On Anti-Blackness

The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others who deserve to be named and known should be a wake-up call: there is a serious problem with anti-blackness and racism in our country. Systemic racism affects people of color in every facet of society, but the spate of Black deaths intertwined with egregious acts of police brutality require special notice. We must reaffirm, strongly, that Black Lives Matter.

 

As a program that values education and open discussion, we want youth to be aware of the social inequality and oppression in our region and our country—past and present. Many of us raised in Lexington and neighboring towns have been privileged to receive a strong public education; this is often (but not always) tied to racial and economic privilege, distancing us from stark realities experienced by our peers.

That distance is no excuse for ignorance. We have gathered resources suitable for students interested in learning more about these issues. Parents, we encourage you to work with your children on understanding how systemic racism and/or privilege has affected you, with the help of these resources. We also encourage you, if you are able, to donate to some of the organizations that we have listed below. 

 

The Lexington Debate Institute stands in solidarity with all those affected by racial injustice and is dedicated to spreading education and awareness to work on effecting change. Our parent organization, Backers of Lexington Debate, will conduct work this summer in collaboration with the Boston Debate League to help make the activity of debate more accessible to those from all backgrounds in Boston. If you have any suggestions or ways that you would like to see us get more involved, please let us know at lexdebateinstitute@gmail.com.

Article on Police Brutality and Anti-Blackness:

"Call It What It Is: Anti-Blackness." Dr. kihana miraya ross, Professor of African American Studies at Northwestern

Spotlight Series on Boston and Anti-Blackness:

"Boston. Racism. Image. Reality." Boston Globe Spotlight Series, 2018 Pulitzer Finalist in Local Reporting

Research on the Black Student Experience at Lexington Public Schools:

"Invisible and Unheard: The Black Experience at Lexington High School." Working Paper, June 2020 

Books for Elementary School Students:

The Undefeated  by Kwame Alexander 
Bud, not Buddy  by Christopher Paul Curtis 
I, Too, Am America  by Langston Hughes 
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Book Store  by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement  by Carole Boston Weatherford 
My People  by Langston Hughes

 

 

Books for Middle School Students:

One Crazy Summer  by Rita Williams-Garcia 
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry  by Mildred D. Taylor 
All American Boys  by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely 
The Hate U Give  by Angie Thomas

 

 

Books for High School Students:

Invisible Man  by Ralph Ellison 
Americanah  by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie 
The Color of Law: a Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America  by Richard Rothstein 
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness  by Michelle Alexander 
Between the World and Me  by Ta-Nehisi Coates 
Sister Outsider  by Audre Lord
The Bluest Eye  by Toni Morrison 
Algorithms of Oppression  by Safiya Umoja 
Freedom is a Constant Struggle  by Angela Davis

Action Steps - Donations:

Massachusetts Bail Fund

Campaign Zero

ACLU

Black Lives Matter
 

Action Steps - Petitions:

 

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#petitions

Contact

Questions? Contact us here, or reach us at lexdebateinstitute@gmail.com.

Tel: 857-302-0240

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    © 2019 Backers of Lexington Debate, Inc.