Resource List: Racial Profiling, Systematic Racism, Policy Brutality and Beyond

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Resource List: Racial Profiling, Systematic Racism, Policy Brutality and Beyond
The following are lists of print, audio-visual, social media and other resources to support individuals in understanding the current and historical context surrounding the events of Ferguson.  These resources will assist individuals to see how these events of Ferguson fit into the larger patterns of racial profiling, systematic racism, and policy brutality and other social challenges.  Included in these resources are items to spur action.
Source A
Title: The Ferguson Syllabus

Source: About Education

Author: Nicki Lisa Cole - Sociology Expert

Date: August 2014  (no exact date given)

Summary: On the heels of the open letter signed by over 1,400 sociologists after the police killing of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, the newly formed group Sociologists for Justice released a list of published research that informs the arguments put forth in their statement. Link:

  1. Stealing a Bag of Potato Chips and Other Crimes of Resistance,” by Victor M. Rios.
    In this readable essay, Dr. Rios draws on extensive ethnographic research in a neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area to show how Black and Latino youth turn to crime as a form of resistance against a racist society after they have been rejected and marginalized by social institutions. He also defines the “youth control complex,” composed of police, educators, social workers, and others, which constantly monitors Black and Latino youth, and frames them as criminals before they even are. Rios concludes that acting out and committing minor crimes “served as a resource for feeling empowered and for gaining redress for the humiliation, stigma, and punishment they encountered even when they were being ‘good.’” Dr. Rios’s research shows how racism and a punitive approach to youth collude to reproduce widespread social problems.

  2. The Hyper-criminalization of Black and Latino Male Youth in the Era of Mass Incarceration,” by Victor M. Rios.
    Drawing from the same research conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area, in this article Dr. Rios illustrates how the “youth control complex” extends into schools and families to “hyper-criminalize” Black and Latino youth from a young age. Rios found that once kids had been labeled “deviant” after having contact with the criminal justice system (most for non-violent offenses), they “experience the full force of direct and indirect punishment and criminalization traditionally aimed at violent offenders.” At the same time, institutions that are meant to nurture youth, like schools, families, and community centers, have been folded into the practice of surveillance and criminalization, often acting at behest of police and probation officers. Rios concludes darkly, “in the era of mass incarceration, a ‘youth control complex’ created by a network of racialized criminalization and punishment deployed from various institutions of control and socialization has formed to manage, control, and incapacitate Black and Latino youth.”


  1. Want to Help Marginalized Students in Schools? Stop ‘Stop and Frisk’ and Other Punitive Practices, Too,” by Markus Gerke.
    In this readable essay published by The Society Pages, an online repository of accessible social science writing, sociologist Markus Gerke explains the connections between systemic racism, racial profiling and hyper-criminalization of Black and Latino youth, and the underrepresentation of Black and Latino men in colleges and universities. Drawing on the research of Victor Rios, Gerke writes, “the experience of being labelled (and treated as) a criminal despite attempts to keep their distance from gangs and not be involved in criminal activities, led some of these boys to lose any faith and respect left for authorities and ‘the system’: What is the point of resisting the temptation and the pressure of peers involved in gangs, if you are always assumed to be guilty regardless?” He connects this phenomenon to the racist police practice of “Stop N Frisk” which was ruled unconstitutional by the state of New York for overwhelmingly targeting Black and Latino boys, ninety percent of whom were never arrested for anything.

  2. Differential Police Response to Black Battered Women,” by Amanda L. Robinson and Meghan S. Chandek.
    In this journal article Drs. Robinson and Chandek report results from a study they conducted using police records from a medium-sized Midwestern police department. In the study they examined whether race of domestic violence victim is a factor in whether the perpetrator is arrested by police, and if there are any other factors that influence arrest decision when a victim is black. They found that some black women received lower quantity and quality of law than other victims, and quite troublingly, that police were less likely to arrest the perpetrator when black women victims were mothers, while arrest rates more than doubled for other victims when children were present. The researchers were also disturbed to find that this happened, despite the fact that children were present at the scene more frequently when black women were victimized. This study points to significant implications for the safety and security of black women and their children who suffer domestic violence.

  3. Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship, by Charles Epp, Steven Maynard-Moody, and Donald Haider-Markel.
    Nationwide, racial minorities are pulled over at double the rate of whites. This book examines the ways in which racial profiling in police stops has been encouraged and institutionalized by police departments, and the implications of these practices. The researchers found that African Americans, often pulled over for “driving while black,” have been taught by these experiences to see little legitimacy in the practice or in police generally, which leads to low levels of trust in the police, and decreased reliance on them for help when it is needed. They argue, “with a growing push in recent years to use local police in immigration efforts, Hispanics stand poised to share African Americans’ long experience of investigative stops.” The authors conclude by offering recommendations for practical reforms to policing so that it can both protect the rights of citizens and curb crime.

  4. The Continuing Significance of Race: An Analysis Across Two Levels of Policing,” by Patricia Y. Warren.
    In this journal article Dr. Patricia Warren examines survey responses from the North Carolina Highway Traffic Study and finds that non-white respondents had come to have a distrust in both highway patrol and city police through vicarious experiences of racial profiling (hearing about it from others), and that they applied their distrust to both forces equally, despite the fact that practices differed across them. This suggests that negative experiences with police within a community cultivate a general air of distrust of police in general.

  5. State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review,” by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.
    This report published by the Kirwin Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity relies on thirty years of research from neurology and social and cognitive psychology to show that unconscious biases exert a strong influence on how we see and treat others. This research is important to consider today, because it illustrates that racism exists even among those who are not outwardly or vocally racist, or who believe vehemently that they are not racist.

  6. Oppositional Consciousness: The Subjective Roots of Social Protest, edited by Jane J. Mansbridge and Aldon Morris.
    This book of essays by a variety of researchers focuses on the factors that lead people to engage in protest and fight for social change, and to develop an “oppositional consciousness”, “an empowering mental state that prepares members of an oppressed group to undermine, reform, or overthrow a dominant system.” The essays examine different cases of resistance and protest, from race-focused causes, to disabled folks, sexual harassment, labor rights, and AIDS activists. The collection of research “sheds new light on the intricate mechanisms that drive the important social movements of our time.


Title: How the FergusonSyllabus Can Help Teachers Talk About Race and Rights on The First Day of School 

Author: Liz Pleasant

Source: Yes Magazine

Date: August 26, 2014

Summary: This article provides information on how the Ferguson Syllabus was initiated via Twitter and provides some examples of resources that were contributed to the syllabus. - #Fergusonsyllabus

Title: How to Teach Kids About What is Happening in Ferguson: A Crowdsourced Syllabus about Race, African American History, Civil Rights And Policing

Author: Marcia Chateelain

Source: The Atlantic

Date: August 25, 2014

Summary: The following are crowdsourced suggestions for educational resources. The following list was compiled by a community of teachers, academics, community leaders, and parents to teach about some aspect of the national crisis in Ferguson, Missouri. This is a snapshot of the recommendations that have been edited. The contributions continue on Twitter.


The List of Resources (go to link above if you have trouble accessing the articles)

The Danger of a Single Story” 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, TedTalk 

“A Talk to Teachers,” in The Price of the Ticket, Collected Non-Fiction 1948-1985 

James Baldwin

Constructing a Conversation on Race” 

Charles M. Blow, New York Times

Ferguson Killing Inspires Young Black Activists” 

Frederica Boswell, NPR 

On Recognizing My White Privilege as a Parent in the Face of Ferguson

Elizabeth Broadbent, xoJane

5 Ways to Teach Michael Brown and Ferguson in the New School Year” Christopher Emdin, blog

Kathee Godfrey, blog

Teaching About Ferguson” 

Julian Hipkins, Teaching for Change

#FergusonSyllabus: The #FergusonFiasco and Teaching African American Theology” 

Andre E. Johnson, blog

What Do We Teach When Kids Are Dying? #MichaelBrown"

Chris Lehman, blog 

What White Children Need to Know About Race

Ali Michad and Eleonora Bartoli,

Between the By-Road & the Main Road: Curated Bibliography on Whiteness, Silence & Teaching

Mary Ann Reilly, blog

Reading Ferguson: books on race, police, protest and U.S. history” 

Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times

Educators Use Twitter To Teach About Ferguson, Build Syllabuses"

Erica Smith, "St. Louis on the Air," St. Louis Public Radio

Healing Days: A Guide For Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma
Susan Straus

12 Things White People Can Do Now because Ferguson” 

Janee Woods, Quartz


African-American History/Civil Rights in the United States

SNCC Women, Denim and the Politics of Dress

Tansha Ford, Journal of Southern History

100 Years of Lynchings
Ralph Ginzburg

Anthony Grooms

African-American Identity in the Gilded Age
The Library of Congress

Stalking the Angel of Death: The Lynching Calendar

The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Alex Haley

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America
Melissa Harris-Perry

Black Power

Speech delivered by C.L.R. James, 1967 

How the Children of Birmingham Changed the Civil-Rights Movement

Lottie L. Joiner, The Daily Beast

Black Liberation in the Midwest: The Struggle in St. Louis, Missouri, 1964-1970
Kenneth Jolly

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Ferguson, Missouri: History, Protest, and 'Respectability'

Clarence Lang, Labor and Working Class History Association blog

March: Book One
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell

Learning from the 60s

An address by Audre Lorde, 1982

At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance - A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power 
Danielle L. McGuire

"'We have to make them feel us': Open Letters and Black Mothers' Grief"

Emily Owens, African American Intellectual History blog

Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision Barbara Ransby

Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America
Beryl Satter

The Red Record
Ida B. Wells

The Miseducation of The Negro
Carter G. Woodson

Native Son
Richard Wright

Children’s Books

Noughts & Crosses
Malorie Blackman

Smoky Night
Eve Bunting and David Diaz 

What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?
Margaret Burroughs 

I am Rosa Parks
Brad Meltzer

Ruth & the Green Book
Calvin Ramsey

Tar Beach
Faith Ringgold

As Fast As Words Could Fly
Pamela Tuck

The Skin You Live in
Michael Tyler

The Other Side
Jacqueline Woodson

Shining Star
Paula Yoo

Community Organizing, Leadership, Activism

Fighting Police Abuse: A Community Action Manual

American Civil Liberties Union

When the Boss Feels Inadequate: Power, Incompetence, and Aggression

Nathanael J. Fast and Serena Chen, Psychological Science 

From Eric Holder: A Message to the People of Ferguson

Eric Holder, -

“The Mindless Menace of Violence”

Robert F. Kennedy

“The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”

Audre Lorde

Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project
Bob Moses and Charlie Cobb

Thinking in an Emergency
Elaine Scarry

Educational Issues

U.S. Schools: Desegregation court cases and school demographic data

Brown University

Race and the Ferguson-Florissant School District

Shaun R. Harper and Charlee Davis, III, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

See Unending Struggle: The Long Road to an Equal Education in St. Louis,Gerald W. Heaney and Susan Uchitelle

Self-Segregation: Why It's So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson

Robert P. Jones, The Atlantic

Reflections on Ferguson — What does education mean in a world like this? ” Daniel Katz, blog

Michael Brown’s High School Is An Example Of The Major Inequalities In Education
Rebecca Klein, Huffington Post

Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools
Jonathan Kozol

Stepping over the Color Line: African-American Students in White Suburban Schools
Amy Stuart Wells and Robert L. Crane


“Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America" (2006)

“Chicago 10” (2007)

“Do the Right Thing” (1989)

“Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1985” (1990)

“Little Rock Central High School: 50 Years Later” (2007)

“The Pruitt Igoe Myth” (2011)

“Freedom Summer” (2014)

Media Studies and Journalism

In Ferguson, Photographs as Powerful Agents, Smartphone cameras are the 'weapon of choice' for many protestors

Maurice Berger, New York Times

Unethical journalism can make Ferguson more dangerous

Malcolm Harris, Al-Jazeera America

I will not be returning to Ferguson

Ryan L. Shuessler Blog

White Victims, Black Villains: Gender, Race, and Crime News
Carol A. Stabile

Embarrassed to Photograph Ferguson

VDC Photo Blog


“Be Free”

J. Cole

“Black Rage”

Lauren Hill

“Mississippi Goddam"

Nina Simone

Other Educational Hashtags on Twitter






Personal Reflections

Dear White Mom
Keesha Beckford, blog

Men Without a Country: Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, My Father and Me” Arthur Chu, The Daily Beast

Black Body: Rereading James Baldwin’s “Stranger in the Village”
Teju Cole, New Yorker

Blue on black violence and original crime: a view from Oakland, California” Brad Erickson,

The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race
Kareem Abdul Jabar, Time

"How Does it Feel to be a Problem?"

Relando Thompkins, blog

Different Rules Apply 
Matt Zoller Seitz,


Gwendolyn Brooks

“If There Be Sorrow”
Mari Evans

“I, Too, Sing America”

Langston Hughes

“If We Must Die”

Claude McKay

“The Still Voice of Harlem”

Conrad Kent Rivers

“Not an elegy for Mike Brown”

Danez Smith

“See the Heart”

Jean Toomer

“Horses Make a Landscape More Beautiful”

Alice Walker


The Rise of The Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces
Radley Balko

Database: How many grenade launchers did Michigan police departments receive?”

Detroit Free Press staff

In Ferguson, cops hand out three warrants per household every year

Kevin Drum, Mother Jones 

The Ferguson Shooting and the Science of Race and Guns"

Erika Eichelberger, Mother Jones 

The Surprising History and Science of Tear Gas

Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic 

Black in Blue: African-American Police Officers and Racism
James Loewen

To What End?

Michael Maderino Blog

Police Brutality: An Anthology
Jill Nelson

The Etiquette of Police Brutality: An Autopsy

Rion Amilcar Scott,

Race and Violence in in America

The Properties of Violence: Claims to Ownership in Representations of Lynching
Sandy Alexandre

The Fire Next Time
James Baldwin

Exploring Unintentional Racism: The Case of Tim Hanks

Robert W. Grossman and Thomas E. Ford, Science Cases

The History of White People
Nell Irwin Painter

"Black Riot"

Raven Rakia, The New Inquiry

Heart of Whiteness

Tobias Wolff, The New Yorker

This syllabus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Source D:

Source: African-American Policy Forum

Dates: August 14 and 25, 2014

Summary: Statements on the Michael Brown incident and additional media pieces


A STATEMENT FROM AAPF, August 14, 2014

Featured Media from #WhyWeCantWait Organizers
Kirsten West Savali in Dame Magazine - August 18: “Black Women Are Killed By Police, Too”
Marlon Peterson in The Brooklyn Reader - August 18:
“Open Letter to the Media, If/When I am Gunned Down by the Police or a Random White Person.”
Brittney Cooper

in Salon - August 12: “In defense of black rage: Michael Brown, Police and the American dream.”

on HuffPost Live - August 18: “Screaming at the American Dream”
in Salon - August 19: “America’s New Racial Low Point: More Crying Black Mothers, and Tear Gas On Our Dreams”
Paul Butler

in The New York Times - August 14: “Control and Containment Requires Nonlethal Force Not Armed Cops”

in The Washington Post - August 15: “Ferguson police broke the law when they stopped civilians from videotaping them”
on Meet the Press - August 21: “Flashpoint in Ferguson: Race and Policing in America”
on NPR - August 20: “With Ferguson, Obama Forced to Face Race Yet Again”
on The Lead with Jake Tapper - August 22: ”Experts: Uphill battle to convict Officer Wilson”
on Now with Alex Wagner - August 22: “Barely an incident report on Brown shooting”
Salamishah Tillet

on The Ed Show - August 14: “The Political Impact of the Ferguson Protest”

on The Melissa Harris-Perry Show - August 23 & 24:

“Criticism of Obama’s response to recent crises”
“How the media has portrayed Michael Brown: The Perfect Victim”
“The state of trust in Ferguson”
“The stark demographic realities of Ferguson”
Kimberle Crenshaw

on The Ed Show - August 14: “History of Police Violence”

on Democracy Now! - August 18: “Ferguson Protests Erupt Near Grave of Ex-Slave Dred Scott, Whose Case Helped Fuel U.S. Civil War”
on Women’s Magazine (radio show discussing how an intersectional feminist perspective is missing from the mainstream and left analysis in these “post-racial” times), archived at

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