The Past, Present, and Future of Race Relations in America

I learned many new things about American history in the past 3 to 4 months. It has been quite enlightening. As a result, I thought it would be nice to combine readings and videos I found informative into one post to share with others. This is a “living document.” As such, you may wish to bookmark this page and check back periodically. Feel free to contact me if you have any additions or corrections you believe suit the table below.

The Past / Present / Future flow arose while reading Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. That book presented an interesting question: if you stand in front of a river, where is the river? Like many of you, I thought “well, right there in front of me of course.” However, the river is more than in front of you. The river has a past, present, and future that are all connected. The river’s past began as snow in the mountains. The river’s present is right there before you. The river’s future is downstream flowing into the ocean, evaporating into the air, and returning as rainfall or snowfall.

So too is our life. So too is the experience of race relations in America. All represent a linked series of past, present, and future thoughts, actions, and consequences. Following that flow, I assembled a table on the Past, Present, and Future of race relations in America by topical area.

Allow me to highlight a few I found especially enlightening to recommend as a reading and viewing “starter pack.”

  1. NPR, American Police: HTML. Although listed in the “Policing, Past” portion of the table, it could easily have been placed in all parts of the table. If you want a good background of the evolution of race relations in this country, I find this an excellent starting point.
  2. King Cotton: The Truth About the Confederacy: HTML. This is #2 perhaps due to my professional bias. I teach finance, this video includes numbers.
  3. Dispelling the Confederate Monument Myths: HTML. From the same person as #2. In this he provides further context on what confederate monuments actually represent.

Okay, so those would be my top three. Yours may be different. If you finish those three and want recommendations for what to read/view next, I’d go with the “Housing, Past” and “Education, Past” portions of the table.

I’ll end with a quote from Kung-Fu:

If one dwells on the past, then they rob the present. But if one ignores the past, they may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.

PastPresentFuture
Policing– NPR, American Police: HTML.– PBS, FBI warned of white supremacists in law enforcement 10 years ago. Has anything changed: HTML.
– NPR, White Woman Fired After Calling Police on Black Man in Viral Video: HTML.
– NY Daily News, Starbucks manager called the cops on black men two minutes after they arrived for business meeting: HTML.
– CNN, Woman who called cops on Black man birdwatching in Central Park faces charges: HTML.
– Sacramento Bee, Proposed California law would make it a hate crime to call 911 because of a person’s race: HTML.
Housing– NPR, A ‘Forgotten History’ Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America: HTML.– The Guardian, CEO caught on video confronting neighbor over Black Lives Matter message: HTML.
– NPR, Parks In Nonwhite Areas Are Half The Size Of Ones In Majority-White Areas: HTML.
EducationRevisionist History Podcats, Miss Buchanan’s Period Of Adjustment: HTML.– Mother Jones, I’m a Black Female Scientist. On My First Day of Work, a Colleague Threatened to Call the Cops on Me: HTML.
– The State Hornet, Sac State professor apologizes for video featuring racial slurs, petition circulates for his removalHTML.
Slavery & DiscriminationDispelling the Confederate Monument Myths: HTML. (7.5 minutes)
The Truth About the Confederacy in the United States (Full 1 hour 40 minute version): HTML.
The Creator of Veggie Tales Gives a No-Nonsense History of Race in America in 17 minutes: HTML.
– Gimlet Media, Uncivil: A history podcast where we go back to the time our divisions turned into a war, and bring you stories left out of the official history: HTML.
– Brief story of how a colleague at Sacramento State University unnecessarily called the police on me, a fellow tenured finance professor: HTML.
– Jennifer Eberhardt TED Talk, How racial bias works: HTML.
– USA Today, ‘I’m leaving, and I’m just not coming back’: Fed up with racism, Black Americans head overseas: HTML.
EconomyKing Cotton: The Truth About the Confederacy: HTML.
– NPR, Patent Racism: HTML.
– Forbes, The 2% Solution: Inside Billionaire Robert Smith’s Bold Plan to Funnel Billions to America’s Black-Owned Businesses: HTML.
– McKinsey & Company, The economic impact of closing the racial wealth gap: HTML.

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