Sociology is the study of relationships between the individual and broader social and historical forces. The Sociology Department stands with everyone in the nation fighting the racism that was built into the ideology and social structures of our country, and persists to this day. While there are of course myriad sources of inequality and injustice to fight in our world, at this moment we, as a nation, are poised to make a difference on the intersecting fronts of racism, law enforcement and the prison system.
As we work together to create a more equal and just world, many of our faculty members will continue to focus on crucial issues of racism, law enforcement, authority and social control, and mass incarceration.
Racism is so woven into the fabric of our culture that being “not racist” is not really possible, for any of us. It is the air we have breathed for all of our lives. Further, we recognize that “not racist” is different from “antiracist,” and we strive for the latter. Outside of class, we encourage you to pursue additional information and further education about the issues, to support Black-owned businesses, and to learn about local and national organizations working toward racial justice. The list below is by no means exhaustive, but it is a beginning.
How to be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
Black-owned Bookstores (you can find many more with a Google search, but here’s a starter list):
I Am Not Your Negro
Hello Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea.
Crime + Punishment
A starter list of local Black-owned businesses to support:
A more complete list is here:
A source for lists in other areas and states:
Local organizations for racial justice:
National organizations and sources of further information:
A couple of FAQ:
“But don’t all lives matter?”
Yes. Of course. But saying “all lives matter,” in this context, is a denial of the overwhelming evidence that our institutions, policies and practices do not support that claim. #BlackLivesMatter calls attention to the racial discrepancy in the value of human life in this country. To insist that “all lives matter” is to ignore and obscure that reality.
@JlTEAGEGE explained it well, four years ago:
“Isn’t your department taking a political position?”
Sociology is fundamentally about power and inequality among and between social groups. We view this as a humanitarian position, not a political one - and one that is core to the study of social life.
“I’m white. How can I best help?”
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