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Becoming Antiracist - Learning, Sharing, Growing

A project of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise Antiracism Task Force

Suggestions for reading and listening

  • Crusader on the Inside: Algeria De La Cruz takes the helm at the county’s new Office of Equity.” Sonoma Magazine, January, 2021. This profile (beginning on page 68) of upcoming RCSS speaker, Algeria De La Cruz, makes for good reading. If you don’t have the hard copy of the magazine, it can be found at
  • So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. “Oluo gives us — both white people and people of color — the language to engage in clear, constructive and confident dialogue with each other about how to deal with racial prejudices and biases.” — National Book Review.
  • Seeing White A podcast series from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University). "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."
    Recommended by Michael Fels and Mikel Cook

  • The Sword and the Shield by Pineal E. Joseph. "This dual biography of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King upends longstanding preconceptions to transform our understanding of the twentieth century's most iconic African American leaders. To most Americans, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. represent contrasting ideals: self-defense vs. nonviolence, black power vs. civil rights, the sword vs. the shield. The struggle for black freedom is wrought with the same contrasts. While nonviolent direct action is remembered as an unassailable part of American democracy, the movement's militancy is either vilified or erased outright. In The Sword and the Shield, Peniel E. Joseph upends these misconceptions and reveals a nuanced portrait of two men who, despite markedly different backgrounds, inspired and pushed each other throughout their adult lives. This is a strikingly revisionist biography, not only of Malcolm and Martin, but also of the movement and era they came to define."
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • Sincerely, Michelle by Michelle Singletary. A series of 10, insightful articles about the intersection of race and economics published in the Washington Post and carried by the Santa Rosa PD.
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • Facebook Post: - Watch this Air Force general's powerful remarks on race.
    Recommended by Joyce and Michael

  • Ta-Nehesi & Others - Vanity Fair Special Edition September 2020. Marnie has selected some of the most important articles and assembled them into the attached PDF file.
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • Nice White Parents - A 5-part Podcast that explores the role that “nice White parents” play in the continuing segregation of our public schools and the diminished resources of schools predominately serving people of color. This excellent, series focuses on the role of well-intentioned White parents in the 60+ year history of one public middle school in New York. It’s fascinating, illuminating, and helped me to understand more about the dynamics of our public education system.
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • An American Genocide - Between 1846 and 1873, California’s Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the first historian to uncover the full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended.
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • Born a Crime - Born a Crime is an engaging, fast-paced and vivid read. . . The book is essential reading not only because it is a personal story of survival, leavened with insight and wit, but because it does more to expose apartheid—its legacy, its pettiness, its small-minded stupidity and its damage—than any other recent history book or academic text. — The Guardian (UK)
    Recommended by Pjay, Ellie and Michael Fels

  • The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism - If you believe that sports can be a lens for interpreting and understanding our world, then The Heritage is the Rosetta stone. Howard Bryant’s latest explains so much about racism and the black athlete’s place in US history that every chapter could be its own college course . . . Dave Zirin, sports editor, The Nation
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • Just Mercy - Stevenson is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and professor of law at New York University Law School. He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color.
    Recommended by Pjay and Ellie

  • Model Minority' Myth Again Used As A Racial Wedge Between Asians And Blacks Click here for an excellent piece from National Public Radio (NPR)’s Code Switch Team
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • Discussion on Race - 1.5 Hour UCLA Extention Osher Zoom Discussion on Race.
    Recommended by Mikel Cook

  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid - An engrossing, entertaining novel that explores race relations with an a focus on how unexamined white privilege can be employed with devastating consequences.
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • NPR Code Switch (the podcast) - “Code Switch is the fearless conversations about race that you’ve been waiting for. Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes all of us part of the conversation because we’re all part of the story” Available where you get your podcasts.
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson - “In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Wilkerson is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.
    Both are highly recommended by Michael Fels

  • Interview with a Sonoma State University Prof of English Literature - This is an excellent bibliography as well as an interesting interview with a Sonoma State University Prof of English Literature.

  • Are companies really committed to diversity? - This interview on the BBC World Service Business Daily features a good friend and leading practitioner in the field of corporate Diversity Training. It's short, but raises interesting questions.

  • “Good” White Boomer Waking Up
    Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise Program, Sep 2 2020
    Written by Cynthia McReynolds

  • The Courage to Listen Short, but powerful.
    Recommended by Joyce Oneko.

  • Confederate Monuments Beautifully written and immediately relevant.
    Recommended by Marnie Tattersall.

  • 1619 - a Podcast From The New York Times : An audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling.
    Recommended Michael Fels

  • A Call For Reparations: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says 250 yeas of slavery and 100 years of legalized segregation robbed Black Americans of the ability to accumulate wealth. Cash payments would help repair the damage. Her latest piece in the 'New York Times Magazine' is 'What Is Owed.'
    Recommended Michael Fels

  • Healing Racism: Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Love “In Mindful of Race, Ruth King boldly declares, ' Racism is a heart disease that's curable.' She then proceeds to guide us on a three-part journey to healing. Recommended by PJay and Ellie
    Recommendeds PJay and Ellie

  • The Water Dancer: Ta-Nehisi Coates: Magical realism meets real life in the acclaimed journalist’s debut novel about American slaves escaping to the north
    Recommended Michael Fels

  • Born a Crime: Trevor Noah. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is a great memoir. The story follows Trevor's life as a biracial child in South Africa during Aparthid.
    Recommended by PJay and Ellie and Michael Fels

  • How to be an Antiracist: Ibraham X. Kendi. “The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the western mind.” NY Times.
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism. Howard Bryan. "Examines the story of sports post-9/11, once neutral but now embedded with deference toward the military and police, colliding with the political reawakening of the black athlete in post-Ferguson America"--
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. James Forman Jr. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.
    Recommended by Michael Fels

  • An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe. Benjamin Madley. “Between 1846 and 1873, California Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the first historian to uncover the full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, including indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended.”
    Recommended by Michael Fels
  • Between the World and Me: Ta-Nehisi Coates This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”
    Recommended by Joyce Oneko and Michael Fels

  • So You Want to Talk about Race: Ijeoma Oluo This book explores the complex reality of today's racial landscape--from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement--offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide.
    Recommended by Mikel Cook

  • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein: This book documents the history of both government and private sector legal discrimination in this country.
    Recommended by Nick Randall

  • Seeing White: A podcast produced by Scene On Radio from the Center for Documentary Studies. This outstanding podcast series examines the racial structures of America, focusing on dissecting the oppressors rather than the oppressed. Click here to listen to the first in the series.
    Recommended by Mikel Cook and Michael Fels

  • The Road to Resegregation: Northern California and the Failure of Politics. This book targets the policy-driven causes for systemic housing discrimination in the greater Bay Area post WWII, outcomes in which both Nick Randall’s brother (City Manager in San Ramon) and Nick himself (Hayward Councilmember) played minor, unwitting parts.
    Recommended by Nick Randall

Videos, Links, Quotations

Monday night November 8 - 6:30-7:30pm on Facebook Live! Tune in as we discuss the resurgence of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) with local leaders. Join us for a discussion on “good people in oppressive systems”, the power of the status quo and how to disrupt those systems.

With Angie Dillon Shore, Alegría De La Cruz, Socorro Shiels and moderated by Ariana Díaz De León. Monday, November 8th 6:30-7:30pm

Sonoma County Office of Equity Newsletter

April is Asian Americans & Pacific Islander (AAPI) month in the USA and Sonoma State University offers a variety of free, on-line opportunities to learn more. LINK

Michael (for the Anti Racism Task Force).

12 Ways To Listen, Learn, and Take Action Right Now | theSkimm

Systemic Racism in the US | theSkimm

Doug Williford

Doug Williford

'If my wife comes to me in obvious pain and asks "Do you love me?", an answer of "I love everyone" would be truthful, but also hurtful and cruel in the moment. If a co-worker comes to me upset and says "My father just died", a response of "Everyone's parents die" would be truthful, but hurtful and cruel in the moment. So when a friend speaks up in a time of obvious pain and hurt and says "Black lives matter", a response of "All lives matter" is truthful. But it is hurtful and cruel in the moment'.

Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise
PO Box 2481
Sebastopol, CA 95473

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373 North Main Street
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