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Black Activism and Resistance in the 21st Century

Georgia Tech resources on Black activism and social issues in the 21st century.

Getting started

This will be a guide to the research into the Black experience and Black activism in the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries. It will connect you to Georgia Tech Library research and resources on some of the major topics explored by Black activists and those interested in the Black experience.

You can find more information about important concerns in the Black communities. 

  • Housing and wealth
  • Policing and incarceration 
  • Technology and STEM
  • Representation
  • Health and environment

Below there are useful definitions of some of the commonly used - and commonly misunderstood - terms in social research. 


Important concepts to understand in Black activism

These definitions will help you understand the research in Black activism and social issues. Much of Black activism and research into issues faced by Black communities concern systemic racism rather than individual racism. 

Systemic racism includes the policies and practices entrenched in established institutions, which result in the exclusion or promotion of designated groups. It differs from overt discrimination in that no individual intent is necessary. Examples of this include the Jim Crow laws, housing discrimination, and exclusionary membership rules to private organizations e.g. forbidding access of racial or religious minorities to country clubs. 

Individual racism refers to an individual's racist assumptions, beliefs or behaviours and is "a form of racial discrimination that stems from conscious and unconscious, personal prejudice" (Henry & Tator, 2006, p. 329). Individual racism is connected to/learned from broader socio-economic histories and processes and is supported and reinforced by systemic racism.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) states that U.S. social institutions (e.g., the criminal justice system, education system, labor market, housing market, and healthcare system) are laced with racism embedded in laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that lead to differential outcomes by race.