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Socrates Goes Digital : Allyship during America’s Season of Reckoning

July 28, 2020  • Socrates Program

The past two months have shone a renewed light on the Black Lives Matter movement and brought the attention and support of wider communities. For the many in the white community who consider themselves allies, the question remains how they can be partners in changing society and rebuilding our country to eliminate structural racism. In February 2020, Socrates convened participants in a seminar, “Learning from Native Sons: The Pain, Rage and Hope of America’s Most Loyal Critics”. This seminar focused on the singular promise of America and its frequently brutal history of failing to make good on that promise through the rich critical lens of black male autobiography, reading works of Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois, through Richard Wright and James Baldwin, and into the present moment, with Reginald Dwayne Betts, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. The seminar was transformative for many participants, who have stayed in touch and have continued the discussions and friendships, asking how they can move towards sustainable action

In this webinar longtime Socrates alum Lincoln Ellis moderated a discussion between three Native Sons seminar participants, Haley Littleton, Samuel Kimbriel, and Brenda Gerber Vincent. They discussed the initial impacts of their seminar experience and how their learning and growth has continued since leaving the seminar room.

Our panelists had a frank and vulnerable conversation around allyship. Below, please find resources provided by our panelists on this subject. Please feel free to share this content with friends and colleagues.

Resources:

Books:

Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland by Jonathan Metzl 

The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

Towards the Abolition of Whiteness: Essay’s on Race, Politics, and Working Class History

Racecraft: The Soul of Inequity in American Life by Sociologist Karen E. Fields and historian Barbara J. Fields 

Online Resources:

Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference 

The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action

The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism 

Where do We Go From Here: A Fund Raiser for Black Lives

As a Black Person, I’m Done Helping White Christians Feel Better About Race

Why Sanders Isn’t Winning Over Black Voters

What to a Slave is the Fourth of July?