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Civil Rights

Barriers of White Resistance toward Racial Progress

When: June 10, 2022, 9:00 am - Friday

Where: Swang 234

Session 6

Session Abstract

This panel presents a critical framework of scholarship, shaped by the nomenclature of whiteness in the United States. Both structural and institutional barriers promulgate anti-Black racism that continue to fortify the functional primacy of whiteness, despite popular rejections of racism and performative claims by whites of racial progress. Moreover, the continuity of anti-Black racism is far more de facto in twenty-first century institutions, because of the historical vestiges of white supremacy. Panelists will discuss institutional discrimination toward Black farmers by the United States government, and the barriers of resistance aimed at Black unity.

 

Paper Abstracts

Emily Stutzman, Lipscomb University, “Black Farmers United Against Institutional Discrimination by the USDA: An Analysis of an Ongoing Conflict”

This paper analyzes the conflict between coalitions of Black farmers and the USDA from the settlement of Pigford v. Glickman until the present. Particular attention is paid to the claimsmaking process and negotiation strategies employed by Black farmer advocacy organizations like National Black Farmers Organization and Acres of Ancestry Initiative: Black Agrarian Fund as well as the US government, including the Biden administration and the USDA’s Equity Commission. Data sources include news articles sourced from Nexis-Uni, USDA publications, and advocacy organizations’ social media communications and engagement (e.g. #CancelPigfordDebt).

 

Edward Carson, The Governor’s Academy, “Maintaining Whiteness: The Churches of Christ and its Anti-Black Narrative”

This paper explores white churches and academic institutions, evaluating the ways in which absolute progress is not wholly possible under current policies, practices, and behaviors. In part, much like structural racism in the United States, the body of the churches of Christ have not examined the metrics needed for racial justice. While there are exceptions such as speakers, conferences, articles, and books regarding racial healing from within the churches of Christ, institutional practices and exclusionary measures have maintained racial barriers.

 

Corey J. Markum, Freed-Hardeman University, “Restorationist Monuments: A Civil War Framework for Considering Memory, Legacy, and Race at Churches of Christ Colleges & Universities”

Monuments associated with the Civil War and especially the Confederacy have become an arena of contested memory in recent years. The debates between defenders and detractors of various monuments have raised important questions about the function and legacy of those monuments: Who is the figure being honored/celebrated? Who deemed this person worthy of distinction? What is the message sent by this monument today?  Inspired by recent contests over memory and legacy at Church of Christ universities, this presentation considers how the physical landscape of “monuments” might inform discussions and reflections on the legacy and limits of racial progress within the Church of Christ faith tradition’s institutions of higher education.

Speakers

Emily Stutzman, Lipscomb University, Convener

  • Emily Stutzman, Lipscomb University, “Black Farmers United Against Institutional Discrimination by the USDA: An Analysis of an Ongoing Conflict”
  • Edward Carson, The Governor's Academy, “Maintaining Whiteness: The Churches of Christ and its Anti-Black Narrative”
  • Corey J. Markum, Freed-Hardeman University, “Restorationist Monuments: A Civil War Framework for Considering Memory, Legacy, and Race at Churches of Christ Colleges & Universities”

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James Cone with conferee at the CSC in 2017

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Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson delivering the CSC plenary address

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Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delivering the CSC plenary address.

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US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith delivering the CSC plenary address

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David Brooks engaging conferees during breakfast at the CSC

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