Social Justice Resources

Continued learning and grappling is very important to how Beth Emet engages in our advocacy work.

If you are looking for new resources, we encourage you to take a look at our Racial Justice and Reparations Resources.

Racial Justice and Reparations Resources

1619 Podcast

By The New York Times

These six audio pieces are drawn from its foundational work on the consequences of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia. The 1619 Project is also available as a book.

Listen to the 1619 Podcast

Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer) Written as a letter to his son about the danger to Black lives and bodies in America. Very powerful.

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Code Switch Podcast


A collection of interviews and conversations by journalists of color about race and culture. This podcast is not limited to Black/White issues.

Listen to the Code Switch Podcast

The Danger of the Single Story

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

TED Talk about the impact of media and stereotypes on our perceptions of one another and the world.

Watch the Ted Talk

Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil

By W.E.B. Du Bois

This autobiography includes essays, spirituals, and poems.

Access this book for free via Project Gutenberg

How to Not (Accidentally) Raise a Racist

By The Longest, Shortest Time Podcast

This episode on “The Longest, Shortest Time” podcast, interviews Dr. Brigitte Vittrup about how white parents can talk to their children about race and racism.

Listen to the podcast

Season 2: Seeing White

By Scene on Radio Podcast

In this podcast series from Scene on Radio, John Biewen and Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika explore the history of ideas of race and whiteness in a 14-part series.

Listen to the series

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

By Peggy McIntosh

In what has become a classic essay for anyone trying to understand the phenomenon of white privilege, Peggy McIntosh highlights how white people go through life unaware of the ways in which our society is constructed for them and their interests. It’s an eye-opening look at how Black people experience our society in ways different from those who are white and helps those who are white to be more aware of the oppressive experiences that Black people encounter regularly.

Read the article

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Directed by Stanley Nelson

A 2016 PBS documentary about the movement and the murder of leaders by the FBI and, among others, Chicago police.

Watch on PBS

Dr. Marcus Campbell Interviews Robin DiAngelo

Hosted by Family Action Network

This hour-long interview of Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, by Evanston Township High School principal, Marcus Campbell, is a compelling discussion of white fragility- what it is, how to recognize it, and how to deal with it so that it will not hinder the necessary work of racial justice.

Watch the interview

Season 6- Beyonce: LEMONADE

By Dissect Podcast

Past Youth Director Maia Volk recommended this discussion of Beyonce’s exploration of racial oppression and inherited trauma in her album “Lemonade.” Hosted by Cole Cuchna.

Listen to the podcast

Hidden Brain: The Mind of the Village


This podcast, hosted by Shankar Vedantam, explores implicit bias, how it is measured, and its impact on society.

Listen to the podcast

Interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates

This interview took place in 2015 at the Chicago Humanities Festival

Watch the interview 


Directed by Jeff Nichols

This 2016 movie is about the couple whose conviction for violating Virginia’s laws against interracial marriage led to the Supreme Court decision invalidating the law and upholding the right to marry.

Available on Netflix and for rental on Amazon Prime

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Notice the Rage, Notice the Silence

An episode of the On Being Podcast

Krista Tippett interviews Resmaa Menakem, a therapist and trauma specialist, about the impact of systemic racism, described as “white body supremacy,” on our bodies and nervous systems, including both black and white people.

Listen to the podcast

I Am Not Your Negro

By James Baldwin

In this 2016 film, author James Baldwin discusses the history of race in the United States and his last, unfinished novel, Remember This House.

Available on Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms.

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Directed by Rebecca Hall

This 2021 movie is about two friends, one of whom is passing for white.

Available on Netflix.

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Race: The Power of an Illusion

By Larry Adelman (Series Executive Producer)

Three-part documentary about the history and science of race. It explores how theories about Black inferiority have infiltrated our society and how policies towards the Black community have limited their upward mobility and ability to accumulate wealth.

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*Beth Emet has a DVD available to borrow*


By Ava Duvernay

This documentary film illustrates how the treatment of Black people today perpetuates the racism and discrimination written into the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

This documentary is available on Netflix and Youtube.

The Autobiography of Malcom X

By Malxolm X as told by Alex Haley

The extraordinary journey from the world of lynching and Jim Crow through the Black Muslim movement to the equality of all humanity is inspirational.

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Black Skin, White Masks

By Frantz Fanon

First published in 1952, an analysis of racism and the assumption of Black inferiority.

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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

By Isabel Wilkerson

Deep analysis of the history of race in the United States and comparison to Nazi Germany and the caste system of India. See also The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.

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Citizen: An American Lyric

By Claudia Rankine

Poetry with images

PDF available here

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother

By James McBride

This memoir alternates between the author’s story and that of his mother, who left an abusive environment in a Jewish home, embraced a black church and raised 12 black children. See also The Good Lord Bird, also by James McBride.

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The Fire Next Time

By James Baldwin

This discussion, published in 1963, of the problem of race in the United States is still highly relevant today. Well worth reading.

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How to be an Anti-Racist

By Ibram X. Kendi

Profound book on shaping an anti-racist society.

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Just Mercy

By Bryan Stevenson

Describes how Bryan Stevenson established the Equal Justice Initiative to help individuals on death row in Alabama. This book was also made into a movie staring Michael B. Jordan.

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Men We Reaped

By Jesmyn Ward

A memoir about the deaths of several young Black men to whom Ward was close.

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The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t and Why

By Jibari Asim

Through unpacking the use of the N word throughout history, Asim argues that the slur helps keep black people at the bottom of America’s socioeconomic ladder. Yet, he goes a step further to prove that there is still a place for the term when we understand its legacy.

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Negroland: A Memoir

By Margo Jefferson

Discusses the history of the Black upper class in the United States.

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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michelle Alexander

Legal scholar Michelle Alexander writes that many of the gains of the civil rights movement have been undermined by the mass incarceration of Black Americans in the war on drugs. This book helped inspire the movement against mass incarceration by demonstrating its roots in the connection between slavery and the criminal justice system.

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Post-Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity

By Ytasha Womack

Discusses divisions within the Black community about what it means to be Black.

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The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations

By Toni Morrison

Essays by one of the great American thinkers about race, literature, and the human condition.

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Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

By Ibram X. Kendi

Kendi demonstrates how if we have any hope of grappling with the reality of racism, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.

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The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

By Heather McGhee

We can look around and see how racism negatively impacts people of color economically. McGhee shows how racism has a cost for white people too, and how we can imagine an alternative future together.

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Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America

By Michael Eric Dyson

Very moving discussion of what white people need to know about the experience of being Black in America.

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Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race

By Debby Irving

How a white woman became aware of the extent of her privilege and committed to ending that privilege. This is a book highly recommended to read, think about, and discuss.

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We Are Who We Say We Are: A Black Family’s Search for Home Across the Atlantic World

By Mary Frances Berry

An exploration of the experiences of a “colored Creole” family and their choices to cross the color line or not.

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White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

By Robin DiAngelo

Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’. DiAngelo explores the resistance of many white people to learning about racism.

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Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now

By Touré

Through excerpts from over 100 interviews, Touré demonstrates what it means to be Black today.

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Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: and Other Conversations About Race

By Beverly Daniel Tatum

Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about communicating across racial and ethnic divides and pursuing antiracism.

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Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison

By Shaka Senghor

A powerful memoir of Senghor’s transformation in prison.

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A Lesson Before Dying

By Ernest Gaines

A deep and compassionate novel about a young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to visit a black youth on death row for a crime he didn’t commit.

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All Aunt Hagar’s Children

By Edward P. Jones

Covering the period from Reconstruction to modern times, everyday people who thought the values of the South would sustain them in the North find “that the cohesion born and nurtured in the south would be but memory in less than two generations.”

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Breath, Eyes, Memory

By Edwidge Danticat

At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished Haitian village to New York to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti- to the women who first reared her.

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Brothers and Sisters

By Bebe Moore Campbell

Professional women in Los Angeles after the Rodney King beating

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Claire of the Sea Light

By Edwidge Danticat

Just as her father makes a wrenching decision to send her away for a chance at a better life, Claire suddenly disappears.

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The Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf

By Ntozake Shange

A foundational play that that was first created in 1974, and then revived on Broadway in 2022.

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By Yaa Gyasi

This beautifully crafted and page turner of a novel follows the parallel paths of two sisters from the Gold Coast of Africa and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. It illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken captive and those who stayed in Africa.

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The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

A young girl witnesses a police shooting that kills her friend.

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The Known World

By Edward P. Jones

Seamlessly weaving the lives of the freed and the enslaved, the story allows all of us a deeper understanding of the enduring multidimensional world created by the institution of slavery.

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Lost in the City

By Edward P. Jones

Jones takes the reader into the lives of African American men and women who work against the constant threat of loss to maintain a sense of hope.

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The Middle Passage

By Charles Johnson

This National Book Award Winner, of a newly freed slave and irrepressible rogue, who is lost in the underworld of the 1830s New Orleans.

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The Nickel Boys

By Colson Whitehead

Whitehead dramatizes a strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.

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By John Edgar Widerman

An aging, highly intelligent black lawyer with many contradictions.

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Salvage the Bones

By Jesmyn Ward

A Black family in Mississippi before and after Hurrican Katrina

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The Underground Railroad

By Colson Whitehead

Chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.

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What You Owe Me

By Bebe Moore Campbell

Relationship between a Jewish refugee and a Black woman after World War II.

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Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine

By Bebe Moore Campbell

Based on the story of Emmett Till

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A City’s Step Toward Reparations

The Daily Podcast by the New York Times

How Evanston became the first American city to approve a compensation program intended to address historical racism and discrimination.

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The Case for Reparations

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

This foundational article is from the Atlantic in June 2014. Ta-Nehisi Coates takes the reader thru the systemic economic, political and historical practices that limited Black access to home ownership, education inequality, fair legal treatment. Though the topic of reparations has been addressed since enslavement ended, Coates’ approach frames reparations not just as a financial debt to be paid, but as an emotional and psychological one necessary to begin healing the entire nation.

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Evanston Policies and Practices Directly Affecting the African American Community, 1900 – 1960 (and Present)

Compiled by M. Robinson and J. Thompson

An excellent and detailed background supporting Evanston’s decision to acknowledge damage and pay reparations to its Black citizens. This report explains the history of government action for which reparations should be made.

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House Bill; H.R. 40

This is the text of H.R. 40, the bill introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Tex). This bill has been introduced in every session of the House of Representatives since 1989. This year, it went to markup and passed out of the Judiciary Committee for the first time.

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H.R. 40 Is Not a Symbolic Act. It’s a Path to Restorative Justice

By Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee

The conversation surrounding reparations is underway and the U.S. government must take a leading role.

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How the Long Fight for Slavery Reparations is Slowly Being Won

By Kris Manjapra

Excellent history of Evanston’s reparations initiative and also a broad overview of Black reparations history in general.

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In Likely First, Chicago Suburb of Evanston Approves Reparations for Black Residents

By Rachel Treisman

NPR report the day after Evanston’s City Council voted 8-1 to support the Local Reparations Restorative Housing Program, a discussion about how local reparations do not replace national reparations but rather are additive and important, and information and a link to Ald. Cicely Fleming’s statement opposing Evanston’s plan.

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Resolution on the Study and Development of Reparations for Slavery and Systemic Racism in the U.S.

Adopted by the Union for Reform Judaism in 2019

This nicely articulates the Judaic case for supporting reparations

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The Religious Action Center’s Reparations Site

The site is regularly updated with opportunities to learn about reparations.

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Reparations and the History of Economic Injustice

By Nikole Hannah-Jones and Robert Reich

This workshop was recorded in 2020.

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich engage in dialogue about the economic injustice in our country from a race lens. Hannah-Jones focuses on the wealth gap between Black and White people.

Listen Here

In Support of Reparations

By Beth Emet’s Social Action Committee’s Reparations Working Group

A document outlining the Jewish religious and moral case for reparations drafted by Beth Emet members participating in the Social Action Committee’s Reparations Working Group.

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Ten-Point Reparations Program

By the National African American Reparations Commissions

Many people think that Reparations only refers to giving money. Yet, it is so much more than that. This resource from The National African American Reparation Commission highlights 10 points of reparations connected to housing & wealth generation, education, health & wellness, and so much more.

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It’s Time for U.S. Business Leaders to Talk About Reparations

By Michael Gee

While this short article gives a brief perspective from author Michael Gee as to why reparations are needed, it also contains several other resources for further reading.

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Understanding Reparations: A Three Part Series

Sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism

An excellent educational series sponsored by the URJ

Watch Here

What Happened When Evanston Became America’s First City to Promise Reparations

By Susan Berfield and Jordyn Holman

This article (co-authored by a former Evanston resident and Second Baptist Church member) is a well-written summary of the Evanston reparations movement.

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White Jews Should Understand Why Black Americans Need Reparations Now

By Lilli Sher

A personal articulation of how one person came to believe that Jews should support Reparations.

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Why I Support Reparations – And All Conservatives Should

By Gary Abernathy

A conservative’s support for reparations isn’t a common position. Well worth the read.

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Be’Chol Leshon

Be’chol Lashon is an organization that strengthens Jewish identity by raising awareness about Jewish people’s ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity and their experiences around the globe.

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Beyond the Count: Perspectives and Lived Experiences of Jews of Color

Commissioned by the Jews of Color Initiative

This report uses survey and interview data of a complex fabric of Jews of Color identities, lived experiences and perspectives. This survey was published in 2021.

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Black (and Jewish): Braving the Pitfalls, Jews of Color Find Inner and Outer Peace

By Deborah Fineblum

Though the term itself has gained traction in the last decade, there have always been Jews of different races. Scan the globe today, and you’ll find Ethiopian Jews and the African Lemba tribe whose men test positive for the Kohen gene, a marker of the Jewish priests.

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Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self

By Rebecca Walker

By the daughter of Alice Walker and her then-husband, civil rights attorney Mel Leventhal.

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The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed Race Jewish Girl

By Marra B. Gad

An autobiography of a woman born to a white Jewish woman and an African American man, who was adopted by a white Jewish family in Chicago.

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Jewish Diversity

By Gwen Tucker

Beth Emet’s own Gwen Tucker developed this website with interviews of Jews from diverse backgrounds and their experiences in the Jewish community.

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