst racist and sexist.”

Op-Ed by a 23 year-old

A young man from Harlem talks about his experience with racial profiling: “For young people in my neighborhood, getting stopped and frisked is a rite of passage. We expect the police to jump us at any moment. We know the rules: don’t run and don’t try to explain, because speaking up for yourself might get you arrested or worse. And we all feel the same way — degraded, harassed, violated and criminalized because we’re black or Latino.”

#BlackLivesMatter: A Longform Reading List

“This list consists entirely of long-form interviews, essays, and articles by black people about the experience of being black in the white supremacy of America, police violence, and the U.S. government’s undeclared war on its black citizens. Very few of these pieces are about Ferguson directly, because Ferguson is actually a much larger story that began hundreds of years ago.”


Jasiri X recording after the shooting of Michael Brown

J. Cole recording after the shooting of Michael Brown

Ezra Furman’s song, “Ferguson’s Burning”

Lauryn Hill’s recording of “Black Rage” released after the shooting of Michael Brown

Don’t Shoot: A recording by The Game, featuring Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Curren$y, Problem, King Pharaoh & TGT (Proceeds go to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund)

Hashtags & Handles to follow on Twitter











Organizations / Groups/ News Sources





Using Poetry to Uncover the Moments that Lead to Racism

From PBS Newshour: Poet and playwright Claudia Rankine says that the small moments that carve gaps of misunderstanding between Americans lead to big, national moments of misunderstanding, like events in Ferguson and New York

Danez Smith, not an elegy for Mike Brown & alternate names for black boys

S. Harrell, Un-make it, bit by bit

Black Poets: Black poets reading poems by other black poets on justice and racial inequality, a series spurred by this video by Mahogany L. Browne