Resources for Exploring Systemic Racism

Racism is woven into the fabric of American life, both overtly and subtly; within its institutions and policies. It divides us by delegating power and defining stations of superiority and inferiority. 

The United States has an immutable history of injustice and violence against Black people, and the effects of systemic racism towards Blacks also extend to other people of color.  

Racism affects us all because it dehumanizes us all. But it is our hope is that by sharing resources — books, articles, podcasts, videos, and training opportunities — we, as individuals will: 

  • EDUCATE ourselves about current and historical events of racial divide.
  • EXAMINE our own actions and how they play into racial inequity.
  • JOIN IN CONVERSATIONS. Be honest, genuine. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know."
  • LISTEN with the intent to listen.

This list is only a starting place. It is a living document that we'll be updating regularly and we encourage your suggestions and thoughts.

Racism affects us all because it dehumanizes us all. Through education, examination and active listening, we can challenge ourselves to do better.

Kimberly McNeil, Diversity & Inclusion Director at DGHI and Associate Director for the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research




  •, children's bookstore with books that promote positive images and stories about African American culture and history.
  • Loyalty Books, a family-owned DC-based bookstore with diverse books and events.



Watching & Listening


  • 13th. Netflix documentary by Ava DuVernay highlighting the criminalization of African Americans and the racism and injustice within the U.S. prison system. Now also available for free viewing on YouTube
  • "A Riot is the Language of the Unheard" Martin Luther King Jr. Explained 53 Years Ago, in The Week
  • Durham: A Self-Portrait. Sensationalized in national media and misunderstood in its own region, Durham, NC, has played a historic role in the story of race and class in the American South. 
  • Justice Ginsburg on Public Interest Law. A 2017 C-SPAN interview with US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who talked about her life, legal career, equality and social justice.
  • Let the Fire BurnPBS documentary film recounting the May 13, 1985, tragedy in Philadelphia.
  • RBG. Documentary film about the life and career of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who developed a breathtaking legal legacy and became a pop culture icon.
  • Skin. Award-winning short film about a young man, raised by racist skinheads and notorious among white supremacists, who turns his back on hatred and violence with the help of a black activist and the woman he loves.
  • The Other America. A recording of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1967 speech.



  • Brene Brown and Aiko Bethea on Inclusivity at Work: The Heart of Hard Conversations.
  • Zora's Daughters. A society and culture podcast that uses Black feminist anthropology to think about race, politics, and popular culture. Producers Alyssa A.L. James and Brendane Tynes dig deep into social issues in an accessible and entertaining way with the aim of empowering listeners to develop the tools and language that sparks conversations and change.



  • Follow #BlackintheIvory on Twitter. The hashtag is being used by academics to express thoughts, emotions and solutions to dealing with racism in academic institutions in the U.S. and around the world.


    Resources from Duke

    Suggestions for Being an Ally

    • Listen to, receive, and believe the truth and hurt of People of Color when they relay incidents of racism and bigotry.

    • Spend time in diverse places and build meaningful, honest relationships with People of Color.

    • Invest in intentional anti-racist education.

    • Search these topics to learn more: Race-Based Traumatic Stress, the Biopsychosocial Model of Racism as a Stressor, and Adverse Childhood Experiences(ACEs) studies, such as the one in Philadelphia.

    Organizations & Training Resources

    Resources on the History of Durham

    • Durham, a Self-Portrait, a book by Steven Channing and the accompanying documentary

    Durham 150 website