Educate yourself about the Charleston massacre

There are many great resources out there for white people to learn about history. Especially for those of us who grew up in predominantly white communities in the US, we were often not taught the truth about our country, about racism, or let’s face it… we were not taught about anyone except the white colonialists, and maybe MLK.

It is our responsibility to learn. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves. Below are a few resources pulled together, specifically regarding Charleston, SC. Please add more in the comments area.

Melissa Harris-Perry gives us a quick history lesson about black church:

For a a bit more history read Manisha Sinha’s piece in the Huffington Post, “The Long and Proud History of Charleston’s AME Church


The African American Intellectual History Society, an organization founded in January 2014 to foster dialogue about researching, writing, and teaching black thought and culture, created a #Charlestonsyllabus (follow the link for the list)

Here is a list of readings that educators can use to broach conversations in the classroom about the horrendous events that unfolded in Charleston, South Carolina on the evening of June 17, 2015. These readings provide valuable information about the history of racial violence in this country and contextualize the history of race relations in South Carolina and the United States in general. They also offer insights on race, racial identities, global white supremacy and black resistance. All readings are arranged by date of publication. This list is not meant to be exhaustive–you will find omissions. Please check out #Charlestonsyllabus and the Goodreads List for additional reading suggestions.


Surprisingly, MTV has a good starter list for white folks, with videos! The title is a bit problematic, but good on them. 9 Ways You Can Use Your White Privilege For Good


Jelani Cobb has a great piece about hate crimes and terrorism “Terrorism in Charleston” in the June 29, 2015 issue of The New Yorker.

The Charleston police were quick to label what happened in the sanctuary of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last Wednesday night a “hate crime.” Many crimes are motivated by hatred, yet we reserve the term “hate crime” for an act motivated by an animus that has been extrapolated beyond any single individual and applied to an entire segment of the populace. The murder of nine black churchgoers during Bible study is an act so heinous as to be immediately recognizable as a hate crime. But it was not simply this. We should, for all the worst reasons, be adept by now at recognizing terrorism when we see it, and what happened in Charleston was nothing less than an act of terror.


Malik Nashad Sharpe contributed a great piece to Black Girl Dangerous, “White Fragility, Silence, and Supremacy: Why All White Hands Are Bloody” where he lays out some reasons that this act of terror is a problem of white supremacy and silence.

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