Anti-Racism Resources

In early December 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, Frederick Douglass delivered a speech entitled "Our Work is Not Done" at the annual meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia. In it, he argues that our work will not be done until everyone—and especially our Black brethren—is "admitted, fully and completely, into the body politic of America." Despite the intervening years between Douglass' visits to Philadelphia and the present, different forms of bondage continue to affect our Black communities—mass incarceration, debt, racism and discrimination, policing, and surveillance—all of which continue to diminish and endanger Black life in Philadelphia and across the country.

"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

— Frederick Douglass, "If There is No Struggle There is No Progress," Canandaigua, NY, August 3, 1857

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The conversations set into motion by the recent protests across the United States and around the globe have made the urgency of reconceiving how we have been socialized to think about race all the more legible. To contribute to this effort, we are offering a modest series of recordings drawn from our archives that engage issues raised by the present and ongoing activism, including those related to anti-Black racism and subjugation in all its forms, as well as strategies of collective memory, representational justice, and decolonization. We hope these resources might contribute to this ongoing work of transformation, with those close to us and beyond.