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Associate Provost LaVonda Reed Offers Resources for Juneteenth Reflection
Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, commemorates when slaves in Texas received word of their freedom from bondage—more than two years after slavery officially ended. Since then, much has been written about the Black experience and the struggle for freedom, equality, equity, respect and justice. In a campuswide message on Wednesday, University leaders urged the campus community to embrace Juneteenth as a time for reflection, education and action.
Associate Provost and Professor of Law LaVonda N. Reed has curated a list of resources to help members of the campus community learn more about the Black experience in America, both through the ages and, most urgently now, as the country faces a moment of reckoning in the wake of centuries of brutality and loss of Black lives and opportunity, worldwide protests and widespread calls to confront and end systemic oppression.
“People must educate themselves on matters of American history and how to be actively anti-racist. This list includes a select set of writings, videos and songs that have spoken to me in this particular moment in time,” Reed says. “Many of these materials are contemporary works that reflect present-day thinking, and several are time-honored, having withstood the test of time. It is critical to be educated in order to create meaningful and sustainable change, and I hope that this list will inspire our community to continue on that journey.”
The resources include:
- “Black lives remain expendable,” Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post, May 28, 2020.
- “How Higher Ed Can Fight Racism: ‘Speak Up When It’s Hard,’” Francie Diep, The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 1, 2020.
- “10 Ways For Non-Black Academics to Value Black Lives,” Stacey Ault, Medium.com, June 1, 2020.
- “The 1619 Project,” Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Magazine, 2020.
- “13 eye-opening essays and articles from Black writers you should have already read to understand America’s problems with race,” Marguerite Ward, Business Insider, June 14, 2020.
- “The Kerner Report,” The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, 1968.
- “The Costs of Code-Switching,” Courtney L. McCluney, Kathrina Robotham, Serenity Lee, Richard Smith and Myles Durkee, Harvard Business Review, 15, 2019.
- “Hundreds of Black Deaths During 1919’s Red Summer Are Being Remembered,” “PBS News Hour,” July 23, 2019.
- “Slavery and the Origins of the American Police State,” Ben Fountain, Gen.Medium.com, Sept. 17, 2018.
- Communication from Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar, May 31, 2020.
- “The Fire This Time: Reflections on Recent Killings and Protests from Dean Onwuachi-Willig,” Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Boston University School of Law, June 1, 2020.
- “Amy Cooper and Protecting White Spaces: Amy Cooper Weaponized Her Whiteness and Put a Black Man’s Life in Danger,” Nylah Burton, Essence, May 26, 2020.
- “Amy Cooper Knew Exactly What She Was Doing,” Zeba Blay, HuffPost.com, May 27, 2020.
- “Why People of Color Feel the Loneliest at Work,” Leslie Hunter-Gadsden, Forbes, May 19, 2020.
- “Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay—Chances Are They’re Not,” Danielle Cadet, Refinery29, May 28, 2020.
- How to Be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi (Random House, 2019).
- “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Random House, 2015).
- “The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin (Dial Press, 1963).
- “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon Press, 2018).
- “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. (Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Atlanta, Georgia, 1963).
- “The Souls of Black Folk,” W.E.B. DuBois, (A.C. McClurg and Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1903).
- “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” F. Douglass, (Rochester, New York, 1852).
- “My Bondage and My Freedom,” F. Douglass, (Dover Publications, New York, New York, 1855).
- “The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery,” Otis Moss III, YouTube, May 17, 2020.
- “How response to George Floyd’s death reflects ‘accumulated grievance’ of black America,” Amna Nawaz and Eddie Glaude Jr., “PBS News Hour,” May 29, 2020.
- “Final Sunday Sermon,” Martin Luther King Jr., Pax Aeterna, YouTube, March 31, 1968.
- “The Price of the Ticket,” James Baldwin, California Newswheel, YouTube, published Oct. 27, 2009.
Song and Poetry
- Sweet Honey in the Rock (1988), Ella’s Song [Song], On “Breaths” [Album], Flying Fish Records.
- Johnson, J.W.; Johnson, J.R. (1900), “Lift Every Voice and Sing” [Song].
- Holiday, B. (1939), “Strange Fruit” [Song], Commodore Records.
- Legend, J.; Common (2014), “Glory” [Song], on “Selma” soundtrack [Album], Columbia Records.
- Dunbar, P.L. (2008), “We Wear the Mask,” in “The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar,” New York: Dodd, Mead and Company
- Angelou, M. (1978), “Still I Rise,” in “Still I Rise: A Book of Poems,” New York, Random House Publishing.