How to Teach Kids About What's Happening in Ferguson

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, St. Louis Post Dispatch 

“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.

Presented by

Marcia Chatelain is an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University and the author of the forthcoming book, South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration.

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