The goal of the Racial Justice Ministry is to increase awareness and understanding of and engagement with racial identity and racism. These suggested videos offer thought-provoking perspectives on a variety of topics with the goal of increasing our understanding and promoting open and informed dialog of race and racism.

November 2021 Race in Focus

The latest in the “Race in Focus” video/discussion series is about “thriving in Indian country,” with 4 short videos:

  • Life in Indian Country: Duck Valley Shoshone Paiute History and Community, by the Shoshone Paiute. Click on this DUCK VALLEY VIDEOS link to view 3 short videos about our closest Indigenous community. Then scroll to the bottom of the webpage for the 3 video links. The combined viewing time is approximately 33 minutes.
  • Thriving in Indian Country, Anton Treuer, TEDxBemidji, 16:57. Click on this THRIVING link to view the video.

Then click this THRIVING HANDOUT link for a handout with additional information about the videos and several questions to consider.

September 2021 Race in Focus

The latest in the “Race in Focus” video/discussion series is: Slavery By Another Name (1:24:41).

This PBS documentary is based on a Pulitzer Prize winning book of the same name (written in 2008 by journalist Douglas Blackmon) about the system of convict labor that at least partially replaced slavery and existed in the South from the 1870’s to the 1940s.  

Click on this SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME VIDEO link to view the video. And click on this SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME DOCUMENT link for a PDF with more information and several questions to consider.

Also, watch for information about an opportunity to discuss this video in a Zoom meeting on Monday, September 13, from 7:00 to 8:30. All are invited to participate.

July 2021 Suggested Video

The suggested video of the month is: Ken Burns & Isabel Wilkerson: In Conversation (1:23:01)

This joint interview brings together 2 well-known and insightful observers of America’s past and present (Ken Burns & Isabel Wilkerson) for a wide-ranging conversation that uses uses clips from Burns’ films and readings from Wilkerson’s book in a wide-ranging and thoughtful conversation.

Click on this BURNS & WILKERSON VIDEO link to view the video. And click on this BURNS & WILKERSON DOCUMENT link for a PDF with more information about the video and several questions to consider.

June 2021 Suggested Video

The suggested video of the month is: The Night Tulsa Burned (42:30)

This History Channel documentary tells the story of May 31 – June 1, when a white mob destroyed the prosperous and prominent Greenwood section of Tulsa, Oklahoma, often referred as the “Black Wall Street.” The documentary includes eyewitness accounts along with archival film and photos. Click on this THE NIGHT TULSA BURNED VIDEO link to view the video. And click on this THE NIGHT TULSA BURNED DOCUMENT link for a PDF with more information about the video and several questions to consider.

May 2021 Suggested Video

The suggested video of the month is: Driving While Black: Race, space, and mobility in America (1:55:23). 

This PBS documentary, aired October 13, 2020, describes the history and personal experiences of “African Americans on the road from the advent of the automobile through the seismic changes of the 1960s and beyond…told in large part through the stories of men, women, and children who live through it. Click on this DRIVING WHILE BLACK VIDEO link to view the video. And click on this DRIVING WHILE BLACK DOCUMENT link for a PDF with more information about the video and several questions to consider.

Also, watch for information about an opportunity to discuss this video in a Zoom meeting on Monday, May 24, from 7:00 to 8:30. All are invited to participated.

April 2021 Suggested Video

The suggested video of the month is: Unspoken: America’s Native American Boarding Schools (2017, 56:43).

The is a documentary produced and aired by KUED, a PBS affiliate in Utah, that uses the stories of living former and present boarding school students and their relatives to describe the history, operation and legacy of the Federal Boarding School system used by the US government to “civilize” Native Americans. Click on this UNSPOKEN VIDEO link to view the video. And click on this UNSPOKEN DOCUMENT link for a PDF document that for more information about the video and questions to consider

March 2021

The suggested video of the month is: Birth of a White Nation (2014, 36:46).

The video presents a lecture, excerpted from a longer lecture, in which Dr. Jaqueline Battalora describes the early legal history that supports 3 assertions:  (1) “White” people did not exist before 1681. (2) Any claim that the group called “white” people is derived from biology is a lie. (3) White supremacy has been embedded in the United States from its founding, as a matter of law. Her period described in her lecture is the 17 century in colonial America, primarily the colonies of Maryland and Virginia. Click on this BIRTH OF A WHITE NATION VIDEO link to view the video. And click on this BIRTH OF A WHITE NATION DOCUMENT link for a PDF document that for more information about the video and questions to consider

February 2021

The suggested video of the month is: The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, Episode 6: A More Perfect Union (2013, 53:10).

This is the last episode in the Emmy-winning Many River to Cross documentary series that aired on PBS during 2013. The series tells the story of 500 years of Black history in America. Episode 6 covers the last 50 years, from the last days of the Civil Rights Movement during the late 1960’s through the election of Barack Obama. This episode was selected because it covers events that might be more familiar to members of the BUUF community and is a useful way to consider the progress that has (and hasn’t) been made during the last 50 years. Click on this RIVERS TO CROSS VIDEO link to view the video. And click on this MANY RIVERS TO CROSS DOC link or a PDF document for more information about this video series and questions to consider.

January 2021

The suggested video of the month is: How Structural Racism Works. This 2020 video (23:27 long) is a lecture by Professor Tricia Rose from Brown University in which she defines structural racism, outlines “colorblind ideology” as a direct challenge to anti-racist work, and describes the “How Structural Racism Works” project at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America,” which she directs. Click on this STRUCTURAL RACISM VIDEO link to view the video. Then click on this STRUCTURAL RACISM DOC link for a PDF document to help you further explore the topic of structural racism.

December 2020

The suggested video of the month for December 2020 is: Redlined: A legacy of housing discrimination. This video (15:08 long), created in 2016, describes the use of “redlining” begun by an agency of the US federal government during the 1930s and used to discriminate against people of color in mortgage lending. The effects of redlining continue to the present day. Click on the redlining link to view the video. Then click on this redlining document for a PDF document to help you further explore the topic of redlining.

July 2020

Brian Holmes (2020). KTVB interview with Charlene Taylor, Ph.D., June 15, 2020. After being called a racial slur in Boise’s North End, one woman explains what white silence is like when it happens. Video. Length – 5:03. Click on the following link to view the video.

https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/208/boise-woman-verbally-assaulted-for-being-black-hyde-park-idaho-2020/277-d153fa09-7fb8-4471-9397-71223b3d3e3c

An activity to consider after watching the video and reading Dr. Taylor’s blog post

This activity is based on the idea that it’s difficult, at best, for any of us to say for certain what we would do in this kind of situation if we haven’t been in this kind of situation. But it’s easier to say what we would want to do. And if we are in this kind of situation in the future, it’s easier to say what we want to say if we do a little advance planning and practice.

  • Create a scenario that you want to practice. For example, imagine yourself on a restaurant patio when someone drives by and shouts a racial slur at a person of color sitting nearby. Maybe it’s a person of color sitting alone; or sitting with others. Maybe it’s a person of color sitting with children. Maybe it’s not on a restaurant patio but walking along the street, in a store or some other location. Maybe it’s in a different city or town.
  • What would you want to say to that person of color? Write it out, like a short script. How would you approach the person of color? Would you sit or walk with them? Then what would you say? How would you end and leave the person? In creating your script, stretch beyond your comfort zone but be careful about creating a script that you’re unlikely to actually use.
  • Think about how the person of color might respond to you, recognizing that this might be different than how you hope the person will respond.
  • Rehearse your script. Rehearse it until you can say what you want without the script. Try it out with family or friends. Revise it. Encourage your family and friends to create their own scripts.

June 2020
Two suggested videos

Verna Myers (2014). You can help stop the violence against young black men, TEDxBeaconStreet. Video. Length – 18:45.

Ms. Myers suggests 3 things individuals can do, on a person level, to help stop violence against young black men:  (1) stop the denial, (2) walk toward young black men, and (3) see something, say something.

Questions to consider, as an individual or with a group, after watching the video:

  1. Ms. Myers describes 3 personal changes suggests that these changes will help stop violence against young black men. Do you agree? How would these changes in the way we think and act, as individuals, influence violence against young black men in the larger community around us?
  2. Have you discovered an implicit bias in yourself? What was it? How did you discover? How has the discovery influenced the way you think and feel about the subject of the bias?
    1. An alternative because sometimes it’s easier to notice implicit biases in others: What implicit bias have noticed in someone in your life (family member, friend, co-worker, etc.)? How does it show up? How does the discovery influence the way you think and feel about the person? Have you tried to talk with the person about it? If yes, what happened? If no, why not?
  3. What outstanding young black men do you know? What outstanding black women do you know? How has knowing them influenced the way you think and feel about race? What could you do to get to know them better?
  4. When was the last time you were in the kind of “Uncle Joe” situation Ms. Myers describes? Did you say something? If yes, what happened? If no, why not? Would you be more willing to say something the next time?

Trevor Noah (2020). Trevor Noah holds roundtable talk on what it means to defund the police. Video. Length – 22:13.

Mr. Noah talks with Patrisse Cullors (from Black Lives Matter and Reform L.A. Jails), Josie Duffy Rice (from The Appeal), Sam Sinyangwe (from Campaign Zero), Michael Denzel Smith (author of Stakes is higher: Life after the American dream), and Alex S. Vitale (author of The end of believing) about calls to defund police and alternative, community-based programs.

Questions to consider, as an individual or with a group, after watching the video:

  1. When you were growing up, did you or members of your family experience encounters with the police when you were growing up? How did those experiences affect you and the way you thought about the police? More recently, have you or members of your family experienced encounters with the police, perhaps as a parent? How have those experiences affected the way you think about the police?
  2. Before watching this video, what did the phrase “defund the police” mean to you? How did you understanding of this phrase change while watching the video?
  3. What do you think would be most important in reforming the police? What do you think should be the first step?
  4. What do you see as the biggest challenge in reforming the police?

May 2020

Truer, Anton (2017). Thriving in Indian Country: What’s in the way and how do we overcome. Video. Length – 16:57. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIxcfAlzwNk

In this TEDTalk, Mr. Truer suggests that in order to help everyone thrive, we need to learn to listen to multiple perspectives and look for adaptive solutions because no one sees the world as it is. Instead, “we all see the world as we are.”

Questions to consider on your own or with others:

  • Truer says that his 2nd grade teacher was the only Black teacher he had throughout elementary and secondary school, college, and graduate school and this is a common experience for people of color. What about you? Did you have a teacher or mentor who was a person of color? If yes, what impact did that have on you – at the time and later on? If no, why do you think that was and, looking back, how do you think that influenced your education?
  • Truer suggests that a critical educational goal is to connect with all kids with their cultural language, to build their identity so they can feel good in their skins. He says that this is reasonable and attainable goal.
  • Truer challenges us to listen to multiple perspectives and look for adaptive solutions. What do you see as the practical benefits of this? What do you see as the primary challenges to this? What can you do to begin putting this into practice?

*Not a member of the RJGG? Just send your name and email address to racialjustice@boiseuu.org with a request to join. We’d love to have you, but we can’t add you if you don’t ask.

April 2020

Thurston, Baratunde (TED2019). How to deconstruct racism one headline at a time. ( 16:51).

In this TED Talk, Mr. Thurston presents a game, based on diagramming sentences, that allows us to see the structure of racism in 4 parts and, more importantly, to change the story.

Suggested activity:

  • Watch the video, perhaps with family or friends (following “social distancing” guidelines”).
  • Play the game at Level 3 (change the action).
    • First, look for examples in newspapers, magazines, online stories, television/radio programs, your own experiences, etc.
    • Second, diagram each story into 4 parts, as it originally occurred.
    • Third, change the action in the story into one or more actions that you think would have been better.
  • Finally, save the examples you come up with. Start a collection. Post your examples to the Racial Justice Google Group*. Or, send any examples directly to the Racial Justice Ministry at racialjustice@boiseuu.org Either way, we’ll compile the examples (anonymously) and share what we collect over time.

As additional questions to consider, together with your playing partners:

  • How did playing the game influence the way you think about racism? How did it influence the way they talk with others about racism?
  • How would you describe the main point or message in Thurston’s presentation?

*Not a member of the RJGG? Just send your name and email address to racialjustice@boiseuu.org with a request to join. We’d love to have you, but we can’t add you if you don’t ask.

March 2020

Living at the intersection

Brittany Packnett, 2018, 11:34
The New York Times’s Live Events

During her presentation, Ms. Packnett describes “intersectionality” as the combination of racism and sexism working together that, as experienced by individuals, is “greater than the sum of racism and sexism.” Her focus is on the workplace and she explains that women encounter multiple obstacles in the workplace and that navigating these obstacles is more difficult for women of color because of intersectionality. Ms. Packnett suggests several “new rules of the game” as a way of leveling the playing field:

  • Power not pity – spend your privilege as a white person
  • Power not possession – share power rather than hoard it
  • Power not paternalism – change the game rather than teach the rules

Questions to consider:

  • If you’re white and working, what could you do to apply these “new rules” in your workplace?
  • What could you do to translate these new rules to settings other than work? Consider the variety of situations in which you work or play with others – school, church, clubs, sports, community and volunteer organizations, etc. What could you do to apply these new rules in these settings?
  • Regardless of the setting, which of the new rules would be most important or useful to you? What could you do to begin putting that new rule into practice?

February 2020

Teaching with Tolerance interviews Robin DiAngelo, author of “White Fragility”

Adrienne van der Valk, 2019, 30:27
Teaching with Tolerance  https://www.tolerance.org/

During this  interview, Ms. DiAngelo describes what “white fragility” is, why it’s difficult for white people to talk about race, some techniques white people use to redirect a conversation when they receive feedback about their racist actions, and what white people can do to increase their “emotional stamina” in order to have more productive conversations about race.

Questions to consider:

  • As you watched this interview, what did you have the strongest immediate reaction to, in either a positive or negative way? What feelings, thoughts, or experiences came up during that part of the interview?
  • DiAngelo describes schools as the “belly of the beast” when it comes to reproducing inequality by being sorting mechanisms. Think back over your school experiences. When did you begin thinking about race and racism? How did your experiences in elementary and secondary school influence your thinking?
  • When describing the “good/bad binary,” DiAngelo suggests that we change the question from “is this or isn’t this racist” to “how is this racist?” Think about making this change yourself. What do you see as the benefits? What do you see as the challenges or obstacles?
  • Toward the end of the video, DiAngelo challenges white people to move from reflection to action and suggests several actions that we can take. Which of these suggestions do you think would be the easiest for you to put into practice? Which would be the most difficult?

January, 2020

Whitewashed: Unmasking the world of whiteness
Mark Patrick George, 2013, 34:23
https://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/52132/Whitewashed–Unmasking-the-World-of-Whiteness
This is a documentary in which a variety of white people talk about their experience being white. They respond to six main questions (which show up on the screen):  (1) Where did white people come from? (2) How did your ancestors get turned into white people? (3) What does it mean to be white? (4) What is it like to be white? (5) What about prejudice and racism? (6) What does this mean for white people? 
Questions to consider:

  • How would you answer each of the questions posed during the video?
  • As you listened to the first speaker, what was your immediate reaction? How did your reaction change as you listened to the rest of the video?
  • Which segment, which speaker had the biggest impact on you?
  • What part of the video do you most agree with? What part do you most and disagree with?