Race Readers

Race Readers is a community space for discussion surrounding different aspects of race through engaging books, articles, podcasts, and more. Each month a new topic will be discussed.


Race Readers is not currently in session .

To sign up for Race Readers or for more information, contact Tiffnie Jackson at tiffnie@ywcamankato.org or (507) 386-2192.







May 2018 - Open Wide the Freedom Gates - Dorothy Height

April 2018 - Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates


March 2018 - Intersectionality 

The Urgency of Intersectionality - TED Talk by Kimberlé Crenshaw

Related Resources:

Transgender Women disproportionately targeted in violent hate crimes
Black Women are getting killed by police too
A Conversation with Black Women on Race


February 2018 - Teach Us All Documentary. 

Discussion Questions

• The percentage of minority students attending hyper-segregated schools has nearly tripled since 1988. Why do you think this is?
• The narrator clarifies: “This is not a Little Rock story – or even just a Southern One.” What narratives do Northerners tell that make this clarification necessary?
• How did the testimonies shared by the students compare to how you talked about school as a student? How students you know talk about school today?

• “It’s not a story of progress it’s a story of total inequality of schooling” – How does this observation compare to our narrative around racial equity in the U.S.?
• Is it possible to achieve equitable schools in a segregated society?
• How does one navigate making the “best choice for your child” and the potential negative impact that it could have on the whole?
• Acute residential segregation is much worse in the north than in the south. What is the effect of residential segregation in Minnesota?
• We often hear: “It’s about housing, it’s about economics, but it’s NOT about race.” Why?

• How specifically can gentrification as an opportunity to create more integrated schools? What would that look like?
• How might the experience of The Park Slope 10 have been different if they were students of color integrating a completely White high school?
• Park Slope’s application pool started to change dramatically when White students started to attend – which the Principal states “is an interesting comment about how people evaluate a school.” Unpack this comment. 

January 2018 - Episode 41 (Danger) of the Seeing White Podcast Series.

Reflection questions:

  • How does "seeing whiteness" complicate how you view different parts of your life and what happens in the world?

  • John Biewen has been telling his bike story to his friends and family for many years. Do you have any stories like that with racial implications? Why do you tell them? What is unspoken in them?

  • What role does "feeling safe" play? Whose safety do our communities and country prioritize?

  • John Biewen expresses his expectation that he would receive credit for walking through the neighborhood - he wanted to be seen as a hero, as a "good white person." What does this mean? And where does it come from?

  • How different do different people's "Americas" look? (John's and Michael's, for example)

  • John Biewen talks about how is family wasn’t very economically privileged “by white people standards” – but then talks about all of the ways that he was privileged in other capacities. How do we talk about “privilege”? How is economic privilege different than racial privilege? How do they intersect? How do people use economic privilege (or lack of) to avoid talking about racial privilege?

  • Chenjerai Kumanyika talks about the power that officers feel in the wake of so many verdicts that do not convict officers of wrongdoing. How do these verdicts and videos impact how you see policing/ police officers? Do you have conflicting feelings if you have a friend/ family member in law enforcement?

  • Chenjerai Kumanyika’s closing question: What is that resistance to change the justice system really all about?

Relevant resources for further exploration:
Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Dr. Peggy McIntosh
A Conversation with my Black Son Video

Past discussions include:

·      A Good Time for the Truth: Race in MN - edited by Sun Yung Shin (January/February 2017)

·      The New Jim Crow - Michelle Alexander (March/April 2017)

·      Citizen - Claudia Rankine (May 2017)

·      Foreign Soil - Maxine Beneba Clarke (June 2017)

·      Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – Dee Brown (July/August 2017)

·      The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian – Sherman Alexie (September 2017)

·      Monster – Walter Dean Myers (October 2017)

·      A Mighty Long Way – Carlotta Walls LaNier (November 2017)