Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Racial Justice in the U.S.: Anti-Racism Work

"In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist."

Civil Rights Activist Angela Davis

Books

Collected, Developing Resources

There are several crowd sourced lists of anti-racism resources available through Google Docs.

Background: Systemic Racism, Implicit Bias and White Privilege

Specifically for Lawyers and Law Schools

Taking Action

Introduction to Microaggressions

As Charisse C. Levchak notes in her book Microaggressions and Modern Racism Endurance and Evolution, “The term microaggression was introduced by psychiatrist Chester Pierce in 1970 to describe covert forms of racist aggression that are ‘subtle and stunning’ yet unimaginably harmful.“

In 2007, Derald Sue categorized microaggressions into three groups: microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations. While the first category is intentional, the latter two may not be. Many microaggressions come from ignorance and insensitivity rather than overt hatred. Due to the subtlety of microaggressions, recipients may question whether their discomfort merely reflects that they are overly sensitive, essentially doubling the negative impact of the experience. It is important to remember that intent is not required for injury to occur; if this were not the case, someone accidentally stepping on your toe would always be a pain-free experience. 

Although prefaced “micro,” the harms these microaggressions inflict can be quite damaging, particularly due to their frequency. The oft-used “death by one thousand paper cuts” analogy explains how something that might seem relatively minor in isolation can cause a tremendous cumulative burden.

Because they can be invisible to those outside of the marginalized group, it can be eye-opening to listen to personal stories from those who’ve experienced microaggressions.

Law Library Web Site · Locator Guide & Maps · Hours · Interlibrary Loan · Ask A Librarian

Drake University Law Library • 2604 Forest Ave. • Des Moines, Iowa 50311-3014