Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group

Kritikos engages topics such as writing about the arts, critical studies, translation, the artist in society, and art as speech.

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

James Baldwin

Dear Members of the CVPA Community:

Dear Members of the CVPA Community:
Inspired by mass actions and worldwide protests demanding racial justice, CVPA’s Arts in Context continues the Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group this summer, moderated by Mason faculty members Jessica Kallista and Kristin Johnsen-Neshati, with help from co-organizers, Josiah Arnett, Cynthia Fuchs, Jordan McRae, Sang Nam, Aries Wilson.

Members of the CVPA community are called to meet in Summer 2022 for a 90-minute session once a week with a goal of long-term commitment to relationship building, awareness, reimagining, transformation, and action, around anti-racist practices, racial justice, and the creation of conversations as well as systems of compassion and healing. We continue to focus on anti-Black racism and its effects on society. 
Grounded in the knowledge that it is not a question of whether we are racist, but rather, how racism is expressed and experienced in ourselves, our lives, our behaviors, and our institutions, we explore books, music, art, essays, podcasts, and documentaries that allow us to critically question and consider our roles as artists, thinkers, citizens, and creatives in a society founded on racist values and practices.
Jessica and Kristin

bell hooks
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Would you like to make a gift?

If you’d like to support the Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group, please click on the "Make a Gift" button below. On the form, please select "Additional Comments About Your Gift" and ask that your funds be directed towards the Kritikos Anti-Racist Discussion series. 

Thank you!

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This summer: a new season of Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group
Every Friday Starting June 24, 2022, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Join us on Zoom for the Kritkos Anti-Racist Reading Group

Week 7: Summer of Soul - Fri, Aug 5, 2022 at 1:00 PM ET

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Coming This Fall - New Season of Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group
September 30-November 11 - more information to come

Summer 2022 Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group Materials

Week 3: July 8, 2022—Radical Self-Care & Loving Blackness

Week 4: July 15, 2022— Healing from Racial Trauma: Celebrating Blackness

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Previous Reading Group Information

Spring 2022 Reading List

February 18 - April 8, 2022

Week One - Is Racism Violence?

Physiological & Psychological Impact of Racism and Discrimination for African-Americans 

How racism harms children 

Racial Trauma

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Racial Trauma (PDF)

How to Recognize and Cope with Racial Trauma

Racism Is a Health Crisis. Why Aren’t We Treating It Like One?

What White People Need To Know About Racial Trauma In The Workplace

Violence Prevention | University Policy | George Mason University


Week Two - Racism & Workplace Justice

When you don’t disclose salary range on a job posting, a unicorn loses its wings

How to Promote Racial Equity in the Workplace: A five-step plan by Robert Livingston

To Reduce Racial Inequality, Raise the Minimum Wage

Wage justice is racial justice—tipped workers deserve full minimum wage

The Racist History of Tipping, Minimum Wage and the Fight for Equity | Unpack That (video)

The Fear Black Employees Carry

Anti-Black racism in academia and what you can do about it

Black Representation in Academia and Corporate America Remains Inadequate in 2021


Week Three - Bystander Fatigue: When and Why Allyship Fails

A Year After George Floyd’s Killing, White Allyship Fades

Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance (PDF) by bell hooks

Support for Black Lives Matter has decreased since June but remains strong among Black Americans

Letter from Birmingham Jail (PDF) by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Overcoming Racial Equity Fatigue

White Backlash Is the Inevitable Response to Black Progress in the United States

No more white saviours, thanks: how to be a true anti-racist ally

How to Reject Allyship Fatigue and Keep Doing the Work of Anti-Racism


Week Four - Colorism, Featurism & Texturism

White supremacy, with a tan

The Impact of the Browning of America on Anti-Blackness

How Immigrant Communities Are Addressing Colorism and Anti-Blackness

Tangled: Black Hair and Texturism in Ethnodrama (PDF) by Kernysha L. Rowe

What Dark-Skinned People Will Never Tell You (video)

Light Skinned Privilege | Decoded (video)

How hair discrimination impacts Black Americans in their personal lives and the workplace (video)

Journalists apologize for mocking appearance of Blue Ivy, Beyoncé's 7-year-old daughter


Week Five - End Pretrial Detention & Money Bail

End to Pretrial Detention and Money Bail

The Truth About the Money Bail Industry (video) narrated by John Legend

Bail Reform

Civil Rights Advocates Release Scathing Report Tracing Ties Between Fairfax Financial and For-Profit Bail Industry

The problem with the U.S. bail system - Camilo Ramirez (video)

Bail: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO video)

The Significance of Illinois Ending Cash Bail (video)

Waukesha Suspect’s Previous Release Agitates Efforts to Overhaul Bail


Week Six - Anti-Racism & Body Positivity

How Whiteness Killed the Body Positive Movement

Why Are Women of Colour Left Out Of Body Positivity?

Lizzo, “Body Positivity,” and the Impossible Expectations for Black Women’s Bodies

For Queer Men of Color, Pressure to Have a Perfect Body Is About Race Too

Black Men Carving a Place in the Body Positive Movement

The Black History of the Body Positive Movement

Stephanie Yeboah: ‘How I learned to stop using my body as a punch bag’

Taylor McManus, a Black-centric Body-Positive Artist Championing the Redefinition of Beauty Standards


Week Seven - Black Joy: The Art & Legacy of Cuisines & Foodways of the African Diaspora

Transatlantic Food Migration: The African Culinary Influence on the Cusine of the Americas by Diane Spivey

In a New Netflix Series, Black Food Gets Celebrated—and Apex Preservationist Gabrielle E.W. Carter Gets Her Due

High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America | Official Trailer | Netflix

Why I Made High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America | Netflix

High on the Hog | Dr. Jessica B. Harris Interview | Netflix

The Profound Significance of ‘High on the Hog’ by Osayi Endolyn

Chef Bryant Terry’s new “Black Food” celebrates the African diaspora’s foodways and culture

In the Season, The Edna Lewis Story


Fall 2021 Reading List

October 1 - November 12, 2021

Week 1 - Abolish Police & Prisons: Prison Labor


Slavery in Louisiana's prisons? This lawmaker wants voters to outlaw forced labor for good 

At Least Seven States Have Prison Inmates Working in Governors' Mansions and Capitol Buildings

Prisoners Are Getting Paid $1.45 a Day to Fight the California Wildfires

American Slavery, Reinvented: The Thirteenth Amendment forbade slavery and involuntary servitude, “except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”

In Cameron Rowland’s ‘91020000,’ Disquieting Sculptures

How prison labor contributes to the U.S. economy

Prison Labor: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) - video


Week 2 - The Role of Racism in the War on Drugs


The legal cannabis industry is exploding, but overwhelmingly run by white owners

Jay Z: 'The War on Drugs Is an Epic Fail' by Jay-Z, Molly Crabapple, Jim Batt, Kim Boekbinder and Dream Hampton (video)

State cannabis reform is putting social justice front and center

Hip-Hop Pioneer Fab 5 Freddy Delves into the Cannabis Industry in New Netflix Doc

New York’s Legal Weed Law Could Still Screw Over Black People

How a racist hate-monger masterminded America’s War on Drugs

The War on Drugs is a Lie | Decoded (Season 8) - video


Week 3 - Racism in Sports 

‘I was the only black kid in the pool’: why swimming is so white

Simone Biles Dials Up the Difficulty, ‘Because I Can’

Gregg Deal’s Performance Art Exposes the Real-Life Effects of the Washington Football Team’s Name

Swimming caps for natural black hair ruled out of Olympic Games

Black America defends Sha’Carri Richardson over Olympics suspension for marijuana

Black Female Athletes Score for Activism

All the Black women in us are tired

Sha'Carri Richardson's drug test suspension is the end result of racist policies


Week 4 - Voter Suppression


America's long history of Black voter suppression

Map: See Which States Have Restricted Voter Access, And Which States Have Expanded It

Tomashi Jackson’s Many Shades of Voter Suppression

Tomashi Jackson: Love Rollercoaster 

House passes John Lewis voting rights bill that's set to stall in Senate

Stacey Abrams: Voting rights not a question of partisanship, but of 'peopleship' (video)
Black Americans and the Vote


Week 5 - Black and Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity against White Supremacy

The Endless Robbing of Native American Graves

Her Voice, Our Future: The History of the Dept of the Interior and the Nomination of Deb Haaland. (video)

Did Europeans Enslave Native Americans? (video)

Indian Boarding Schools' Traumatic Legacy, And The Fight To Get Native Ancestors Back

Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

Hearts of Our People: Power

Indigenous peoples echo Black Lives Matter’s call for justice

Indigenous artists stand with the Black Lives Matter movement as part of new community initiative


Week 6 - Racism & Student Loan Debt 

Racial capitalism and student debt in the U.S. (PDF)

#CancelStudentDebt - How does student debt affect black borrowers? (video)

Why Do Students Have So Much Debt? (video)

Historically Black colleges making moves to forgive student debt (video)

Can Biden Shrink the Black-White Wealth Gap Without Canceling Loan Debt?

Clark Atlanta University, HBCUs across the country clear student balances and cancel debt with federal funds

America’s Student Debt Crisis: Marvin's Story | Consumer Reports (video)

Angela Davis: We can't eradicate racism without eradicating racial capitalism (video)


Week 7 - Black Joy & Self-Compassion: Setting Boundaries

How Jessamyn Stanley Resists a Culture That Thrives on Body Negativity

The Darwin Variant, and/or Love of the Fittest

At The 'Museum Of Black Joy,' It's The Everyday Moments That Go On Display

A Day of Self Love (video)

10-Minute Guided Meditation for Beginners to Clear Thoughts

Why the BIPOC community is getting serious about boundaries: ‘Boundary work is liberation’

How to Unplug, Set Boundaries, and Practice Self-Care During Tumultuous Times. Here’s how to unplug, unwind, set boundaries, and stay healthy as we fight systemic racism and police brutality. by Taneasha White

4 BIPOC Women on the Power of Saying 'No'—And Why It's Essential for Self Care


Summer 2021 Reading List

June 25, 2021 - August 6, 2021

Week One - The Role of White Women in Perpetuating White Supremacy

White women’s role in white supremacy, explained

How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history (video)

Women Have Always Been a Part of White Supremacy

Audre Lorde

Dear White Women, Are You Abusing Your Racial Privilege?

I Refuse to Listen to White Women Cry’ - Activist Rachel Cargle has built a brand — and a business — by calling out racial injustices within feminism

Amy Cooper Charged: Why White Women Privilege Must Be Dismantled (video)

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger asks appeals court to throw out murder conviction for killing Botham Jean


Week Two - Understanding the History of Systemic Racism in the United States

Ibram X Kendi: Stamped from the Beginning (video)

The 1619 Project - The New York Times or view here

How systemic racism shaped the ecosystems of U.S. cities (video)

Health Disparities in the Black Community: Past & Present (video)

The Racist Origins of U.S. Law (video)

Systemic Racism in U.S. Policing Deconstructed (video)

James Baldwin Discusses Racism | The Dick Cavett Show (video)

Can art amend history? | Titus Kaphar (video)

U.S. History: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO (video)


Week 3 - Racism without Racists

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Ghosts of Segregation Vestiges of racism and oppression, from bricked-over segregated entrances to the forgotten sites of racial violence, still permeate much of America’s built environment.

colour-blind racism: the four frames

Color Blind Racism (video)

The Linguistics of Color Blind Racism: How to Talk Nasty About Blacks Without Sounding “Racist” by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

COLOR BLIND RACISM - EXPLAINED IN 10 MINUTES | Eduardo Bonilla-Silva - 2002 (video)

Art That Confronts and Challenges Racism: Start Here

Amy Sherald: The Great American Fact (video)

Erasure by Exclusion: How Art Schools and Institutions Uphold White Supremacy (video)


Week 4 - Abolish Police & Prisons: Surveillance of Black Communities


“Coded Bias”: New Film Looks at Fight Against Racial Bias in Facial Recognition & AI Technology (video)

Compliance Will Not Save Me: Black and brown people’s defiance is not the problem. Our compliance is not the solution. by Ibram X. Kendi

Police technology under scrutiny following Chicago shooting

How Surveillance Harms Black and Brown Communities (video)

The Woman Making Art out of the FBI's Surveillance of Her Black Panther Father

How Surveillance Has Always Reinforced Racism

White People Unnecessarily Calling the Cops on Black People | The Daily Show (video)


Week 5 - Racism in Academia

From Georgetown Law To JAMA: What We Can Learn From Racist Incidents In Elite Academia

Envisioning Higher Education as Antiracist

Claiming a Louder Life: Part I

Racism in Academia (3:55) (video)

White Academia: Do Better. Higher education has a problem. It’s called White supremacy. By Jasmine Roberts

Teaching to Transgress Today: Theory and Practice In and Outside the Classroom (video)

An Essay for Teachers Who Understand Racism Is Real by Bettina Love

The ONE Virginia Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence in Higher Education


Week 6 - Emotional Privilege, Racism & Anger

The Uses of Anger by Audre Lorde

Emotional Intelligence, racial stereotypes, & the politics of emotional expression | Khadija Mbowe (video)

The witness would not be described as angry

The Sapphire Caricature

Why Are Black Women So Angry (5:26) (video)

The Capitol siege shows how White Americans can express anger that Black Americans cannot

Black Women Have Never Had The Privilege Of Rage

Anger Can Build a Better World: Black Lives Matter protests are not anti-American, but as American as one can get.

Killing Rage by bell hooks, Chapter 1: Killing Rage: Militant Resistance, pp 8-20


Week 7 - Healing from Racial Trauma: Celebrating Blackness

Dr. Alex L. Pieterse: Coping with generations of racism and racial trauma (video)

Lizzo - Good As Hell (Official Music Video)

Lizzo - Juice (Official Video)

MY POWER (Official Audio) 

Micheaux: Celebrating Blackness by bell hooks [PDF]

Oscar Micheaux: The First Black Indie Filmmaker (video)

Unpacking Black Joy From The Revolutionary to the Ordinary (video)

​​​​​​​BEAM Tool Kits & Resources

​​​​​​​Conversations on Black Healing (Full Episode One - video)


Spring 2021 Reading Lists

February 19-April 9, 2021

Week One - Race & Medicine

“This Is How Black People Get Killed”: Dr. Susan Moore Dies of COVID After Decrying Racist Care (Democracy Now video): (6:07)

Say her name: Dr. Susan Moore (Washington Post article):

The Tuskegee Study (video) 3:01)

The US medical system is still haunted by slavery (Vox Pro Publica video) (8:49)

Beyond Tuskegee — Vaccine Distrust and Everyday Racism (New England Journal of Medicine)

Meet the Black female scientist at the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine development (CBS article and video) (6:25)

Ted Talk: The problem with race-based medicine | Dorothy Roberts (video) (14:36)

Early Data Shows Striking Racial Disparities In Who's Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine (NPR 5-Minute Listen)

Henrietta Lacks (HeLa): The Mother of Modern Medicine (Painting by Kadir Nelson)

Doreen Garner Sculpts Our Trauma | Art21 "New York Close Up" (video) (7:38)

Week Two - Dismantling the White Gaze Materials

 Facing Difference: The Black Female Body by bell hooks ( PDF from Art on My Mind, pp. 94-100)

The Politics of Radical Black Subjectivity by bell hooks (from Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics, Chapter 2, pp. 15-22)

Discerning Photography’s White Gaze

Nine Black Artists and Cultural Leaders on Seeing and Being Seen: Amy Sherald, Michael R. Jackson and others discuss the challenges and opportunities of cultivating black audiences and dismantling historically white institution.

Beware the white gaze

Black writers courageously staring down the white gaze – this is why we all must read them by Stan Grant

'Fairview' and tackling the white gaze by Hannah Miao

White Savior: The Movie Trailer (Late Night with Seth Meyers video) (5:51)


Week Three - Cultural Appropriation

What is Cultural Appropriation? by Ijeoma Oluo (Chapter 10 from So You Want to Talk About Race)

Watch This Documentary on Braids and Appropriation in America | ELLE (20 minute video)

We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs by LAUREN MICHELE JACKSON

What is Cultural Appropriation? (Video)

7 Myths about Cultural Appropriation DEBUNKED! | Decoded | MTV News

Jessica Krug: Inside the mind of an imposter (Video)


The Long, Painful Legacy Of Blackface In America (HBO)

These Blackface-Wearing, N-Word-Spewing Culture Vultures Would Like to Teach Your Kids About Hip-Hop


Week Four - Museums Are Not Neutral

Museums Are Not Neutral

African American Artists Are More Visible Than Ever. So Why Are Museums Giving Them Short Shrift?

The Guggenheim’s First Black Curator Is Denouncing the Museum’s Treatment of Her

The Problem with Museums (Video)

The British Museum is full of stolen artifacts (Video)

moCa Curator La Tanya Autry Advocates Museums Are Not Neutral

Former Staffers and Board Members Denounce Racism at Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

The Met Will Turn Down Sackler Money Amid Fury Over the Opioid Crisis

An Instagram Account Is Amplifying Anonymous Testimonies of Racism in Museums


Week Five - The Black Horizon: Black Womxn, Sex & Power

Constructing Radical Black Female Subjectivities: Survival Pimping in Austin Clarke's The Polished Hoe by Jennifer Thorington Springer (PDF 23 pages)

Why I Speak Up for Black Women. I’m not afraid of criticism, and “Protect Black women” should not be controversial by Megan Thee Stallion

Selling Hot Pussy: Representations of Black Female Sexualtiy in the Cultural Marketplace by bell hooks (PDF Chapter 4 from Black Looks pp. 61-77)

WAP: the summer smash hit that exposed the fear of sexually liberated black women by Michell Chresfield

The Boldly Feminine Gaze of Hiba Schahbaz--Schahbaz’s large-scale paintings, on view in her latest exhibition Dreaming, assert the right to claim and occupy space as a woman

Against the Grain: Black Women and Sexuality by Desiree Lewis 9 (PDF 24 pages)

Zanele Muholi – ‘In My World, Every Human is Beautiful’ | Tate (video)


Week Six - Racism & Travel

Life after the ‘Green Book’: What is the future for Black travelers in America? By Glynn Pogue

What Was It Like to Travel While Black During Jim Crow? | 360 Video | Op-Docs (20:08)

The real story of the Green Book (Video 4:16)

[LoveCraft Country Series] S01 E01 Sundown Town Scene (Video 4:35)

This former sundown county expelled 1,100 black residents in a racial cleansing (Video 9:14)

2020 Is the Summer of the Road Trip. Unless You’re Black, by Tariro Mzezewa

Freedom Riders (Video 1:52:28)

Evita Robinson: Reclaiming the globe (Video 6:37)


Week 7 - Radical Self-Care & Loving Blackness

We need more 'trauma-free Blackness.' Here's a start, by John Blake (CNN article)

Loving Blackness as Political Resistance by bell hooks (Chapter 1 from Black Looks pp. 9-20)

The Radical History of Self-Care

Artist Billie Zangewa – the Ultimate Act of Resistance is Self-Love | TateShots



DREAMWEAVERS: In / Conversation - Carrie Mae Weems and Terence Nance (Video)

Nina Simone: That Blackness (Video)

Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid - BROWN SKIN GIRL (Official Video)


Fall 2020 Reading Lists

October 2-November 20, 2020

Week 1 - Misogynoir

Why you need to know what 'misogynoir' means right now (article) 

What "Misogynoir" Means . . . and Why It Has to End (video) 

End Adultification Bias (Full Version) (video) 

The Uses of Anger by Audre Lorde (essay) 

The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House (pdf) by Audre Lorde (essay) 

How to Be an Anti-Racist: Chapter 14: Gender by Ibram X. Kendi

M4BL: End of the War on Black Women (website) 

Doreen Garner Sculpts Our Trauma | Art21 "New York Close Up" (video) 

‘Nobody's Free Until Everybody's Free’: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Legacy Is More Important Now Than Ever (article) 

The problem with celebrating the 19th Amendment: Opinion by Treva B. Lindsey (article) 

Ida B. Wells | The Vote | American Experience | PBS (video) 

The Revolutionary Practice of Black Feminisms


Week 2 - Reparations

M4BL: Reparations 

The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic article) 

What is Owed by Nikole Hannah-Jones (NYT article) 

We May Be the First People to Receive Reparations for Slavery | NYT Opinion (NYT video) 

Slavery reparations bill debated in US House hearing (The Guardian video)  

‘Stain of slavery’: Congress debates reparations to atone for America's original sin (The Guardian article with video) 

Can reparations help right the wrongs of slavery? (PBS video) 

North Carolina City Will Give Reparations to Black Residents | NowThis (video) 

Reparations, H.R. 40 and the Path Forward (ACLU)

H. R. 40

How Reparations Could Fix The Racial Wealth Gap In America | NBC News NOW (video) 

Six questions about slavery reparations, answered (CNN article) 


Week 3 - Afrofuturism, Otherwise Worlds, and Freedom Dreaming 

Why should you read sci-fi superstar Octavia E. Butler? - Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey (video) 

Excerpt: "Emergent Strategies" - adrienne maree brown (video) 

Sci-Fi Digital Series “Afrofuturism” Sun Ra Part 1 | DUST (video) 

Afrofuturism mixes sci-fi and social justice. Here’s how it works. (video) 

Afrofuturism Explained: Not Just Black Sci-Fi | Inverse (video) 

Otherwise, Ferguson by Ashon Crawley (essay) 

Against the Normative World by Sofia Samatar (interview) 


Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, Chapter 6: KEEPIN’ IT (SUR)REALDREAMS OF THE MARVELOUS by Robin D. G. Kelley 

Freedom Dreaming: A Call to Imagine by Sarah Branch, Downtown Brooklyn Arts Management Fellow 

Freedom Dreaming - Digital Resource Guide


Week 4 - Race and Disability

Alice Sheppard 

Alice Sheppard on Disability Dance and Access 

Racism and Ableism 

Children of color with autism face disparities of care and isolation 

Dis/ability critical race studies (DisCrit): theorizing at the intersections of race and dis/ability


Intersectionality & Disability, ft Keri Gray, the Keri Gray Group #DisabilityDemandsJustice (video)

#RaceAnd: Kay Ulanday Barrett (video) 

Week 5 - Education as Liberation: Anti-Racist Pedagogy

Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Chapter 2—Paulo Friere (full text)

Teaching to Transgress, Chapter 1: Engaged Pedagogy by bell hooks (full text)

Teaching to Transgress, Chapter 4: Paulo Friere by bell hooks (full text)

bell hooks on interlocking systems of domination (4 min video) 

We Want to Do More Than Survive, Chapter 5: Abolitionist Teaching, Freedom Dreaming, and Black Joy by Bettina Love

Creating Inclusive Classrooms (Mason Website) 

“Education Liberates” featuring bell hooks and Bettina Love (1 hr, 30 min video) 


Week 6 - Black Trans Lives Matter



Black Trans Women Seek More Space in the Movement They Helped Start

Marsha P. Johnson Was a Transgender Rights Pioneer Who Fought for LGBTQ Minorities

Black Trans* Lives Matter | D-L Stewart | TEDxCSU

Thousands Protest in Support of Black Trans Lives in NYC | NowThis (video)

Black Trans Lives Matter: Movement Pushes for Justice & Visibility Amid “Epidemic” of Violence Democracy Now (video)

Diamond Stylz on Why Black Trans Rights Are Civil Rights | The Root

Week 7 - Black Joy, Self Care & Healing from Racial Trauma

Calm: Do Nothing for 2 Minutes


Talking about Race: Self-Care

Understanding Racial Trauma

How racism makes us sick | David R. Williams

Racism at My Job Literally Gave Me PTSD by Erika Stallings

Audre Lorde reads Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic As Power (FULL Updated)

Kleaver Cruz The Black Joy Project

Dignity and Power Now Healing Justice Toolkit

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Gallery of Artists and Activists

In our Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group we call upon and discuss the work of innumerable Black scholars, authors, activists, artists, musicians, poets, dancers, and playwrights to guide our discussions. Here are just a few of them:

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Rachel Cargle
An activist, academic, writer, and lecturer
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Nikole Hannah Jones
A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and avid journalist
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Titus Kaphar
An American painter, sculptor, filmmaker, and installation artist
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Audre Lord
Was a Black writer, feminist, and activist

Learn More About the People Above From Our Summer 2021 Session

Rachel Cargle

Rachel Cargle is an activist, academic, writer, and lecturer. In her academic and professional work, Rachel Cargle explores the intersection of race and womanhood––challenging the interlocking systems of oppression through intellectual discourses and educational tools and resources. For KARRG, we turn to Rachel Cargle’s work to examine how white women should divorce themselves from white supremacy to become accomplices to BIPOC individuals.

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, an avid journalist, and the creator of the 1619 Project. In the 1619 Project and her other works, Nikole Hannah-Jones moves the reader to confront America’s national hypocrisy and ignored truths regarding systemic racism. For KARRG, Nikole Hannah-Jones and the 1619 Project lay the groundwork in our discussions for exploring a history of system racism in America.

Titus Kaphar

Titus Kaphar is an American painter, sculptor, filmmaker, and installation artist, and the recipient of awards such as the 2018 MacArthur Fellowship and the 2018 Art for Justice Fund grant. In his works, Titus Kaphar investigates contemporary themes and significance in artworks and artforms of the past. For KARRG, we watch Titus Kaphar’s 2017 TED Talk—“Can Art Amend History?”— in which Titus Kaphar whitewashes one of his paintings to shift the viewers’ gaze from an affluent white family to a young brown servant child.

Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde was a Black writer, feminist, and activist who devoted her life and her work to exploring issues of civil rights, racism, feminism, lesbianism, and the Black female identity. In her activism and published works, Audre Lorde centers the importance of liberation for oppressed and marginalized populations, and organizing individuals across differences of race, gender, sexual orientation, and class. In KARRG, we constantly affirm Audre Lorde’s words: “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

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bell hooks
An author, professor, feminist, and social activist
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Dr. Bettina Love
An award-winning author and co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network
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Audre Lorde
An activist and writer

Learn More About the People Above From Past Sessions:

bell hooks

bell hooks is an American author, professor, feminist, and social activist. Having written over 40 books, she is also known for coining the phrase "imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" to describe the many interlocking systems of oppression active in U.S. society and culture. For KARRG we turn to this phrase in nearly every session often expanding on it as "imperialist white supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy."

Dr. Bettina Love

Dr. Bettina Love is the Athletic Association Endowed Professor at the University of Georgia and a pioneer for educating communities on race, education and educators, abolition, and Black joy. She is an award-winning author and co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network, whose mission is to develop and support teachers and parents to fight injustice within their schools and communities. 

Audre Lorde

The Black feminist, Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was a native New Yorker and daughter of immigrants. Both her activism and her published work speak to the importance of struggle for liberation among oppressed peoples and of organizing in coalition across differences of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, age and ability. 

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Ingrid Masonda
A South African photography artist
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Cardi B
An award winning and multi-platinum American hip hop artist
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La Tanya Autry
A cultural organizer in the visual arts
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Megan Thee Stallion
A feminist and an award-winning American hip hop artist

Learn More About the People Above From Past Sessions:

Ingrid Masondo

Ingrid Masondo is a South African photography artist who has worked independently on extensive personal projects, particularly focusing on the body, its habits and practices, and markings and performances. Masondo is an arts, music, and cultural worker, who currently works as the curator of Photography and New Media at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.

Cardi B.

An award winning and multi-platinum American hip hop artist, Cardi B is also a feminist, political activist, philanthropist, and actor. Born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, she continues to break records through her work and make history through the accolades she receives.

La Tanya Autry

La Tanya Autry is a cultural organizer in the visual arts who centers social justice and public memory in her work. In 2017, she co-founded the global advocacy initiative "MUSEUMS ARE NOT NEUTRAL" with Mike Murawski. The Crossroads of Commemoration: Lynching Landscapes in America is her dissertation that analyzes how individuals and communities memorialize white supremacy models, such as lynching violence in the built environment, concentrates on the interplay of race, representation, memory, and public space.

Megan Thee Stallion

Originally from Houston, Texas, Megan Thee Stallion is a feminist and an award-winning American hip hop artist. Her work embraces female sensuality and confidence, centers female desire and pleasure, and defies stereotypes.

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Susan Moore
Was a Michigan-based family medicine physician
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Kadir Nelson
A Los Angeles-based painter, illustrator, author
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Lorna Simpson
An African American photographer and multimedia artist
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Doreen Gardner
An American sculptor and performance artist

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Dr. Susan Moore

Dr. Susan Moore was a Michigan-based family medicine physician who died December 20, 2020 of complications from COVID-19. Dr. Susan Moore died just weeks after posting a video online from her hospital bed accusing a white doctor of denying her requests for pain medication and proper treatment because she was Black.

Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is a Los Angeles-based painter, illustrator, and author whose work is centered on African American culture and history. His work is best known for being featured on the covers of The New Yorker magazine as well as the album covers of Drake and Michael Jackson.

Lorna Simpson

Lorna Simpson is an African American photographer and multimedia artist who challenges conventional ideas about race, women, and culture. She was awarded the J. Paul Getty Medal in 2019. 

Doreen Garner

Doreen Garner is an American sculptor and performance artist whose work explores the frequent suppressed and traumatic medical histories of the Black body.

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Alice Shepherd
A disabled choreographer and dancer from Britain
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Paulo Freire
A renowned Brazilian educator and philosopher
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Marsha P. Johnson
A transgender woman who fought for LGBTQ rights

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Alice Sheppard

Alice Sheppard is a disabled choreographer and dancer from Britain as well as a sought-out speaker engaging on topics related to disability, arts, race and dance. She first began her career as a professor and after watching disabled dancer Homer Avila, she was challenged to take a dancing class and immediately fell in love, and later made her debut with the Infinity Dance Theatre.

Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire was a renowned Brazilian educator and philosopher who was a leading advocate on critical pedagogy. Pedagogy of the Oppressed is Freire's most influential work and leads us in this approach on how we can read the society around us.

Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson was a fearless and bold African American transgender woman who fought for LGBTQ rights and was an outspoken advocate for trans people of color. Despite her struggle with mental illness and often being homeless, she made her way as a drag queen and served as a "drag mother" for homeless and struggling LGBTQ youth.

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Anti-Racist Resources