Anne Braden Program 2018 First session readings

A note on the readings: Where articles/books/videos were available online or we have the author’s permission, we have linked them directly, otherwise please buy/borrow/find at the library the book/video. We encourage everyone to honor the emotional and intellectual labor of these authors and media makers by buying the works from which excerpts have been taken where possible. This is especially important as many of these authors are folks of color/queer/poor or working class people. When sharing any of these readings with others, please also pass on this message.

We assign some readings that were difficult for us to read. It’s totally normal to struggle to read theoretical pieces that weren’t written for mass consumption. But we think it’s worth it, because how we understand what we’re up against impacts what we think the solutions are, and how we need to organize to get there.  In order to do that we need to know the history that we’ve been denied through traditional school systems.

If you’re struggling with reading, reach out to others to have a reading group together, or get help on terms you’re struggling with. We’ve also created glossaries to support with key terms where we think they are useful (linked next to the reading if we thought they were needed).


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 chapter 1 until page 17 (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, sections from Disability Justice Primer (link to buy the print or digital version) (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)


  1. Marge Piercy, “The Low Road” 
  2. Suheir Hammad, “Refugees” (Prod. by Beatnick & K-Salaam). (3 minute song)
  3. Martin Espada, “Imagine The Angels of Bread”
  4. Aurora Levins Morales, “V’ahavta”
  5. Collective poem by participants in Bright Black Broadcast #3: Phillis Wheatley (brought together by Alexis Pauline Gumbs) “It Will Not Always Be This Way: Prophecy Poem or Impermanence After Phillis”
  6. Warsan Shire, “Home”

To Second Session’s Reading List

To Homework List

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 

    1. Robin D. G. Kelley lecture “What Is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter?” (1 hr)
    1. Vijay Prashad, “The World We Want is the World We Need,” (13 minute video) from Riverside Church, NYC, May 20, 2011.
    1. 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” (52 minute episode or 8 page transcript)
    1. 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)
    1. Alicia Garza: On Historical Amnesia, and Fighting White Supremacy. Making Contact podcast. (29 minutes)
  1. 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)

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)