In light of recent events, I thought it a good idea to hit pause on updating my little video series.

I've always felt it should go without saying that I am firmly against racism and the systems in place that continue to perpetuate that evil.  But these days, it SHOULD NOT go without saying.  So, I just want to unequivocally state that I am indeed against it. Everything I strive for in life, from the music I aspire to create, to the type of spirituality I want to embody comes from, and is so perfectly exemplified, within the Black community.  I will never stop being grateful for the gifts they have brought to the world and how they continue to enrich so many lives in so many ways.

I am ashamed of my silence.  I am ashamed of the chasm of misunderstanding and hatred engendered by that silence.  In avoiding conversations I felt would have been “uncomfortable,” I’ve stanched any progress that could have been made.  It all starts at the human level, and in my ignorance, I’ve neglected to see that importance.  I hope, in these coming days, to further educate myself and to dedicate all I can to be a part of true and positive change in this country.  Please consider joining in, in any way you can.  I think it’s in the act of simply joining in that will be the most powerful. 



Recommended Reading:

Children’s Books:

Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford

Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom by Virginia Hamilton

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Civil Rights History:

Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy by Bruce Watson

Lynching of Cleo Wright by Dominic J. Capeci JR

The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell

The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America by James T. Patterson

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

American Slavery, American Freedom by Edmund S. Morgan

A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School by Carlotta Walls Lanier

Olivia's Story: The Conspiracy of Heroes Behind Shelley V. Kraemer by Jeffrey S. Copeland

Waking from the Dream: The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr. by David Chappell

Turn Away Thy Son: Little Rock, the Crisis That Shocked the Nation by Elizabeth Jacoway

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose

Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America by Elliot Jaspin

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black

Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet Washington

Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919 by William Tuttle

Strange Fruit, Volume I: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gill, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

All Eyes Are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn Sokol Jason

A Black Gambler's World of Liquor, Vice, and Presidential Politics: William Thomas Scott of Illinois, 1839-1917 by Bruce Mouser, Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association by E. David Cronon

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James Loewen

Contemporary Civil Rights Issues Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America by Eugene Robinson

The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t and Why by Jabari Asim

Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel

The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues by Angela Y. Davis

Creative Community Organizing: A Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists, and Quiet Lovers of Justice by Si Kahn

The House That Race Built edited by Wahneema Lubiano

Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century by Monique W. Morris

Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect by Robert J. Sampson

The News: A User’s Manual by Alain De Botton

Combined Destinies: Whites Sharing Grief about Racism by Jealous T. Ann

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Mat Taibbi

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise

Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk about Race and How to Do It by Shelly Tochluk

Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class Ian Haney-Lopez


The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir by Michele Norris

High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America by Jessica B. Harris

March, Book 1 by John Lewis

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

At the Elbows of My Elders by Gail Milissa Grant

A Mighty Long Way by Carlotta Walls Lanier

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles Blow

Sister: An African American Life in Search of Justice by Silvia Bell White

Novels and Stories Exploring Race:

Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Americannah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

A Taste of Honey by Jabari Asim

Betsey Brown by Ntozake Shange

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

Native Son by Richard Wright

King Hedley II by August Wilson

Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse

Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison

All about Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color by Jina Ortiz

Policing and Incarceration:

Rise of the Warrior Cop by Radley Balko

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Losing Legitimacy by Gary Lafree

Mass Incarceration on Trial by Jonathan Simon

Suspicion Nation by Lisa Bloom

The Central Park Five by Sarah Burns

Arbitrary Justice by Angela J. Davis

Life in Prison by Stanley “Tookie” Williams

No Choirboy: Murder, Violence and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin

Why Are So Many Black Men in Prison? By Demico Boothe

Race in St. Louis History:

Never Been a Time by Harper Barnes

Mapping Decline by Colin Gordon

Grassroots at the Gateway by Clarence Lang

That’s the Way it Was by Vida “Sister” Goldman Prince

Olivia’s Story by Jeffrey Copeland

Mill Creek Valley A Soul of Saint Louis: The Life and Death of a Black

Neighborhood by Ron Fagerstrom

JK Music Logo by Chris Kauflin


  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

Copyright © 2020  Justin Kauflin.    justin@justinkauflin.com.    Los Angeles, CA  USA.   All rights reserved   SDG