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Time to Un/Learn: Racial Justice & LGBTQ+ Affirming Resources

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

Written by Krupa Patel

In light of the national and global movements to support LGBTQ+ people and address racism experienced by Black people and other communities, the CCPRD staff compiled a list of resources on those issues. Our staff recommends reading or watching the resources below and discussing how the themes play out in their homes, school, workplaces, and/or communities.

  • America to Me - “This unscripted documentary series presents an exclusive look into an academic year at suburban Chicago's Oak Park and River Forest High School. Students, teachers and administrators from one of the country's highest performing and diverse public schools are profiled in the face of decades-old racial and educational inequities. The series delves into the experiences of the racially diverse student population, sparking conversations about what has and has not succeeded in the quest to achieve racial equity and overcome bias in education.”

  • Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua - Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza [1987] is a semi-autobiographical work by Gloria E. Anzaldúa that examines the Chicano and Latino experience through the lens of issues such as gender, identity, race, and colonialism.

  • Biography of Malcolm X - “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention is a biography of Malcolm X written by American historian Manning Marable. It won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History.”

  • The Sacred Hoop by Paula Gunn Allen - “This pioneering work, first published in 1986, documents the continuing vitality of American Indian traditions and the crucial role of women in those traditions.”

  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo -

  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi - “How to Be an Antiracist is a 2019 non-fiction book by American author and historian Ibram X. Kendi. The book discusses concepts of racism and Kendi's proposals for anti-racist individual actions and systemic changes. It received positive critical reception. “

  • Debrahmanising History by Braj Ranjan Mani - “Debrahmanising history Is a sweeping and radical survey of the major Dalit-Bahujan intellectuals and movements over 2500 years of Indian history, from Buddha to Ambedkar.”

  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Book by Malcolm Gladwell - “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference is the debut book by Malcolm Gladwell, first published by Little, Brown in 2000. Gladwell defines a tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.”

  • East of the River - “Teonna is unexpectedly suspended from school and is faced with figuring out what to do with a day on the streets of Washington, DC. Teonna encounters Malik, who is also out of school, and Sara, who left school because she saw more economic opportunity on the streets. The three set out for an adventure that takes them east of the Anacostia river. Created in collaboration with local high school students, East of the River It is an unflinching portrait of the education and lived experience of teenagers finding their way through an overburdened public school system.”

  • 13th - “Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.”

  • Kumu Hina - “A transgender Hawaiian school teacher inspires a girl to follow her desires and lead the school's male hula troupe despite the teacher being unable to find a committed relationship and companionship in her own life.”

  • The Karma of Brown Folk by Vijay Prashad - “On a vast canvas, The Karma of Brown Folk attacks the two pillars of the "model minority" image, that South Asians are both inherently successful and pliant, and analyzes the ways in which U.S. immigration policy and American Orientalism have perpetuated these stereotypes.”

  • Queer Eye - “More than a decade after the original series went off the air, Netflix reboots the "Queer Eye" franchise with a new Fab Five and a new setting, trading in the concrete jungle of New York City for communities in and around Atlanta. The style experts forge relationships with men and women who often have different beliefs from them, leading to moments of social commentary interspersed with style advice.”

  • Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera - “This book focuses on Juliet, a chubby Puerto Rican nineteen-year old queer girl from the Bronx. Gabby Rivera captures what it means to live as an LGBTQ youth and person of color, including the pains of growing up, coming out to family, tackling white privilege, and going through long-distance relationships.”

  • Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis - “In Are Prisons Obsolete?, Professor Davis seeks to illustrate that the time for the prison is approaching an end. She argues forthrightly for "decarceration," and argues for the transformation of the society as a whole.”

  • Just Mercy - “After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian's life.”

  • Disclosure - “A look at Hollywood's depiction of transgender people and the impact of this on American culture.”

  • The Hate U Give - “Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds -- the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what's right.”

  • America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan - “First published in 1943, this classic memoir by well-known Filipino poet Carlos Bulosan describes his boyhood in the Philippines, his voyage to America, and his years of hardship and despair as an itinerant laborer following the harvest trail in the rural West.”

  • Moonlight - “A look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to manhood is guided by the kindness, support and love of the community that helps raise him.”

  • Bohemian Rhapsody - “Freddie Mercury -- the lead singer of Queen -- defies stereotypes and convention to become one of history's most beloved entertainers. The band's revolutionary sound and popular songs lead to Queen's meteoric rise in the 1970s. After leaving the group to pursue a solo career, Mercury reunites with Queen for the benefit concert Live Aid -- resulting in one of the greatest performances in rock 'n' roll history.”

  • Black Feminist Thought by by Patricia Hill Collins - “In spite of the double burden of racial and gender discrimination, African-American women have developed a rich intellectual tradition that is not widely known. In Black Feminist Thought, originally published in 1990, Patricia Hill Collins set out to explore the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals and writers, both within the academy and without.”

  • There There by Tommy Orange - Published in 2018, it opens with an essay by Orange as a prologue, and then proceeds to follow a large cast of Native Americans living in the area of Oakland, California, as they struggle with a wide array of challenges ranging from depression and alcoholism, to unemployment, fetal alcohol syndrome, and the challenges of living with an ethnic identity of being "ambiguously nonwhite."

  • Bullying of Sikh American Children: Through the Eyes of a Sikh American High School Student by Karanveer Singh Pannu The intent of this book is to introduce the reader to the unique challenges Sikh American children face in their daily lives, both in and out of the school environment. In particular, children in the Sikh American community have been the targets of severe bullying. It is critical to empower students, educators, families and communities with information and tools necessary to prevent bullying of Sikh American children.

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz - Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a coming-of-age young adult novel by American author Benjamin Alire Sáenz which was first published February 21, 2012.

One of the best ways to apply knowledge is to get involved with volunteering for other organizations that share the same values as you. If you are looking to browse a directory of resources in the northwest suburbs that speak to some of the issues discussed in the books and media listed above, please visit the CPYD Resource Guides by clicking here.

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