Reading for Racial Justice Project

This last year has revealed devastating cracks in our society and on social injustices in our community and in country. Many of us have been (re)awakened to the justice issues that affect the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community, and we’ve responded, in part, by hanging a Black Lives Matter banner in front of our church. 

We know there’s so much more we can and need to do to become a more antiracist church! For some of us, it is direct action, and for others, it is continued learning. Both are necessary steps to move along the path of justice. 

Regarding that latter step, we are pleased to share that church member, Dr. Tara Affolter, is offering a summer reading opportunity for us all to keep learning about racism in America and to keep interrogating our own internalized racist ideologies. 

Reading List

You may also view the slideshow that Tara presented here. Contact Tara Affolter at with any questions.

prompts for Stamped from the beginning

From introduction to Stamped from the Beginning:


"I was taught the popular folktale of racism: that ignorant and hateful people had produced racist ideas, and that these racist people had instituted racist policies. But when I learned the motives behind the production of many of American’s most influential most racist ideas, it became quite obvious that this folktale, though sensible, was not based on a firm footing of historical evidence.  Ignorance/hate->racist ideas->discrimination: this causal relationship is largely ahistorical. It has actually been the inverse relationship-racial discrimination led to racist ideas which led to ignorance and hate.  Racial discrimination->racist ideas->ignorance/slash hate: this is the causal relationship driving America’s history of race relations."  (p. 9) 


Consider your education. What were you taught that either fed or disputed the folktale that Kendi refers to here (highlighted in yellow)? What is the difference Kendi is getting at here? Why might this matter in understanding on going structural and institutional racism?