Resources for a Charlottesville Curriculum

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia are a frightening and disheartening reminder of how hate and intolerance in the US resurface when bigots feel empowered to act on their prejudice. Cornel West described the rally that took place on August 12 as “the biggest gathering of a hate-driven right wing in the history of this country in the last thirty to thirty-five years.” Watching the violence unfold left us feeling sorrowful and horrified.

We at Beacon Press believe in promoting anti-racism, religious pluralism, and respect for diversity in all areas of life. We work to lift up the voices that speak to urgent social issues. In today’s politically fraught climate, we find ourselves face-to-face with these issues, which is why Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II has rightfully declared that, “now is the time for a Third Reconstruction. We who believe in freedom insist that we are going forward together, not one step back.”

The level of hate seen at the rallies in Charlottesville has a history and a context that need to be understood. As president of the Unitarian Universalist Association Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray said at the peaceful counter-protests in Charlottesville, “White supremacy is not new in this country, but its renewed boldness is.” To that end, discussions about it need to continue in order for us to work toward inclusiveness and social justice. That’s why we’ve put together a list of resources for your perusal.

This list includes resources from the Anti-Defamation League, Teaching Tolerance, Political Research Associates, Facing History, and our own authors and staff; it’s by no means exhaustive. We’ll keep adding to it to empower a reimagining of justice and the societal transformation necessary to dismantle white supremacy and structural violence.

We hope you find these helpful in our uncertain times.


To help understand what happened:

What Is the “Alt-Right”?
Teaching Tolerance 

Trumpvangelicals Are Using Faith to Bring Us to the Brink of Nuclear War
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, ThinkProgress

Alt Right: A Primer about the New White Supremacy
Anti-Defamation League 

The “Free-Speech” Hypocrisy of Right-Wing Media
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The New York Times 

CTRL-Alt-Delete: The Origins and Ideology of the Alternative Right
Political Research Associates 

Contemporary Antisemitism and Youth
Facing History 

Charlottesville: Race and Terror
VICE News Tonight on HBO 

There Is No Post-Racial America
Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic 

These Are Donald Trump’s Racist Troops
Brian Beutler, The New Republic


To help understand the historical and societal scope of hate in America: 

The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy
Facing History 

Holocaust and Human Behavior
Facing History 

Why It Matters When a Town Rallies Against Hate
Linda K. Wertheimer, The Boston Globe 

The History White People Need to Learn
Mary-Alice Daniel, Salon 

#CharlottesvilleCurriculum, #CharlottesvilleSyllabus, UC Press Edition
University of California Press Blog 

Teachers Share Resources for Addressing Charlottesville Hate Rally in the Classroom
Education Week Blog


To propose solutions and individual actions:

Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide
Southern Poverty Law Center 

The Alt-Right Curriculum
Linda K. Wertheimer, The Atlantic 

A Working-Class Strategy for Defeating White Supremacy
Gabriel Kristal, In These Times