A shortlist of texts for educators to consider using on their way to being anti-racist. Compiled by Dr. Aretina R. Hamilton

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

The Basics

We enter the academy hoping to effect change and to carry on the legacy of our discipline, but what happens when these very places kill us?

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The University of Alaska recently announced plans to eliminate 39 academic departments and to consolidate majors due to concerns with shrinking enrollment due to Covid-19. On the surface, this may seem like a practical business decision meant to save the organization money and resources, but for those in the know — this is a warning. One of many that have begun to reveal themselves. Liberal arts programs are closing. Colleges are beginning to trim…

As a scholar, I entered the world of academia as a planner. I examined urban planning and the devolution of American cities — and then I discovered Geography. The original scene of the crime. This original technology was used to cut up the world into pieces and to fulfill manifest destinies. When non-Geographers think about Geography, they imagine GPS maps, landscapes, physical terrain, and valleys. They don’t think of culture, people, conflict, contestation, imperialism, or exploitation. In the same way, geographical thinking frequently ignores how geographies enact violence, create spaces of belonging, reproduce systematic equalities, and codify race. …

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Image Source: https://atlantablackstar.com/2015/07/05/assimilation-black-americas-elusive-goal/

Iam tired. Lately, this tiredness has begun to penetrate not only my mind but into my bones. There’s no medical diagnosis, but surely living in this world at this time is making me sick. Looking at me, one would not discern how I could walk around breathing and smiling, but still, feel sick. This sickness seeps into the crevices of my skin and invades my thoughts, my dreams, and my hopes. And yet no one can see these maladies, and no one can see me. Even more problematic is the fact that I have become numb to my own sickness…

Sometimes I wonder if my social anxiety is a byproduct of racism This internal need to recede from public life But then again, when did this become life? I am tired I am Expired I am Broken Into scattered pieces Thieves come in the middle of the night and rob me of my peace Their presence Haunts me Prevents me from sleeping Anxiety and depression Hold my hands Spoons me Holds me down Reminds me that Things do fall apart Feels like I keep falling apart Heartbroken And There are no reparations for my devastation No code switch Respectability Politics…

Over the past month I have watched numerous stories regarding blatant acts of racism perpetuated by minors. For instance, incidents in San Francisco, New Jersey, Portland and Taiwan showed high school students engaged in these acts. So it would seem that it has become an epidemic. This thing called hate. Young people, like some adults have become emboldened to express their anti-seminitism, racism and homophobia under the current administration. And yet, conversations surrounding race, gender, sexuality and even class are often absent from the classroom.

As educators, we would like to think (it’s safer to think) that we can’t talk…

Aretina R. Hamilton

Cultural Geographer, Pop Cultural Enthusiast, Curator of Socially Conscious Minds

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