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Black Lives Matter

It is a long time coming. Why has it taken so long? As a white person, what can I do? Comments and questions from our students, employees, and community, as well as our institutional commitment to racial equity have motivated us to create this guide.

The dignity of Black lives and the history that has led us to this moment cannot be lost in politics. These resources help contextualize this moment in time so we can move toward greater awareness, shared understanding, and collective engagement in meaningful action to confront racism.

 - Vivi Caleffi Prichard, Chief Diversity Officer, Chemeketa Community College


Photo credits: Left to Right: Rob Kall, Travis Wise, Gerry Lauzon, David Geitgey Sierralupe, Socialist Appeal, Rob Kall. All photos used under a CC BY 2.0 license

Understanding Black Lives Matter

Once Black people were regarded and considered “property,” we fought for our humanity and we won. Once Black people were isolated, unable to participate freely in society, attend integrated schools, regulated to the back of the bus, and unable to visit libraries, we fought for our access and we won. Once Black people were denied basic human rights and did not have the right to vote, we fought for our rights and we won. The struggle for equal and fair treatment within the United States of America for Black people has never been easy, though we continue to face each challenge.

Society would prefer if Black people were seen as anything but equal or human.  The weaponization of skin leading to senseless murders of Black people at the hands of police is not a recent occurrence. However, what is new is that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the nation to slow down, and in that slowing take notice of the treatment of Black people. COVID-19 removed all the distractions and barriers, then forced the nation to pay attention to the continuous systemic unwarranted degradation and the heartless murders of Black people at the hands of those sworn to protect.  Individuals, wrapped in privilege and armed with the knowledge of police brutality against Black people maliciously call 911 to further place targets on Black peoples' lives, all while the nation watched.  This is the harsh reality that Black people have faced for generations. The only difference between then and now is that the treatment and revolutions are televised, livestreamed, and posted on social media. The United States can no longer bury its head in the sand and pretend that there is not a systemic problem. It is time to wake up, stand up, and take action to end police brutality because Black Lives Matter.

People must understand that equity, diversity and inclusion are action words. The time has passed to remain silent and complicit as Black people are murdered. I encourage allies to educate themselves, engage in meaningful conversations and take action in dismantling systemic and institutional racism.  Together we can fight for freedom and we can win!

-Shamika Simpson, Long Beach Community College Librarian
Used with permission
Visit Shamika's full guide Understanding Black Lives Matter

Printed Books

Becoming Abolitionists

Police, Protests, And the Pursuit of Freedom

book jacket

Policing Black Bodies

How Black Lives Are Surveilled And How to Work for Change

book jacket

The Sum of Us

What Racism Costs Everyone And How We Can Prosper Together

When Getting along Is Not Enough

Reconstructing Race in Our Lives And Relationships

Conversations in Black

On Power, Politics, And Leadership

Beyond Charlottesville

Taking a Stand against White Nationalism

Locking up Our Own

Crime and Punishment in Black America

Open Season

Legalized Genocide of Colored People

Tears We Cannot Stop

A Sermon to White America

The Torture Machine

Racism and Police Violence in Chicago


Thumbnail of video, P.S., I Can't Breathe

P.S. I Can't Breathe

The Millions March NYC

thumbnail of I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro

Documentary based on the book by James Baldwin

Thumbnail of video The Talk: Race in America

The Talk: Race in America

Parents of color tell their children about how to act if stopped by police

thumbnail of video, The Skin We're In

The Skin We're In

A journalist puts Canadian racism in perspective

Thumbnail of video, A New Color

A New Color

Muralist Edythe Boone

Thumbnail of video, Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Patrisse Cullors, founder of Black Lives Matter, interviewed

Black Feminist

Black women face gender and racial oppression

Thumbnail of video, Are You Racist?

Are You Racist?

Scientists detect subconscious racism


Cover art

Black Fatigue

How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, & Spirit

Book jacket

Policing and Race

The Debate Over Excessive Use of Force

Good White Racist?

Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice

The Possessive Investment in Whiteness

How White People Profit from Identity Politics

Mourning in America

Race And the Politics of Loss

Race and Social Change

A Quest, a Study, a Call to Action

Violence Against Black Bodies

An Intersectional Analysis of How Black Lives Continue to Matter

Me and White Supremacy

Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

Bearing Witness While Black

African Americans, Smartphones, And the New Protest  #Journalism

Containment and Condemnation

Law And the Oppression of the Urban Poor

The Condemnation of Blackness

Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?

Police Violence And Resistance in the United States

Suspicion Nation

The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice And Why We Continue to Repeat It

Graphic Novels of Interest