Activists, scholars, and many others took to the streets, their workplaces, and classrooms in protest of anti-Black racism as evidenced by the 2020 police killings including: Ahmaud Arbery, murdered by two aimed White men who determined that he did not belong in a Georgia suburb; Breanna Taylor, an EMT in Louisville, KY who police officers shot dead in her own home; George Floyd, who the world watched die under Derrick Chauvin's knee; and Tony McDale, a transgender Black man in FL, murdered by police. These protests garnered support from people not typically involved in activism for racial justice and crossed racial and socio-economic boundaries. Despite a deadly pandemic and before the vaccine, people masked-up and took to the streets in protest of the virus of racism for which there remains no vaccination. Eerily reminiscent of Red Summer, 1919 plagued with racial conflict during the worldwide influenza epidemic, Summer 2020, illustrates the seeming permanence of racism in our beloved America. These horrific killings are symptomatic of structural racism and systemic violence rooted in White supremacy, racialized heteropatriarchy, capitalism, imperialism and the carceral state. The wave of uprisings that swept the nation and globe represent part of a long struggle of anti-racist organizing--one that can be traced back hundreds of years.

Using readings, lectures, discussion and intersectional analysis, this class examines the roots, philosophies/ideologies, and resistance to racism in the United States, specifically. We consider how race is interwoven into other categories including ethnicity, gender, class, and gender identity. We will use history, literature & poetry, science and public health to explore these themes with the goal of
helping students understand how racism functions in U.S. society.





General Education Core Requirement

H - Humanities