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Reflect on the Civil Rights Movement with a New RAC Reads Guide

Reflect on the Civil Rights Movement with a New RAC Reads Guide

As we continue in our pursuit of racial justice, it is important to both reflect on the work ahead of us and the legacy left behind by the leaders and movements that have already made significant changes. While the civil rights movement of the 1960s has been memorialized in films, through special events, commemorative events, museums and actual memorials, it is essential that we continue to tell the story of those who made great strides in the ongoing work to end racial discrimination.

Representative John Lewis, who was a leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating committee and worked to end discrimination and promote voting rights, has written a graphic novel trilogy on his work for civil rights and how it remains relevant today. March: Books One, Two and Three tell Rep. Lewis’ story, from his childhood in Alabama to his current position as a national leader, in a medium that is accessible to and powerful for readers of all generations. His story can help us reflect more deeply on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the lessons it contains for the civil rights movement of today.

Fifty years after the height of the civil rights movement, as we face a reality marked by a weakened Voting Rights Act, racial disparities in the criminal justice system and the persistence of widespread racial injustice, what can we learn from the leaders of the 1960s? How are they reflecting on the work they did and the work ahead? Where can we draw inspiration from their leadership?

In partnership with Rabbi Susan Landau of Temple Micah in Washington, DC, the RAC has compiled a “RAC Reads” Guide for groups to discuss one, two or all of the March books and seek out answers to these questions. Access the guide here. This guide is one of many reading guides and other resources to help Reform Jews strengthen their work on racial justice by reflecting on issues of race and racism. Click here to view our other reflect resources and learn more about our racial justice campaign here.

Jacob Kraus is the campaign organizer at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, leading the Reform Movement’s Urgency of Now campaigns for criminal justice reform and immigrant justice. Based at the Union for Reform Judaism offices in New York City, Jacob grew up in Cincinnati, OH, where his family is affiliated with Rockdale Temple. He is a 2015 graduate of Macalester College.

Jacob Kraus