Exploring the Historical Roots of Racism

Exploring the Historical Roots of Racism

In August 2021, St. Paul hosted a study on the Historical Roots of Racism, led by retired US history teacher David Green. Recordings of those classes, as well as other resources, can be found below.


Aug. 5 :    The birth of Slavery and Racism in Colonial America –
August 5 class recording can be viewed here.
Aug. 19:   The Unfinished Revolution: 1776 to 1848
– August 19 class recording can be viewed here.
Sept. 2:    Abolition:  1848 to 1865
– September 2 class recording can be viewed here.
Sept. 16:   Reconstruction:  The Second American Revolution
– September 16 class recording can be viewed here.
Sept. 30:   How the South lost the War and won the Peace
– No recording for this session.
Oct. 14:    America Embraces Jim Crow
– October 14 class recording can be viewed here.
Oct. 28:    The Civil Rights Revolution and Race and Society over the Last 50 Years
– October 28 class recording can be viewed here.


Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David Blight

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family  by Annette Gordon-Reed

“Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination  by Annette Gordon Reed

Reconstruction Updated Edition: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) and other titles by Eric Foner

Rough Crossings: The Slaves, the British, and the American Revolution, by Simon Schama

Someone Knows My Name: A Novel 
 by Lawrence Hill

Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel 
by Isabel Allende

Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward Baptist

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, autobiography

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

Twelve Years a Slave (AmazonClassics Edition) – This is a memoir by a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. His memoir was the best-selling abolitionist book until Uncle Tom’s Cabin 

Illustrated Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Emancipation Proclamation: With 120 Illustrations by Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, a novel based on the history of the Grimke sisters.

Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States,
1861-1865, by James Oakes

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The Souls of Black Folk by WEB DuBois

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson

Movies and TV shows

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War” – KET is offering this series, with airings at various times beginning October 7.

Watch Amistad | Prime Video

Amistad is a 1997 American historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the events in 1839 aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the slave trade managed to gain control of their captors’ ship off the coast of Cuba
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5025KqQaUk – from Amistad Middle Passage scene, graphic

Watch Amazing Grace | Prime Video
  Story of the  18th century English reformer William Wilberforce

Ken Burns Civil War Series

Ken Burns Jazz mini series Episode One

Lincoln – Amazon Prime
Glory – 1989 movie with Denzel Washington, on Netflix
13th – Documentary showing how the 13th amendment was used to criminalize freed slaves, on Netflix

Harriet–story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad available at Redbox and streaming on HBO and Hulu.

O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? 2001 award winner with references to convict leasing, KKK, and some historical figures in deep south politics of Mississippi in the 1930s. Available on Amazon Prime.

Additional resources
St. Paul’s Racial Justice Resource List can be found here.

1619 Project  1619 (New York Times) – Podcast about the role of Africans on American music, including and especially the minstrel shows, and how it appears in the music we listen to today

End of Slave Trade Meant New Normal for America : NPR

Frederick Douglass Prophet Of Freedom – Filson Club event with David Blight, author of a new biography of Frederick Douglass. Thursday, Sept 10 at 6pm.  Registration is required but is free.

Alexander Hamilton Stephens’ “Cornerstone Speech,” which can be heard in a segment of the Backstory podcast’s “Civil War 150th” episode.

Free Yale courses online.  David Blight series on the Civil War, for

Zoom Meeting Information:

Topic: Historical Roots of Racism Class
Every other Wednesday at 7pm beginning Aug. 5
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 865 4961 0099
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