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Anti-Racism: A resource guide



It is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably (NAC International Perspectives: Women and Global Solidarity).


Coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, it is the theory that the overlap of various social identities (such as race, gender, sexuality, and class) contributes to the specific type of systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual, and define how one is valued.

Institutional or Systemic Racism

Refers specifically to the ways in which institutional policies and practices create different outcomes for different racial groups. The institutional policies may appear neutral on the surface but have an exclusionary impact on particular groups - their effect is to create advantages for white people and oppression and disadvantage for people from groups classified as non-white (Racial Equality Resource).

Historical Trauma

First coined by Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, it is “a constellation of characteristics associated with massive cumulative group trauma across generations.” These experiences, shared by communities, can result in cumulative emotional and psychological wounds that are carried across generations (University of Minnesota Extension).

Lived Experience 

Used to describe the first-hand accounts and impressions of living as a member of a minority or oppressed group (Geek Feminist Wiki).


A complex system of beliefs and behaviors, grounded in a presumed superiority of the white race. These beliefs and behaviors are conscious and unconscious; personal and institutional; and result in the oppression of people of color and benefit the dominant group, white people. A simpler definition is racial prejudice + power = racism (National Conference for Community and Justice).


Racism is based on the concept of whiteness—a powerful fiction enforced by power and violence. ‘Whiteness,’ like ‘color' and ‘Blackness,' are essentially social constructs applied to human beings rather than veritable truths that have universal validity. Whiteness is a constantly shifting boundary separating those who are entitled to have certain privileges from those whose exploitation and vulnerability to violence is justified by their not being white (Kivel, 1996, p. 19) & (Henry & Tator, 2006, p. 46-47).

White Privilege

The unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed upon people solely because they are white. Generally white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it (Peggy McIntosh – Racial Equality Resource

Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC

This list of definitions was created by librarians at William and Mary and is available for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license



The Knight-Capron Library stands with Black Lives Matter and all who protest against systemic and recurring acts of violence against Black people. These books, ebooks, and films are available to the University of Lynchburg community. This guide is by no means exhaustive. It is offered as a starting point and is focused on materials available through Knight-Capron.

In his article "The Anti-Racist Reading List," (The Atlantic, 12 February 2019) Ibram X. Kendi, Professor of History and Director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research, recommends a list of books to begin learning about anti-racism. Kendi organizes the readings by the categories you see below.