The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein. The book explores Rothstein’s contention that racial housing segregation is in fact the result of government policy, both federal, state, and local. Rothstein’s argument is in contrast to the prevailing view, held by Supreme Court in the 1973 decision Miliken vs. Bradley and a subsequent 2007 decision: that housing segregation is primarily the result of private racism and decisions. A review in The New York Times said that there was “no better history” of housing segregation, while Rachel Cohen of Slate called The Color of Law “essential.”
Sojourners – Analysis and commentary from leading and emerging voices on faith, culture, and the common good.
Letter from Birmingham Jail – an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. It says that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts.
12 Years a Slave – an adaptation of the 1853 slave narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. (2013), 2hr 14min.
13th – an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. (2016), 1h 40min.
Get Out – A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate. (2017 – entertainment/horror), 1h 44min.
Just Mercy is an upcoming American biographical drama film directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, based on the memoir by Bryan Stevenson and stars Michael B. Jordan as Stevenson. Attorney Bryan Stevenson takes the case of Walter McMillian, a man imprisoned for murder, despite having evidence to prove otherwise (Warner Bros. Jan. 2020 – biographical drama).
Malcolm X – a 1992 American epic biographical drama film about the Afro-American activist Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee, the film stars Denzel Washington in the title role.
Reconstruction: The Second Civil War – This installment of the acclaimed PBS television series “American Experience” looks at one of the least understood periods in American history, Reconstruction, which spanned the tumultuous years from 1863 to 1877. The documentary tracks the extraordinary stories of ordinary Americans — Southerners, Northerners, white and black — as they struggle to shape new lives in a United States turned upside down. (2004), 3hr.
The Birth of a Nation (originally called The Clansman) – a highly controversial (racist!) film produced in 1915 and used as a recruiting tool for the KKK. The highly commercially successful film chronicles the relationship of two families in the American Civil War and Reconstruction era over the course of several years. Under President Woodrow Wilson, it was the first American motion picture to be screened at the White House. 2hr 13min – 3hr 13min.
The Birth of a Nation – period drama film based on the story of Nat Turner, the enslaved man who led a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831. (2016) 2hr.
True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality– An intimate portrait of this remarkable man, this documentary follows his struggle to create greater fairness in the system and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved and continues to threaten the country, challenging viewers to confront it. (HBO 2019) 1hr 40min.
When They See Us – American drama web television four-part miniseries created, co-written, and directed by Ava DuVernay for Netflix. The series is based on events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and explores the lives of the families of and the five male suspects who were prosecuted in 1990 on charges related to the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park, New York City, the year before. (2019).