"Freedom is not a state; it is an act."- John Lewis
2020 has been a year full of challenges and changes, and the ongoing fight for racial equity is at the forefront of our national dialogue. Boston Latin School is committed to engaging in dialogue with staff, students, and families and working to examine our own actions and policies as a school in service of an affirming culture for students of all identities.
This summer, with input from faculty advisors, Families for Equity and Diversity (FEqD) leaders, and BLS BLACK and TAG student officers, we developed this set of articles and videos to begin to build the container of common texts and reference points for our work going forward. Though this is by no means an exhaustive list, we believe that these resources will support the daily acts in which we must all engage as we work toward becoming an antiracist community. We are focusing on Black lives in this moment of national reckoning, and we look forward to sharing additional resources and holding further discussions that speak to the experiences of other marginalized communities.
All Grades: Classes VI-I (Grades 7-12)
In order to facilitate the national conversation around racism and inequity, CNN has curated a list of questions and answers about race. As you watch the videos and read through the questions and answers, you will have the opportunity to explore many questions that you may have heard and discussed in formal and informal settings over the past several months.
Systemic racism impacts all areas of life, including the environment. In this article, CNN explores the impact of environmental racism on communities of color.
3. John Lewis’ Farewell Piece
Here you will find the print version:
The legendary civil rights leader, John Lewis, died on July 17th at the age of 80. Mr. Lewis worked tirelessly to advance equal access and fairness for Black people, particularly around voting rights. He wrote this essay shortly before his death so that it could be published posthumously.
Here is the audio version that is read by Morgan Freeman:
The U.S. celebrated Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms. In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?", which asks all Americans to consider the nation's history of denying rights and freedoms to the disenfranchised.
Due to systemic racism that places people of color at high public health risk, the Covid-19 pandemic disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx communities in the U.S. This article by the New York Times provides interactive maps and information that helps to illuminate these disparities.
Dr. Ibram Kendi, a leading scholar on race and the author of How to be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, recently joined Boston University’s faculty where he will launch the BU Center for Antiracist Research. In this essay, he writes a personal reflection following the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, speaking from his identity as a black man and as a runner.
"Rosedale: Where are they Now?" is a 1976 documentary filmed in New York City that showed a hateful attack on a group of Black children. The New York Times returned to interview the children (now adults) about their experience that day. This 8 minute clip is powerful, but difficult to watch. It also contains a racial slur that we will not quote or repeat in the BLS community. We have chosen this piece as it poignantly depicts the long term effects that direct acts of racism can have.