Message to Educators:
For instructors and community organizers using the book to teach on dismantling white supremacy, we have provided the below resources which you can use and build upon. Please join the member community if you would like to share how you adapted the resources and to build community with other educators.
Watch BBC Documentary: RACISM: A HISTORY
‘Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence’
The best laws and diversity training have not gotten us anywhere near where we want to go. Therapist and trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem is working with old wisdom and very new science about our bodies and nervous systems, and all we condense into the word “race.” Krista sat down with him in Minneapolis, where they both live and work, before the pandemic lockdown began. In this heartbreaking moment, after the killing of George Floyd and the history it carries, Resmaa Menakem’s practices offer us the beginning to change at a cellular level.
|Discussion/Activity||Number of Participants||Duration|
1. Stokely Carmichael: “Dr. King’s policy was that nonviolence would achieve the gains for black people in the United States. His major assumption was that if you are nonviolent, if you suffer, your opponent will see your suffering and will be moved to change his heart. That’s very good. He only made one fallacious assumption: In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.” How do images of black people’s killings at hands of police support or undermine anti-racism/the dismantling of white supremacy?
2. What is the relation between racism and non-belonging and how can we create belonging without papering over differences?
3. What is the relationship between global capitalism and white supremacy/racism?
4. What is the difference between not being a racist and being anti-racist?
|Barometer: Taking a Stand on Controversial Issues from Facing History, Facing Ourselves|
Suggested Barometer questions:
1. The United States government should pay reparations to the ancestors of enslaved people.
2. White supremacy can be dismantled in the U.S. and globally.
3. White supremacy is a uniquely U.S. issue.
The Barometer teaching strategy helps students share their opinions by asking them to line up along a continuum based on their position on an issue. It is especially useful when you want to discuss an issue about which students have a wide range of opinions. Because a Barometer activity gets many arguments out on the table, it can be an effective pre-writing exercise before an essay assignment.
1. Prepare the Space
Identify a space in the classroom where students can stand in a line or a U-shape. Place “Strongly Agree” and “Strongly Disagree” signs at opposite ends of a continuum in your room. Alternatively, you can post any statement at one end and its opposite at the other end of the line.
2. Contract with Students
Set a contract for this activity. Since it deals with students literally putting themselves and their opinions on the line, it has the potential to promote outbursts that result from some individuals not understanding how classmates can hold whatever opinion they hold. Reiterate your class rules about respect for the opinions and voices of others, and call for students to be honest but not insulting. Re-address ways to constructively disagree with one another, and require that when students offer their opinion or a defense of their stance, they speak using “I” language rather than the more accusatory “you.”
3. Students Formulate an Opinion
Give students a few minutes to reflect on a prompt or prompts that call for agreement or disagreement with a particular statement. You might have students respond to the prompt(s) in their journals.
4. Students “Take a Stand”
Ask students to stand on the spot along the line that represents their opinion, telling them that if they stand at either extreme, they are absolute in their agreement or disagreement. They may stand anywhere between the two extremes, depending on how much they do or do not agree with the statement.
5. Students Explain Positions
Once students have lined themselves up, ask them in turn to explain why they have chosen to stand where they are standing. Encourage students to refer to evidence and examples when defending their stance. It is probably best to alternate from one end to the middle to the other end, rather than allowing too many voices from one stance to dominate. After about three or four viewpoints are heard, ask if anyone wishes to move. Encourage students to keep an open mind; they are allowed to move if someone presents an argument that alters where they want to stand on the line. Run the activity until you think that most or all voices have been heard, making sure that no one person dominates.
There are many ways you can debrief this exercise. You can have students reflect in their journals about how the activity changed or reinforced their original opinion. Or you can chart the main “for” and “against” arguments on the board as a whole-class activity.