Racial Justice

Upcoming Events

SCNA’s Ad Hoc Committee for Racial Justice was developed as a response to the George Floyd protests that started in May of 2020, and for the purposes of supporting diversity, anti-racism education, and advocacy. The committee aims to educate so action will follow; just reading up on Black history and racism will not be enough. We hope you will find your own ways to help make change toward social equity and racial inclusion.

Here, you’ll find resources recommended to anyone looking to educate themselves on anti-racism, Black history, and Black experiences. Encompassed among these resources are not only books but short articles, videos, and podcasts, covering both our national and local history.

Please note: The list of resources below is by no means exhaustive, nor does any listing imply endorsement by SCNA.

New! Join us for a Two-Part Webinar Discussion

Pair your education with an interactive Zoom panel discussion, focused on redlining and racist practices in Sacramento, specifically Curtis Park. Panelists and hosts include a Curtis Park historian, a local playright, and professor of social psychology.

Learn More & RSVP Here

Jump to a Resource Section

Martin Luther King speaking at California State University, Sacramento on October 16, 1967. CREDIT: Sacramento Bee photo / Erhardt Krause

History: Reflections on Slavery, Civil Rights and More

1619 Podcast (New York Times) | 1916 Project Interactive Article
 A 5-part podcast detailing the history of America in 1619, when the first enslaved Africans arrived to the English colony in Virginia.

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabelle Wilkerson
Wilkerson chronicles the untold stories of black citizens migrating to northern and eastern cities in search for a better life.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabelle Wilkerson
This book discusses how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

Stamped From the Beginning: Definitive History of Racist Ideas In American History by Ibram X. Kendi
The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

A Search for Hallowed Ground (New York Times)
An interactive article about the race massacres in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 1, 1921.

Black History in Sacramento: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3 (Youtube)
Local author and historian William Burg presents on black history in Sacramento from the Gold Rush to modern times.

Learn about Anti-Racism

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
An exploration of today’s racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity for readers of all races who wish to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide.

How To Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of racist ideas that will help them see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in government policies and in themselves.

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
A book that explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become A Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
This 28-day journey shows readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.

The False Promise of Anti-racism Books (The Atlantic)
Texts that seek to raise the collective American consciousness are rendered futile without concrete systemic changes.

“The Urgency of Intersectionality” | Kimberlé Crenshaw at TEDWomen 2016
In this TED Talk, Kimberlé Crenshaw defines intersectionality and describes how race and gender-based violence impacts the lives of black women.

How Good White People Derail Racial Progress (CNN)
An argument for why ‘good white people’ often impede real racial change.

Nice White Parents Podcast (New York Times)
A 5-part podcast about how to build a better school system, and what gets in the way.

Racial Segregation of Neighborhoods, Redlining and Public Housing

The Color Of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
An argument for how segregation in America is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story (PBS)
Learn the history of East Lake Meadows, a former public housing community in Atlanta, and hear stories from residents that reveal hardship and resilience, and raise critical questions about race, poverty, and the role of public housing in America.

Redlining | Clip from Race — The Power of an Illusion (California Newsreel)
A short clip that provides a basic historical understanding of redlining in the real estate industry. 

How the Racial Wealth Gap Was Created | Clip from Race — The Power of an Illusion (California Newsreel)
A 30 minute clip, illustrating how government policies and private practices helped create the segregated suburbs and the racial wealth gap.

Segregated by Design | Documentary
This examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy.  

The Color Lines that Divide Us (Viewpoint Newspaper)
Viewpoint editor Dennis Cusick touches on the history of racist attitudes, restrictive covenants, and government actions that helped shape Curtis Park into a predominantly white neighborhood.

Racism in the Criminal Justice System & Police Brutality

Walter McMillian (left) celebrates after Bryan Stevenson won his release from death row in 1993. CREDIT: Equal Justice Initiative

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The book discusses race-related issues specific to African-American males and mass incarceration in the United States.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
A powerful true story about the Equal Justice Initiative, the people on death row they represent, and the importance of confronting injustice.

Police: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
John Oliver discusses how the histories of policing and white supremacy are intertwined, the roadblocks to fixing things, and some potential paths forward.

George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper | The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Trevor shares his thoughts on the killing of George Floyd, the protests in Minneapolis, the dominos of racial injustice and police brutality, and how the contract between society and black Americans has been broken time and time again.

Black Voices & Black Experiences

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates shares his own personal story growing up Black in the U.S. to reveal reality of life as a Black man dealing with racism in America.

Becoming by Michelle Obama
A memoir by the former United States first lady, the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.

Black America Since MLK: And I Still Rise (PBS)
In his new four-hour series, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history.

I Am Not Your Negro | Documentary
With narration by Samuel L. Jackson, this film is inspired by James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, a collection of notes and letters written by Baldwin in the mid-1970s.

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin | Film Adaptation
James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice.

When We Were Colored by Eva Rutland
Recounting the civil rights era from the perspective of an African American wife and mother, this memoir travels from growing up in the segregated South before World War II to postwar family life in Sacramento, California.

Children & Young Adult

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X Kendi and re-mixed by Jason Reynolds
For ages 12+, a timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism—and anti-racism—in America.

Unity Center | California Museum
An on-going interactive exhibit that celebrates the state’s diverse people, customs and cultures.

I am Enough by Grace Byers
This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
A novel about a teenage girl who grapples with racism, police brutality, and activism after witnessing her black friend murdered by the police.

The Stars Beneath our Feet by David Barclay Moore
A boy tries to steer a safe path through the projects in Harlem in the wake of his brother’s death in this outstanding debut novel that celebrates community and creativity.

Where to Shop Locally

Please consider supporting Black-owned bookshops, like Underground Books and Carol’s Bookstore, and local bookstores throughout Sacramento. Here are just a few:

For online shopping, Bookshop.org is a great alternative to Amazon. They support local and independent bookstores all over the U.S.

Sacramento Area Community Resources

Featured image depicts Sacramento during the Civil Rights era, courtesy of PBS’s African Americans in CA’s Heartland: The Civil Rights Era documentary