Resources for Teaching About Charlottesville, White Supremacy, Racism, and Hate

by Marsha Rakestraw

Over the weekend, hatred and violence descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, as white nationalists amassed  to “take America back,” and opponents gathered to protest white supremacy and oppression.

On Friday night white supremacists marched on the University of Virginia campus, carrying torches, chanting, and surrounding a small group of counterprotesters. On Saturday, people from both sides were seen beating each other, and in an act of terrorism, a white supremacist drove his car through a group of protestors, killing one young woman and injuring dozens more.

While systemic racism has been an integral part of US history and culture (but one often ignored by white people), in the last several months, egregious acts of hatred have regularly become front page news, and white-focused hate groups have expanded and become more vocal and militant.

The hard truth is that racism, oppression, and hatred are thriving (and have long thrived) in the US.

And it is vital that conversations about white supremacy, discrimination, hatred, and the escalation of extremist views and actions take place in our classrooms.

Exploring these issues offers students a chance to think critically and creatively (and question what they’re hearing and seeing), communicate passionately and compassionately, hone their research skills, and use their skills and the solutionary lens to discuss choices that could do more good and less harm for all and the roles as young citizens that they can play in creating a better world.

Here are several resources to help you bring these issues to your classroom.

Find more curated resources about race and discrimination here and for teaching about race and racism here.

Use these curated resources for getting useful tips for exploring controversial issues in your classroom.

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Image via Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr.