Systemic racism -- sometimes called institutional or structural racism -- can be defined as a form of racism woven into society through laws and institutions that treat people differently based on race, contributing to perpetual inequalities in power, wealth, education, medical care, housing, dignity, and opportunity. These inequalities endure, even after the laws have changed and often without conscious animus. In a multi-part series, we examine the historic causes and continuing effects of systemic racism from the perspective of our Black, Latinx, Asian, and Native American communities, followed by a final program discussing potential responses. It is our hope that by understanding the past, we can better evaluate the present, and more wisely build toward a future of racial justice.
In this Part 1 of our series, we consider the watershed laws and events underlying systemic racism for our Black communities, the impact of systemic racism on those communities today, and the personal experiences and revelations of our speakers. Topics include:
• Slavery and the Beginning of Racial Narratives
• The Homestead Act, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow Laws
• Voting, Education, Property Rights, and Testimony in California
• Post World War II and Resistance to the Civil Rights Movement
• Reverberations in 2021