References & Resources
These are some resources that the First Parish Social Justice Task Force has collected on various topics including Black Lives Matter, diversity, and anti-racism. Read a couple of articles or watch a quick video, or dive deeper into some of the books, movies, and podcasts listed below. We invite you to check out the minority-owned businesses, eat at the restaurants, and patronize the shops and services.
We at First Parish are called by conscience and faith to fight for justice; follow the links below to learn more about the history of Unitarian Universalist engagement with anti-racist movements, explore statements of our faith’s collective commitment, read articles by UUs, and listen to (or read) our Ware Lectures, including the Ware Lecture given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1966.
First Parish is also working with organizations to engage with anti-racist programs and to offer direct support for Black- and minority-owned businesses and non-profits. In particular, we are supporting two organizations that help local teenagers: the Boston Teen Police Academy and No Books, No Ball. Learn more about our support on our Social Justice web page.
These resources are not static and will continue to be updated and refined. This list is just a start– we encourage our members, friends, and community members to learn more about race, the impact it has had on our country and our individual lives, and consider how we can work together to dismantle systems of inequality.
New additions! (Feb. 2023) — In honor of Black History Month, Weston Public Library shared some new titles by authors of color that are worth noting and celebrating.
- Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker
- South to America by Imani Perry
- Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
- Sink: A Memoir by Joseph Earl Thomas
- Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
- Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle
- Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyon
- Thank You, Omu by Oge Mora
- As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
We have purposefully included links to independent booksellers: Frugal Bookstore (Boston’s only black-owned bookstore) and the UUA Bookstore. If you can’t find a book on the Frugal Bookstore website (whether an item from this list or your summer beach read), they are happy to order it for you – call them at 617-541-1722 or send them an email.
** = denotes books that are available to borrow from the First Parish Library.
- Waking Up White by Debby Irving – UUA Bookstore
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo – UUA Bookstore, Frugal Bookstore
- ** The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – Frugal Bookstore
- ** How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi – UUA Bookstore, Frugal Bookstore
- ** Uprooting Racism by Paul Kivel – local libraries, digital libraries, or contact Frugal Bookstore
- The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein – Frugal Bookstore
- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson – UUA Bookstore, Frugal Bookstore
- The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone – check local libraries or contact Frugal Bookstore
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – UUA Bookstore, Frugal Bookstore
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum – Frugal Bookstore
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – Frugal Bookstore
- ** We Were 8 Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates – Frugal Bookstore
- ** Seeing Patients: A Surgeons Story of Race and Medical Bias by Augustus A. White III, M.D. – This book was written by a member of First Parish – check local libraries or contact Frugal Bookstore
- Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South by Winfred Rembert, as told to Erin I. Kelly.
Movies, Television & Video
- Blackish – ABC
- I Am Not Your Negro – Netflix
- John Lewis: Good Trouble
- One Night in Miami – IMDb
- The Hate U Give
- 13th – Netflix
- Trial 4 – Netflix – “Charged as a teen in the 1993 killing of a Boston cop, Sean K. Ellis fights to prove his innocence while exposing police corruption and systemic racism.”
- Stacey Abrams – All In: The Fight for Democracy
- United Shades of America – CNN
- When They See Us
- TED Talk – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story
- Race in America: Dismantling Structural Racism with Opal Tometi
- U.U. Urban Ministry Blog – This blog has excellent video posts, especially ones they call “Community Conversations” (…like this one about gentrification and displacement in Roxbury).
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Dr. Peggy McIntosh – read it online or download the PDF.
- This is the groundbreaking article from 1989 that initiated countless life-changing conversations about racism & privilege. Dr. McIntosh’s work is the most frequently cited work by other academic scholars on the topic of racism and privilege.
- 6 Reasons Why “All Lives Matter” Is Neither Fair Nor Helpful
- An Open Letter From An Admitted Racist
- Who Gets to Be Afraid in America
- An Anti-Racist’s Dictionary – Words on Race You Should Know
- White Privilege: An Account to Spend (PDF download) – This article by Dr. Peggy McIntosh “encourages readers to think about using [their advantages & privilege] in a constructive way.
- Resources for White People to Talk about Race & Racism
- Equality Includes You: What White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Scene on Radio: Seeing White
- An excellent limited series podcast that begins with the acknowledgment and acceptance of white culture, and focuses on exploring race from a white context. Jeff did a weekly “Podcast with the Pastor” series over the winter where people were invited to listen to Seeing White and have a “drop-in” conversation.
- NPR: Code Switch
- Zebra Friends
- Brené Brown with Dr. Sarah Lewis on Creativity & Surrender
- Brené Brown with Emmanuel Acho on Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
For Parents – Discussing Race with Children
- Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Justice (PDF booklet)
- We Need More White Parents to Talk to Their Kids About Race. Especially Now.
- Middle School:
- PBS – How to Talk Honestly With Children About Racism
- Talking to Children About Racial Bias
- Book Lists
- 11 Children’s Books To Teach Your Kids About Racism and Discrimination
- Readings to Embrace Race, Provide Solace & Do Good
- Books for Littles – an annotated and dynamic list of “books for littles” about race
Organizations & Non-Profits
- Boston Ujima Project – A non-profit economic development organization that matches investors and minority owned businesses and seeks to stimulate successful businesses in all parts of the Boston area. “The challenges facing our communities — gentrification, poverty, homelessness, lack of food access, unemployment, and lack of healthcare — are all interconnected. “
- Boston Teen Police Academy – This program builds a bridge between Police Officers and urban youth, empowering young people into becoming community leaders. The program was developed to show “here to serve” as a viable and living role model that embodies leadership, trust, and community as an alternative path out of the cycle of challenges urban youths face.
- No Books, No Ball – This is a community action initiative that works to increase the high school graduation rate and encourage student athletes to attend college by teaching children sportsmanship, athletic skills, and academic aptitude through teamwork, coaching, and mentoring.
- Black Lives Matter Boston – Facebook
- Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) & SURJ Boston
- Poor People’s Campaign & PPC Boston
- More Than Words – This is “more than” a bookstore; it is a “nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court-involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business.”
- Artists for Humanity
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Museum of African American History (Boston & Nantucket)
- Boston Art & Soul Music Fest
- National Center of Afro-American Artists Inc.
- Black Literacy and Arts Collaborative (BLAC) Project – Promotes literacy, business acumen, financial literacy, and mental health through the visual and performing arts.
- National Museum of African American History & Culture – Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.
Boston Area Minority-Owned Businesses
- A Running List of Black-Owned Businesses in Greater Boston (Boston.com)
- Frugal Bookstore is a community bookstore in Roxbury and Boston’s only Black-owned bookstore.
- Cleartech Group – Named a 2020 minority-owned small business of the year by the Boston SBA, this organization specializes in providing technical assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses.
- Reconciled Business Services LLC – Founded by accountant and tax strategist Rebecca Merzius, this Waltham-based group offers accounting services to individuals and businesses.
- Grace Cleaning Co. is a cleaning service for residents in Greater Boston.
- Spa Paula B. in Newton offers facials, microdermabrasion, eyebrow threading, and more.
- Fawn Over Me is the online shop for baby products (and now masks) created by Christine Brown in Worcester.
- Haley House Bakery Cafe
- Bistro 781 – an upscale-casual bistro on Moody Street in Waltham is a local favorite for its fun bar program, Sunday brunch, and seasonal dishes.
- French Press Bakery & Cafe – A traditional French patisserie with pastries, brioche, and cakes, as well as sandwiches & tartines. They roast their own coffee and import tea blends from France.
- Karibu – Another Waltham restaurant, this time featuring East African specialties, including luwombo (seasoned, grilled meat or fish steamed in a banana leaf and served with chapati bread); mandazi (fried breads, similar to doughnuts); and other spicy stews or crispy samosas.
- Nzuko – This Framingham restaurant features global flavors based in Haitian and African flavors and made with organic ingredients (including plenty of vegan and gluten-free options).
Unitarian Universalist Organizations
- U.U. Urban Ministry – First Parish has a long history of being a member congregation and sponsor for the U.U. Urban Ministry.
- BLUU (Black Lives of UU) – “provides information, resources, and support for Black Unitarian Universalists and works to expand the role & visibility of Black UUs within our faith.”
- U.U. Mass Action – “Our mission is to connect the 140 Unitarian Universalist congregations and 20,000 members, to “work smarter, not harder” for social justice by sharing ideas and joining forces to raise our compassionate voice in Massachusetts.”
- Allies for Racial Equity – ARE’s mission is to build an “antiracist movement of white Unitarian Universalists working to understand whiteness and privilege, unlearn and challenge white supremacy, and confront racism in ways that are accountable to communities of color.”
- Side With Love Racial Justice Campaigns – An interfaith public advocacy campaign promoting respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and “harnessing love’s power to challenge exclusion, oppression, and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, race, religion, or any other identity.”
Unitarian Universalist Statements, Lectures, & Articles
- Most recent: UUA Commission on Institutional Change report, “Widening the Circle of Concern.”
- Unitarian Universalist Association support for Multiculturalism & Racial Justice Initiatives
- UUA (Draft) Statement of Conscience (SOC) on Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy.
- In 2015, the General Assembly of Unitarian Universalist Congregations confirmed an Action of Immediate Witness to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Map of churches nationwide that display Black Lives Matter banners.
- History of Unitarian Universalist Involvement in Anti-Racism Efforts
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WARE LECTURE
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) invites a distinguished guest each year to address the General Assembly for what is known as the Ware Lecture. These prominent speakers have been particularly relevant for anti-racist work.
- Ware Lecture by Brittany Packnett – General Assembly 2018
- Ware Lecture by Brian Stevenson – General Assembly 2017
- Ware Lecture by Cornel West – General Assembly 2015
- “Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution” – Ware Lecture by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – General Assembly 1966
ARTICLES IN U.U. WORLD MAGAZINE
- “A message to white Unitarian Universalists” – by UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray – UU World, June 2020
- “My Black is BLUU – Black-centered theology worth remembering, centering, and fighting for” – by Marchaé Grair – UU World, Spring 2020
- “The call of our faith– building multicultural, antiracist Beloved Community” – by Nancy Palmer Jones & Karin Lin – UU World, Winter 2019
- “This is no time for a casual faith” – by UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray – UU World, Winter 2017
- “The dream of white innocence” – by Rev. William G. Sinkford – UU World, Winter 2016
Racism In Specific Systems in Our Country
These categories were highlighted in the First Parish statement (full text here); these links and resources are continuously developed and updated.
- Boston Ujima Project – organizing neighbors, workers, business owners, and investors to create a community-controlled economy in Greater Boston. The project is designed to strengthen local economic control and recenter economic power in low-income communities and communities of color in Boston.
- Criminal Justice System
- The Massachusetts Bail Fund helps low-income people leave jail to continue their lives with their families while their cases get resolved.
- Book: The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein – Amazon
- NPR – Fresh Air – A ‘Forgotten History’ of How the U.S. Government Segregated America – 35-Minute Listen
- NPR – All Things Considered – The Color of Law: How U.S. Housing Policies Created Segregation – 8-Minute Listen, Interview Transcript
- NPR – Code Switch podcast episode – Black Americans And The Racist Architecture Of Homeownership – 44-Minute Listen
- Stable Ground Boston works to address our city’s chronic housing insecurity and its psychological toll.
- Being Black in America Can Be Hazardous to Your Health – The Atlantic, July 2020
- Resource List from Roxbury Weston Preschool
- Anti-Bias Resource List from Lincoln Nursery School
- What White Children Need to Know About Race, from the National Association of Independent Schools
- Book: We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom by Bettina Love
- Book: People Before Highways by Karilyn Crockett Ph.D.
- Learn more about the multi-racial coalition of Boston and suburban residents who were able to divert a planned highway through the heart of Boston.
- Book: People Before Highways by Karilyn Crockett Ph.D.
- Voting Rights
- Systemic strategies used to deter Black Americans from voting in 2016 – the BBC, September 2020
- Voting Day, a story told by Juliet Holmes – A woman learns the value of voting after a conversation with her mother.– the Moth
- Environmental Protections
- [Additional links to be added.]
If you have any suggestions or additions, we invite you to contact the First Parish office or the Social Justice Task Force.