Guide to Why “Black Lives Matter” Matters

Question mowed on lawn

Introduction to this Guide

The opposition to teaching about racism, or a Black Lives Matter sign, etc. is framed in a wide variety of ways. These include:

  • “I had a hard life and was able to get ahead, some people of color had it much easier so if they want to be more successful they only have to try harder.”,
  • “There is only one race, the human race”
  • I don’t see color and to talk about it is divisive “
  • “anti-racism says that all white people are oppressors and all Black people as hopelessly oppressed victims which is ignorant”,
  • “What about the woman who was raped and killed by an illegal immigrant?”,
  • “it’s not just black lives that matter, it should be all lives matter “,
  • ” no one in the United States right now owned slaves nor were they slaves. It is irrelevant now and no one’s responsible or accountable for something long ago”
  • “Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, are a crusade against American history and toxic propaganda, ideological poison, that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together and destroy our country.”

If any of this seem familiar, if you are interested in how to interact with people who believe these sorts of things or just want to learn something new,  this study guide presents short, bite size pieces of information (5-10 minutes read) that has proved to be successful.

Module I: Why?

Unit 1: Lynching

Unit 1: Lynching

As Anti-racism activist Jane Elliot says: “We wouldn’t have to have Black Lives Matter if we didn’t have 300 years of Black Lives Don’t matter.”
These series of quick lessons hopefully will start to explain this, one detail at a time.

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Unit 2: Black Codes, Slave Patrols & Policing

Unit 2: Black Codes, Slave Patrols & Policing

Black codes were laws enacted through the South both during and after slavery that governed slaves and free people of color. They included things such as teaching or attempt to teach, any slave to read or write, he or she shall be sentenced to receive thirty-nine lashes on his or her bare back.

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Module II: What?

Unit 1: Definitions

Unit 1: Definitions

As we move forward in both understanding the context of the issue and what ordinary people can actually, practically do to change the dynamics of race in this country, it is important that we all have some common understanding of how terms are being used.

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Unit 2: Defining White Supremacy/Privilege

Unit 2: Defining White Supremacy/Privilege

Two the most commonly misunderstood terms are white privilege and white supremacy. The hope is that these definitions will help white people move beyond guilt, shame, blame, denial, and resistance, to examine how to challenge specific forms of white privilege and supremacy.

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Unit 3: Defining “Critical Race Theory”

Unit 3: Defining “Critical Race Theory”

“Critical race theory” (CRT) actually is an academic concept, mostly taught in law schools, that studies U.S. policies and institutions. It started in the 1970s as a framework for legal analysis, when law professors began exploring how race and racism have shaped American law and society.

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Module III: Where?

Coming soon!

Introduction

Definitions

Facts rocks with sun

Facts

Maps

Assessment Tools

History

Appropriation / Aggression

White Privilege / Supremacy

Slave Owners Are in Your Pocket

Public Displays

Performance Art

Workshops

Freedom and Justice Crier

Activist Resources

Dear White People

Being Allies

James, Rachel, Dragon

Reparations

Three Candles

Spiritual Foundations

Dear White People

Being Allies

James, Rachel, Dragon

Reparations

Three Candles

Spiritual Foundations

Slave Owners Are in Your Pocket

Public Displays

Performance Art

Workshops

Freedom and Justice Crier

Activist Resources

Assessment Tools

History

Appropriation / Aggression

White Privilege / Supremacy

Introduction

Wood Stack Definitions Menu

Definitions

Facts

Maps

Dear White People

Being Allies

James, Rachel, Dragon

Reparations

Three Candles

Spiritual Foundations

Slave Owners Are in Your Pocket

Public Displays

Theater PTown

Performance Art

Maze

Workshops

Freedom and Justice Crier

Activist Resources

Assessment Tools

History

Appropriation / Aggression

White Privilege / Supremacy

Introduction

Wood Stack Definitions Menu

Definitions

Facts

Maps