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A beginner’s guide to eliminating racism

People of various ethnicities standing next to each other from the shoulders up

Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared on June 1, 2020, the following message on his social media accounts in response to “recent evidences of racism and a blatant disregard for human life,” along with violence and unrest following the Black Lives Matter protests.

He shared, “The Creator of us all calls on each of us to abandon attitudes of prejudice against any group of God’s children. Any of us who has prejudice toward another race needs to repent!”

To eliminate prejudice, Ke Alaka’i editors, with the help of BYU–Hawaii professors, created a list of resources for individuals to learn about racism, biases and racial issues.

*Editor’s note: this is not a comprehensive list, but we hope it helps you start your journey to understanding the history of racism as we work to eliminate it from our society. Some recommendations show up on this list more than once because they were recommended by multiple professors.

Fall Semester classes that cover racism


Anthropology 105: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Textbook - "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi)

Anthropology 210: Contemporary Pacific (Course readings from the book - "Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai'i and Oceania" by Maile Arvin)

Humanities 100R: Exploring Humanities - Antiracism (Textbook - "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson)

Communication 110: Intercultural Communication

Communication 280: Gender, Race and Culture

Books

White Fragility
By Robin DiAngelo

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According to Amazon.com, “Robin DiAngelo coined the term ‘White Fragility’ in 2011 to describe this process and is here to show us how it serves to uphold the system of white supremacy. Using knowledge and insight gained over decades of running racial awareness workshops and working on this idea as a Professor of Whiteness Studies, she shows us how we can start having more honest conversations, listen to each other better and react to feedback with grace and humility. It is not enough to simply hold abstract progressive views and condemn the obvious racists on social media - change starts with us all at a practical, granular level, and it is time for all white people to take responsibility for relinquishing their own racial supremacy.”
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Caste
By Isabel Wilkerson

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According to Barnes and Noble, “Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma and more. Using riveting stories about people - including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others - she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day.”
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How to Be an Antiracist  
By Ibram X. Kendi

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Barnes and Noble explains, “In 'How to Be an Antiracist,' Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas - from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities - that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. “Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.”
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Movies


Just Mercy

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According to WarnerBros.com, “‘Just Mercy’ follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds - and the system - stacked against them.
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Selma

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Selmathemovie.com says, “Ava DuVernay's powerful drama Selma tells the incredible story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the epic march from Selma to Montgomery to secure equal voting rights in an event that forever altered history. 55 years after the historic marches from Selma, as we witness the expression of decades of collective pain, we should reflect on Dr. King's words: ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ “We hope this small gesture will encourage people throughout the country to examine our nation's history and reflect on the ways that racial injustice has infected our society. The key message of Selma is the importance of equality, dignity and justice for all people. Clearly, that message is as vital today as it was in 1965.”
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The Hate U Give

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IMDb says “The Hate U Give” is a movie when “Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right.”
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Podcasts

First Name Basis with Jasmine Bradshaw  

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The First Name Basis website states, “As parents, we all want to teach our kids to be inclusive, but how? Join Jasmine Bradshaw each week as she gives you the tools and practical strategies that you need to talk to your children about race, religion and culture. If you are a parent who values inclusion and wants to teach your children how to truly love those who are different from them, this podcast is for you!”
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1619
By The New York Times

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The New York Times explains how the first slaves were brought to the United States in the year 1619. “The goal of The 1619 Project is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year. Doing so requires us to place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country. “The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
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Seeing White
By Scene on Radio

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According to the Scene on Radio website, “Just what is going on with white people? Police shootings of unarmed African Americans. Acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists. The renewed embrace of raw, undisguised white-identity politics. Unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring. Some of this feels new, but in truth it’s an old story. “Why? Where did the notion of ‘whiteness’ come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for? “Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen took a deep dive into these questions, along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this fourteen-part documentary series, released between February and August 2017. The series editor is Loretta Williams.”
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Social media pages

The Conscious Kid

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The Conscious Kid’s homepage shares, “The Conscious Kid is an education, research, and policy organization dedicated to equity and promoting positive racial identity development in youth. We support organizations, families, and educators in taking action to disrupt racism in young children. We also promote access to children’s books centering underrepresented groups and authors.” Their Instagram page posts tweets, articles, tips, and children’s books about raising children to be anti-racist from a very young age.
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Emmanuel Acho, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man IGTV series

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In the introduction video to this IGTV series, Acho explains he started this series because, “In the midst of all this chaos in our world, so many of y’all [white people] have reached out to me… asking me ‘How can I help? How can I join in? How can I stand with you?’ So I created this for you because in order to stand with us, and people who look like me, you have to be educated on issues that pertain to me, fully educated so you can feel the full level of pain so that you can have a full understanding… This is made for you, my white brothers and sisters, so you can increase your level of compassion and lead ultimately to change.”
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Ibram X. Kendi
Author of How To Be An Antiracist and Director of the Antiracism Center

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According to his personal website, “Ibram X. Kendi is one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices. He is a National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi is a contributor writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent. He will become the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University.” Kendi’s Twitter account is used to interact with readers of his book “How to be Antiracist” and to spread awareness about current events and his speaking engagements.
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Websites

Talking About Race
National Museum of African American History and Culture

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The site says, “Issues of race are sometimes blatant and obvious, sometimes subtle and nuanced, and often difficult to confront. However, with commitment and caring, we can all play an important role in dismantling racism to create a more inclusive, just, and safe society. By committing to understanding and talking about race, all our lives will be better.”
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Antiracism Resources
Brené Brown

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The Brené Brown website says, “On May 31, 2020, Brené asked her social media community to share anti-racism resources. Below are the books recommended by the community. Starred books received numerous recommendations. We are encouraging you all to support local Black-owned businesses.”
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For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies
Sojourners

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In the blog, For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies, it states,“Listen more; talk less. You don’t have to have something to say all of the time. You don’t have to post something on social media that points to how liberal/how aware/how cool/how good you are. You are lovely, human, and amazing. You have also had the microphone for most of the time, for a very long time, and it will be good to give the microphone to someone else who is living a different experience than your own. “For one out of every three opinions/insights shared by a person of color in your life, try to resist the need to respond with a better or different insight about something that you read or listened to as it relates to their shared opinion.”
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Recommended by Dr. Mason Allred, assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters

I am Not Your Negro

James Baldwin’s books

13th

OJ: Made in America

Get Out 

Watchmen

Blackkklansmen

According to Allred, “Fiction, like The Hate U Give , can be really powerful.”

Allred invited readers to “seek out more media from diverse creators... They just need to avoid the white savior kinds of stuff that will pacify them rather than provoke or teach them to change.”

Recommended by Dr. David Beus, associate professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters

Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

An Antiracist Reading List

The Warmth of Other Suns

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

I am Not Your Negro

  13th

Recommended by Dr. Kali Fermantez, associate professor in the Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts

Selma

The Hate U Give

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

In the Hawaiian context:

Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation

The Island Murder

A Chosen People, A Promised Land by Hokulani K. Aikau

Remembering Iosepa by Matthew Kester

Recommended by Dr. AnneMarie Christensen associate professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters and the Faculty of Culture Language & Performing Arts

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi (audiobook)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story | TED Talk

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: We should all be feminists | TED Talk