We’re Still Marching: Updating our Understanding and Interpretation of the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement
Prepared by: Mia L. Carey, PhD; National Park Service Mellon Humanities Post-Doctoral Fellow, Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement
Updated: June 2020
One of the major lessons learned from the National Park Service’s Civil War to Civil Rights Commemoration in 2015 was that the relevance of the park system and its programs rests in the connections to long-standing and on-going struggles for equality. Though the Park Service has acknowledged that there are many problems to solve, including grappling with its racist origins and the visible lack of diversity in its workforce and visitorship, the agency is still a long way from positioning itself as a national resource and catalyst for conversations about the nation’s historic and ongoing quest to fulfill the promise of justice and equality for all. For such a claim would require that the Service repair and modernize its interpretive infrastructure for the American public through discovering (research) and sharing (audience-centered interpretation) all Americans’ stories, for all audiences, in an environment that is respectful of our visitors, partners, and more importantly, our staff. Thus, the purpose of this annotated bibliography is to present new and updated research that exposes the evils that are deeply rooted in the structure of our society, which will allow us, as an agency, to foster understanding, healing, and change within the Park System and broader society.
This bibliography is organized into nineteen categories from anti-racism to health and housing to whiteness studies and voting. These categories were selected in order to (re)introduce terms such as anti-racism, colorblindness, identity, racism, and whiteness/white privilege that challenge everything we thought we knew. These terms must be understood in order to prepare change agents, those who are committed to helping the Park Service repair and modernize interpretive infrastructure, to meet the basic competencies needed to promote understanding, healing, and change through facilitating difficult conversations. While some of these works may be familiar to you, the goal is to expand your knowledge of these stories. This bibliography is only a sampling of the resources that are available on these topics and should be used as a springboard for new avenues of research.