The BlackQuaker Project’s Anti-Violence Resource Guide for Quakers Confronting Systemic Violence 

      The BlackQuaker Project aims, in part, to address the concerns of Quakers of Color. In the USA, at this critical moment, Quakers and People of Color are concerned for their futures. The omnipresence of police violence and uneven effects of the pandemic on communities of color due to systemic racism has resulted in the senseless murders of countless Black people and the increased risk of dying from COVID-19. The BlackQuaker Project has compiled a list of resources (resources to learn about systemic violence, places to donate, and additional ways to support the protests) for the Quaker community, paying special attention to resources that promote the Quaker values of peace with justice and equality with justice. Updated June 19th, 2020.


Readings from Harvard professors in African American Studies from The Harvard Gazette:

1.  Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B Du Bois.

    "No one did more to write the African American people into the textual universe of                     speaking subjects, as agents, than did William Edward Burghardt Du Bois in his                           canonical work of American literature." -Henry Louis Gates Jr.

2. The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban                        America (2019) by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

    "...describes the creation following slavery of a racist ideology that framed African                       Americans as dangerous and likely criminals; that mindset animated laws, policies, and             aggressive police practices that dehumanize, criminalize, incarcerate, and                                   sometimes lead to the killing of disproportionate numbers of African Americans."

    -Tomiko Brown-Nagin

3. The Origin of Others (2017) by Toni Morrison

    "In her signature ornate and deeply lyrical manner, she examines the persistence of                   racism, bigotry, and intolerance in a world where we still have to demonstrate that …                   black lives matter." -Michelle Williams

4. Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, and Schooling in San Francisco                          (2019) by Savannah Shange

    "It explores race, abolition, criminalization, and policing in the context of education."                   -Todne Thomas

5. From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in                    America (2016) by Elizabeth Hinton

    "[The book] explains the policy shift soon after passage of landmark Civil Rights                           legislation during the 1960s from social welfare to criminal justice as a framework for                 understanding enduring racial inequities, poverty, and unrest." -Tomiko Brown-Nagin

6. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (2016) by Carol Anderson

    "It so plainly shows us that whenever African Americans started to make any strides (in               education, voting, employment, home ownership), those gains were a threat to the status         quo of inequality — those strides sparked incredibly intense and well-organized blowback —     all of which leads me to appreciate just how insidious and persistent racial hatred is in the         U.S." -Michelle Williams

6. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (2016)
    by Arlie Hochschild

    "A genuine effort to understand the viewpoints of decent, sane, often thoughtful supporters     of the Tea Party and Trump — the people I don’t know very well outside of newspaper               stories." -Jennifer Hochschild

7. Hearing the Other Side: Deliberative versus Participatory Democracy (2006)                               by Diana Mutz. 

    "We seem to be able to have either deeply committed political or social activists, or                   thoughtful, deliberative discussions among people who disagree with each other — but not       both. How can a democracy thrive in that sort of situation, and how might we alleviate it (if         we should)?" -Jennifer Hochschild     


8. City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles,                  1771‒1965 (2017) by Kelly Lytle Hernández

    "UCLA historian Kelly Lytle Hernández reveals the roots of mass incarceration in Los                 Angeles, the largest urban site of human confinement in the nation." -Tiya Miles

9. Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction and Beyond in Black                            America, 1945‒2006 (Third Edition 2007) by Manning Marable

    "Beginning with the legacy of post-Civil War Reconstruction amendments, Marable                     offers an inspiring, sweeping, and detailed history of African American social protest                   movements." -Tommie Shelby

10. Racism: A Short History (2015, original ed. 2002) by George Fredrickson

     "What informs these episodes of racialized violence, the criminalization of people of                  African descent, across national boundaries? How do we make sense of the                                enduring power of white supremacist ideologies and practices? Why do we classify                    people to begin with?" -Alejandro de la Fuente

11. When Police Kill (2017) by Franklin E. Zimring

    "...a groundbreaking, fact-based analysis, including trends over time, of the high use of               deadly force by police in the U.S., including lethal force against African Americans and               Native Americans." -William Julius Wilson

12. Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution and Imprisonment (2018) by Angela                          Davis

     " addresses from a variety of perspectives — historical, sociological, legalistic — a                  gamut of issues that are currently at the forefront of public attention. It addresses, for                instance, why is blackness is so closely associated with criminality in the American                      mind?" -Randall Kennedy

Further Resources

1. An open letter to white people just now getting involved in social justice, by Ijeoma Ouma.


2. Letter From a Birmingham Jail, an open letter by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from his                     time spent in Birmingham jail. In it he writes "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice                   everywhere". 

3. These books on the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center’s Black Liberation                   reading list. 

4. The 1619 Project, created by the New York Times, aims to reframe America’s history by             centering it around Black Americans and racial injustice.

5. The Urban Institute is a nonprofit research organization that shares their research on                 social and economic policy with anyone looking to address today’s problems and                       prevent future ones. 


6. Campaign Zero has a multitude of resources and data on their website that they use                 when advocating for policy solutions. 

7. How We Rise​, a blog launched by The Race, Prosperity and Inclusion Initiative at                         Brookings discusses the challenges and work that needs to be done to tackle                             structural racism in the US. We found this post from Camille Busette particularly                           intriguing. 

9. Fit for Freedom Not for Friendship (2009) by Donna McDaniel and Vanessa Julye

    "While there were Friends committed to ending enslavement and post-enslavement                   injustices, this study of Quaker history reveals that racism has been as insidious, complex,         and pervasive among Friends as it has been generally among people of European descent.     The book documents the spiritual and practical impacts of discrimination in the Religious           Society of Friends in the expectation that understanding the truth of our past is vital to               achieving a diverse, inclusive community in the future." -from the authors

8. Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights (2011) an anthology       by Harold D. Weaver, Paul Kriese, Stephen W. Angell, Emma Lapsansky-Werner, and Anne       Steere Nash

    "Black Fire is a landmark book that reframes our understanding of Quakerism, for it                     highlights the degree to which American Quakers were interracial almost from the outset,         with black leaders shaping Friends’ spiritual and reform visions. Brilliantly conceived and           beautifully edited, it should be required reading for anyone interested in American religion       and reform."” -John Stauffer, Chair of History of American Civilization at Harvard


1. This video explains, in simple terms and visuals, systemic racism in America. Use it to educate yourself and your children. 

2. A Conversation About Growing Up Black | Op-Docs | The New York Times

3. A Conversation With Black Women on Race | Op-Docs | The New York Times

4. Professor Megan Francis explains the root of racial inequality in a Ted Talk

5. On Netflix and/or other streaming platforms: 

6. Free movies & documentaries: 


7. The Quakers of Color International Archives, curated by The BlackQuaker Project and     housed at UMASS Amherst, documents the lives, contributions and concerns of Quakers of Color worldwide.


1. Intersectionality Matters! A podcast hosted by civil rights activist and lead scholar on      critical race theory, Kimberlé Crenshaw. 

2. What Matters: In this documentary narrative mixed with interviews format, the Black         Lives Matter movement has created a platform to create dialogues promoting                   freedom, justice, and collective liberation. 

3. The Daily, by the New York Times, is a daily podcast that addresses current events in     the United States by interviewing professionals and collecting the stories of regular         people. 

4. Code Switch by NPR talks about race’s role in history to today’s pop culture, and is         brought to you by a team of people of color.

Other Ways to Support Anti-Systemic Violence 

1. Protest.

2. Buy from Black-owned businesses, or businesses donating profits to aid the movement. You can begin to find Black-owned business anywhere in the United States by using the Official Black Wall Street or Support Black Owned  directories, though they certainly do not cover all Black-owned businesses.

3. The NAACP has set up an easy way to email your House and Senate representatives about COVID-19 justice and criminal justice reforms here

4. Know who you’re voting for. And VOTE. 

  • Register to vote.

  • Find your polling location here

  • Find your representatives here.   

5. Contact your representatives

6. Being active on social media and following the news is a great way to find resources, including petitions to sign and people to call for justice. Though there will always be misinformation, it is important to stay up-to-date and engaged on these topics instead of blocking them out.


The BlackQuaker Project would like to thank all the resources we used while compiling this list, especially the resource lists given by Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard, the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center Black Liberation Reading List, and The Harvard Gazette.


The BlackQuaker Project (1) celebrates the lives and contributions of Quakers of Color worldwide and (2) documents and addresses their concerns. It is an outreach and in-reach ministry of Wellesley Friends Meeting, guided by the Quaker testimonies of Truth, Peace, Equality, Community, and Justice.


T: 617-281-8907


© 2019 Hal Weaver.

Designed by Susan Spina.
Proudly created with