Race, Racism, Bias, and Privilege in America

Social Justice Learning: adult

Today's Lesson: Race, Racism, Bias, and Privilege in America

There is no place for racism in our society. We must work together as a community to ensure we no longer demonstrate, teach, or tolerate it. We understand that these conversations can be difficult, and often we can feel overwhelmed when it comes to deciding where to start. Below you will find a sampling of resources you can dive into right now. From birth through adulthood, we believe social justice learning is a life-long journey. Click here to return to the main page

Learning Levels

Early Childhood Adolescent Adult


How to Talk Honestly with Children About Racism


With police brutality in the news, parents may be wondering how to talk to their children about racism and White supremacy. These conversations are familiar to Black families, but University of Illinois Professors Shardé Smith and Helen Neville say all families should be having them. Illinois Newsroom education reporter Lee Gaines recently spoke with both of them about best practices for both parents and educators


EXTRA CREDIT: In this segment of The 21st, we explore an issue that is often overlooked and less talked about: colorism. Similar to racism, but usually coming from within the same racial or ethnic group, colorism is the prejudice or discrimination due to the relative darkness of one's skin tone.



Beverly Daniel Tatum: Why Are All of the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides.


EXTRA CREDIT: Watch a collection of films and specials that highlight and add context to the many aspects of race and racism in our country. Each film featured here is available to stream for free with the PBS Video App.


Illinois Bookseller Recommends Reading About Race

In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, booksellers across the country have been inundated with requests for books about race in America. Back in June, Verlean Singletary, the owner of the online bookseller Da Book Joint, joined The 21st to share and discuss her recommendations


EXTRA CREDIT: Prideful Kids’ mission is to instill high self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect in young children through culturally specific products and programs. Prideful Kids’ podcast Coloring Outside the Lines explores the truth about raising kids, including everything we should and shouldn't say as parents.