Conversation Topics — Race

I have been doing my best recently to stay up to date on current events pertaining to politics, culture and the rest of the globe. As I spend more time probing some basic articles on CNN and Politico, I have realized I am staying current on the events, but I am not sufficiently educated on the history and context of a lot of the events.

I have begun digging deeper into particular issues that I find so frequent in the news. With a greater understanding of the issues, I am now able to both understand current events with a more developed framework while also engaging in more educated conversations with others. As part of the Conversation Project, I am going to spend time sharing some of the work I have been reading and listening to that has given me a better perspective on the issues.

The issue of race has been an important topic for America to talk about ever since its inception. I had a conversation with my good friend Jeremiah that I’m excited to write about soon, but alongside that conversation I’ve been reading a lot about different issues America currently faces in terms of race. My hope in Conversation Topics is not as much to give my opinion as much as to provide resources for you all to look into to help develop your own opinion. So with that, here are some suggestions:

Articles

The Case for Reparations — A great primer on where we currently stand as a nation with provocative ideology for systemic change.

My President Was Black — A perceptive piece on why Former President Obama was the perfect black man for president, but how that clearly did not fix racism in America.

(Both of the above articles are by Ta-Nehisi Coates. He also wrote a book called Between the World and Me, which I’m planning on reading this month. Check out his interview with Charlie Rose.)

What “Race” Are You? — This is an opposing viewpoint to a lot of what I’ve read. It is definitely not where I’m at, but was still something that provoked me to think more because I disagreed and wanted to know more about why I disagreed while understanding more about what I did agree with.

Films

Fences — A great look into the life of a 1950s black family.

13th — Very interesting documentary on the 13th Amendment and the criminal justice system.

Podcasts

Race & Justice: Saving Justice — This podcast comes from Bridgetown Church in Portland. Extremely important message for the Church on how to act in terms of the racial injustices going on in America.

All of these resources do not inherently reflect my current views on issues of race, but they have been formative for me over the past few months. I hope you are able to find these helpful in spurring on conversation amongst your community about race. I believe it is extremely important in this historical moment that we take this issue seriously and act thoughtfully.