Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus


Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus


Syllabus Subtitile: How can we help students understand George Floyd's death in the context of institutionalized racism?


The United States has seen escalating protests over the past week, following the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis police. Educators everywhere are asking how can we help students understand that this was not an isolated, tragic incident perpetrated by a few bad individuals, but part of a broader pattern of institutionalized racism. Institutional racism—a term coined by Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) and Charles V. Hamilton in their 1967 book Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America—is what connects George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery with Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Emmett Till, and the thousands of other people of color who have been killed because they were black in America.

This context seems vital for discussions both inside and outside the classroom. The following articles, published over the course of JSTOR Daily’s five years try to provide such context. We will be updating this page with more stories and are working to acquire a reading list about institutionalized racism in the near future. (Note: Some readers may find some of the stories in this syllabus or the photos used to illustrate them disturbing. Teachers may wish to use caution in assigning them to students.)

Topics include:

  • Racial (In)Justice: Putting Protest into Perspective
  • Video Documentation & Police Brutality: Ethical Considerations

  • Racial, Economic, and Educational Disparities Go Hand in Hand

JSTOR is a digital library for scholars, researchers, and students. JSTOR Daily readers can access the original research behind our articles for free on JSTOR.


Racial Justice



31 May, 2020




Catherine Halley, “Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus,” Antiracism Digital Library, accessed June 25, 2024,