Anne Braden Program 2018 First Session Readings – internal

Here is your first set of readings, video and audio to complete by the first day of the program, February 16th.  Please note there are about 125 pages and 2 hrs of required audio/video, so you’ll want to plan ahead and start soon!  

All of the readings correlate with specific parts of the curricula and the goals/outcomes for the first weekend listed below.  

We will have minimal discussion on the readings themselves during the session. If you’re interested in talking specifically about the readings, keep your eyes out for an optional video discussion on the readings (we’ll send you specifics sometime in the new year).  

Our goals for the first weekend are to set a foundation for the rest of the work we will do together:

  • Relationship building
  • Orientation to the different components of the program, including training in grassroots fundraising
  • Building an anti-racist, transformative organizing culture
  • Understanding what is happening politically right now in our country and internationally, including the global shift to the Right, and why
  • Understanding white supremacy as a system, historically and today, and our own relationship to it
  • Starting to develop an understanding of racial capitalism. While this is a complex idea with multiple components, this weekend we will look at how capitalism could not have developed without theft of land and resources from indigenous people, enslaved labor of African people, colonial expansion in the Americas and beyond, and imperialism against Third world peoples. Therefore, white supremacy and capitalism are inextricably intertwined.  
  • Learning about Indigenous resistance to colonization

A note on the readings: Readings are provided free for use by participants studying in the Anne Braden Training Program for Anti-Racist Organizers, a noncommercial, nonprofit educational program. We encourage everyone to honor the emotional and intellectual labor of these authors by buying the works from which excerpts have been taken where possible. This is especially important as we all have white skin privilege and many of these authors are folks of color. Please do not share these readings broadly over listservs, but do share them with individuals and your organizations who you will be engaging in study with. When sharing any of these readings with your comrades, please also pass on this message.


Foundational pieces on White Supremacy

  1. Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martinez, “What Is White Supremacy?” from the Catalyzing Liberation Toolkit. (6 page PDF)
  2. James Baldwin, “White Supremacy and the United States” (8 min speech, or 2 page PDF transcript

Understanding Racial Capitalism

  1. Cynthia Kaufman, “Capitalism and Class,” pages 64-74 from Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change. (11 pages)
  2. Robin D.G. Kelley, Excerpt from “What Did Cedric Robinson Mean By Racial Capitalism?” from the Boston Review (1 page)
  • Enslavement of Africans
  1. Sven Beckert, excerpt from “Slavery and Capitalism,” The Chronicle Review (6 pgs. full article @
  2. Edward E. Baptist, Excerpt from “The Half Has Never Been Told”  (2-3 pages)
  3. Catalyst Project, The Historical Creation of Whiteness (6 pgs)
  • Colonization and resistance:
  1. Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz video (first 17 min) – “Pre-Colonial Socialism and the Effects of Genocide.”  
  2. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, “As We Have Always Done, Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance” Introduction and excerpt of chapter 1 (17 pages total)
  3. Corrina Gould, Catalyst Project’s Indigenous Resistance Panel (9 min video)
  4. Ana Portnoy, “Irma and María: Shedding Light on Puerto Rico’s Colonial Reality” (10 pages)
  • Imperialism:
  1. Dr. Zoltán Grossman, “History of U.S. Military Interventions, 1890-2010”. (Powerpoint – 15 mins/41 slides)
  2.  Harsha Walia interview, “Defining Border Imperialism”(13 min video)
  3. Edward Said On Orientalism, watch to 14:16, highly recommend whole video. (which is 40 min total)
  • Ableism:
  1. Sins Invalid, small sections from Disability Justice Primer (12 pages total)
      • Disability Justice: A Working Draft (starts page 9)
      • Access Suggestions for a Public Event (starts page 23–read first 3.5 pages)
      • poem from Disability Liberated by Aurora Levins Morales (starts page 55)

Building a Visionary Anti-Racist Culture

  1. SONG (Southerners On New Ground), “role of white people in the movement at this time” (8 pages)
  2. Tema Okun, “White Supremacy Culture” from (7 pages)
  3. Anne Braden, “Finding the Other America” (5 pages) & watch this 3.5 min video

Grassroots fundraising as organizing

  1. Vicki Quatman, “Organizing and Fundraising: Sisters in the Struggle”. (3 pages)

Assessing our current political conditions

  1. Robin D.G. Kelley, Boston Review article ‘One Year Later’ (2-3 pages)
  2. Linda Burnham, article ‘No Plans to Abandon our Freedom Dreams’ (5-6 pages)
  3. Tarso Ramos, “Facing the Right: A Conversation with Tarso Luís Ramos.” (watch 11:42 – 1:04:28) from the Center for Political Education event Facing the Far Right. We find Tarso Ramos’s talk to be very helpful in understanding our political moment, but his wording is sometimes challenging, here are some definitions we created to help.
  4. Jews For Racial & Economic Justice, Understanding Anti-Semitism excerpts– pg 4 to the top of 6 (Introduction and Where does our collective confusion come from) pg 11 to the middle of pg 17 (What is anti-semitism and In what ways is anti-semitism different), middle of pg 20 to the top of 23 (Is criticism of Israel anti-semitic, Anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim oppression, and Resistance) (10 pages total, the rest is recommended)

Recommended Articles/Book Excerpts

  1.  Chris Crass, Catalyst Project, “From A Place Of Love: Catalyst Project and the Strategy of Collective Liberation Leadership in White Communities” (20 pages)
  2. Andrea Smith, “Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy” from The Color of Violence: The INCITE Anthology. (8  pages)
  3. Deepa Kumar interview, “The Roots of Islamophobia” (8 pages)

Recommended Audio, Video & Poetry

  1. Robin D. G. Kelley lecture “What Is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter?” (1 hr)
  2. Vijay Prashad, “The World We Want is the World We Need,” (13 minute video) from Riverside Church, NYC, May 20, 2011. 
  3. Suheir Hammad, “Refugees” (Prod. by Beatnick & K-Salaam). (3 minute song)
  4. Interview with Layli Long Soldier, a writer, a mother, a citizen of the U.S. and of the Oglala Lakota Nation, “The Freedom of Real Apologies” (8 pages)
  5. Mab Segrest on Fortification podcast – Segrest explores her experience as a white lesbian organizing against a virulent Far Right movement in North Carolina against a backdrop of nine generations of her family’s history (1 hour)
  6. Alicia Garza: On Historical Amnesia, and Fighting White Supremacy. Making Contact podcast. (29 minutes)
  7. Michelle Grace Steingberg, “Beyond Recognition” — A film exploring the quest to preserve one’s culture and homeland in a society bent on erasing them (25 mins)
  8. Marge Piercy, “The Low Road” (1 page poem)

Recommended Tools

  1. Catalyst Project, “Tools for White Anti-Racist Organizing”  from the Catalyzing Liberation Toolkit. (2 pages)
  2. Micah Bazant, “Trans 101 Etiquette, Respect, and Support,” (6 pages)
  3. Paul Kivel, excerpts from Uprooting Racism.: “Costs of Racism to White People” (5 page PDF) and “White Benefits, Middle-class Privilege” (7 page PDF)
  4. Kim Klein, “Prospect Identification:  You Already Know All the People You Need to Know To Raise All the Money You Want to Raise”. (4 page PDF), and “The Fine Art of Asking For the Gift”. (4 page PDF)