Books, video, and games are available for lend to any Amherst College student staff, or faculty member. Resources can be borrowed for a seven-day period, two at a time. Feel free to stop by during office hours to view the MRC's resources.
Donations can be made anytime during office hours. We accept donations of books, videos, games, clothing, historical documents, and other cultural artifacts.
Resources available at the
Multicultural Resource Center
In the hills of Central Appalachia, up winding, mountain roads, is a place where children and families face unthinkable conditions, living without what most Americans take for granted. Isolated pockets in Central Appalachia have three times the national poverty rate, an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, the shortest life span in the nation, toothlessness, cancer and chronic depression.
But also in Appalachia young fighters and dreamers filled with hope struggle to survive: a high school football superstar who sleeps in his truck; a 12-year-old who wants nothing more than her own bed and a cupboard full of food; an 18-year-old who must decide whether or not to spend the rest of his life in the coal mines; and an 11-year-old determined to save her mother's life. Diane Sawyer continues her award-winning reporting on America's forgotten children with an eye-opening hour on rural kids living in poverty.
For nearly two years, ABC News cameras followed four Appalachian children, each one facing unimaginable obstacles.
A portion of proceeds from the sale of this program will go to organizations that are working to help the children and families in Appalachia.
Each year, an estimated 30 to 55 million women throughout the world obtain induced abortions. More than half of these abortions are illegal and an estimated 84,000 of them result in death. This cross-cultural survey shows how abortion transcends race, religion and social class, and how differences in the practice and perception of abortion are mainly in the degree of secrecy and danger accompanying it. Featuring interviews filmed in Ireland, Japan, Thailand, Peru, Colombia and Canada, the film lends a voice to women throughout the world.
Directed by Gail Singer
1984, color, 55 minsutes
* Blue Ribbon, American Film Festival
* Documentary Grand Prize, San Francisco Film Festival
* First Place, National Council on Family Relations Film Festival
Featuring Ishu Ishiyama, this program shows how to respond to incidents of discrimination. It identifies forms of direct and indirect oppression in terms of such issues as race, gender, and sexual orientation and teaches how to combat discrimination.
DVD / 2005 / 40 min
This program looks at the Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American cultures and considers their widespread influences on such sectors as entertainment, politics, and economics. The DVD covers key issues and features Latino community leaders.
DVD / 2001 / 30 min
*BLUE EYED - the original 93 minute version.
*THE ESSENTIAL BLUE EYED - an abridged 55 minute version with a 35 minute debriefing.
*THE 30 MINUTE BLUE EYED - the 30 most dramatic minutes of BLUE EYED.
*A brief trainer's guide to BLUE EYED.
Jane Elliott believes that white people won't act against racism until they have experienced it emotionally themselves,if only for a few hours in a controlled environment.
The "blue eyed/brown eyed" exercise was originally developed by Jane Elliott for her all white third grade class in Riceville, Iowa at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination to give them some idea of racial prejudice. She divided her class on the basis of eye color and subjected the blue-eyed members to a regime of intense discrimination. They soon cracked under the pressure, losing self-esteem and competence.
The same exercise with the same devastating results has since been replicated hundreds of times in industry, higher education and public employment not just in this country but around the world.
The "blue eyed/brown eyed" technique can be used to illustrate:
*How even casual bias can have a devastating impact on personal performance, organizational teamwork and productivity.
*How "color blindness" can itself be a form of racism
*How to identify culturally-biased codes of conduct within an organization that may be invisible to the majority
*How all participants can take responsibility for building a welcoming and inclusive organizational culture
A Sundance festival favorite, Crossing Arizona offers a far-reaching and up-to-the-moment look at the hotly debated issue of illegal immigration as captured at America’s current flashpoint - the Arizona border.
Seen through the eyes of frustrated ranchers, border patrol agents, local politicians, farmers dependent on an illegal work force, seasoned humanitarian activists, desperate migrants preparing for their journey north, and the Minutemen who have become darlings of the national media, this powerful documentary unveils the complicated dilemmas presented by the border crisis and the surprising political stances people take when immigration and border policy fails everyone, on all fronts.
56 minutes, 1987
National Emmy Winner
Ethnic Notions is Marlon Riggs' Emmy-winning documentary that takes viewers on a disturbing voyage through American history, tracing for the first time the deep-rooted stereotypes which have fueled anti-black prejudice. Through these images we can begin to understand the evolution of racial consciousness in America.
Loyal Toms, carefree Sambos, faithful Mammies, grinning Coons, savage Brutes, and wide-eyed Pickaninnies roll across the screen in cartoons, feature films, popular songs, minstrel shows, advertisements, folklore, household artifacts, even children's rhymes. These dehumanizing caricatures permeated popular culture from the 1820s to the Civil Rights period and implanted themselves deep in the American psyche.
Narration by Esther Rolle and commentary by respected scholars shed light on the origins and devastating consequences of this 150 yearlong parade of bigotry. Ethnic Notions situates each stereotype historically in white society's shifting needs to justify racist oppression from slavery to the present day. The insidious images exacted a devastating toll on black Americans and continue to undermine race relations.
Hosted by Lillian Comas-Diaz, this program explains the history of the multiculturalism movement, examines its impacts on contemporary U.S. society, considers its current agenda, and discusses its trajectory for the future. The program emphasizes the continuing need for change and offers suggestions for personal action.
DVD / 1998 / 42 min
This program documents the ritual of female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, practiced among some African groups; explores its roots in myth; and discusses movements under way to ban the practice. Interviews with anti-circumcision activists, including medical personnel, describe the health ramifications, including hemorrhage, infection, and painful sex. Victims discuss both the physical and emotional pain of circumcision, and both males and females discuss why they support or reject circumcision as a valid cultural practice. Graphic scenes of an actual female circumcision are shown. (40 minutes)
A groundbreaking documentary that examines representations of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture. It is a “loving critique” of certain disturbing developments in rap music culture from the point of view of a fan who challenges the art form’s representations of masculinity.
KILLING US SOFTLY III
34 minutes, 1999
Killing Us Softly III offers a new generation of students and ordinary television viewers a chance to share Jean Kilbourne’s uniquely empowering critique of advertising’s image of women. One of America’s most persuasive media critics, her previous best-selling videos Killing Us Softly (1979) and Still Killing Us Softly (1987) have changed the lives of millions of women by helping them recognize the devastating impact of advertising on their self-image. Now, at the start of a new millennium, Killing Us Softly III summarizes twenty years of research and lecturing to alert women and men to the insidious new techniques advertisers use to get us, quite literally, to buy into gender stereotypes.
Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She
People Like Us: Social Class in America
This DVD explores social and economic class issues in the U.S. and considers the ways in which social class informs and influences the daily lives of individuals. Highly Recommended, Video Librarian.
DVD / 2002 / 124 min
Please Vote for Me
Named one of the Best Documentaries of 2008 by Video Librarian
An experiment in democracy is taking place in Wuhan, the most populous city in central China. For the first time ever, the students in grade three at Evergreen Primary School have been asked to elect a class monitor. Traditionally appointed by the teacher, the class monitor holds a powerful position, helping to control the students, keeping them on task and doling out punishment to those who disobey. The teacher has chosen three candidates: Luo Lei (a boy), the current class monitor; Cheng Cheng (a boy); and Xu Xiaofei (a girl). Each candidate is asked to choose two assistants to help with his or her campaign.
To prove their worthiness, the candidates must perform in three events. First is a talent show, where each candidate plays an instrument or sings a song. Second is a debate, in which the candidates bring up the shortcomings of their opponents as well as their own personal qualifications. And finally, each candidate must deliver a speech, an opportunity to appeal directly to classmates and ask for their votes.
At home, each of the children is coached by his or her parents and pushed to practice and memorize for each stage of the campaign. Although their parents are supportive, the candidates feel the pressure. Tears and the occasional angry outburst reveal the emotional impact. At school, the candidates talk to classmates one-on-one, making promises, planning tactics (including negative ones) and at times expressing doubts about their own candidacies.
For all three children, the campaign takes its toll, especially for the losing candidates and their assistants. Viewers are left to decide if the experiment in democracy has been “successful” and what it might mean for democracy in China. Please Vote for Me challenges those committed to China’s democratization to consider the feasibility of, and processes involved in, its implementation.
3 episodes - 56 minutes each, 2003
The division of the world's peoples into distinct groups - "red," "black," "white" or "yellow" peoples - has became so deeply imbedded in our psyches, so widely accepted, many would promptly dismiss as crazy any suggestion of its falsity. Yet, that's exactly what this provocative, new three-hour series by California Newsreel claims. Race - The Power of an Illusion questions the very idea of race as biology, suggesting that a belief in race is no more sound than believing that the sun revolves around the earth.
Yet race still matters. Just because race doesn't exist in biology doesn't mean it isn't very real, helping shape life chances and opportunities.
Episode 1- The Difference Between Us examines the contemporary science - including genetics - that challenges our common sense assumptions that human beings can be bundled into three or four fundamentally different groups according to their physical traits.
Episode 2- The Story We Tell uncovers the roots of the race concept in North America, the 19th century science that legitimated it, and how it came to be held so fiercely in the western imagination. The episode is an eye-opening tale of how race served to rationalize, even justify, American social inequalities as "natural."
Episode 3- The House We Live In asks, If race is not biology, what is it? This episode uncovers how race resides not in nature but in politics, economics and culture. It reveals how our social institutions "make" race by disproportionately channeling resources, power, status and wealth to white people.
By asking, What is this thing called 'race'?, a question so basic it is rarely asked, Race - The Power of an Illusion helps set the terms that any further discussion of race must first take into account. Ideal for human biology, anthropology, sociology, American history, American studies, and cultural studies
Documentary | 2003 | 90 mins | DVD |
Through intimate profiles of individuals and communities from across the country, these three 30-minute programs offers fresh perspectives on how Asian Americans continually redefine and empower themselves in contemporary society.
Director: Sapana Sakya
Martin Bautista and Jeffrey Lim are Filipino immigrant doctors who practice in the predominantly Caucasian, hog-farming American heartland of Guymon, Oklahoma. Tempered by both pride in their heritage and the pressure to assimilate, their daily lives brim with the challenges and rewards of being pioneers on a new frontier.
ANGRY LITTLE ASIAN GIRL
Director: Kyung Yu
Creator of the underground comic and website “Angry Little Girls,” Lela Lee also enjoys a successful acting career in film and television. The same fiery attitude and unyielding principles that distinguish her graphic projects fuel her on-screen pursuits, testifying to the ambitions and hopes of a Korean American talent expressing her identity every way possible.
Director: Donald Young
The highest elected official of Asian descent on the mainland, Gary Locke has blazed a unique trail marked by the benefits and burdens of being “the first.” From his inauspicious beginnings as the son of Chinese immigrants to his becoming the governor of his home state, Washington, this segment chronicles the unprecedented rise to power of Asian America’s most visible political leader.
“Engaging, smart, and insightful… Grade A”
- Entertainment Weekly
- Christian Science Monitor
National PBS broadcast
Skin Deep: Racism in America
Experimental | 2007 | 64 mins | DVD
This compilation of Valerie Soe’s early experimental works (1986-1992) confronts the myths of Asian stereotypes head-on through images, personal stories and film clips.
“ALL ORIENTALS LOOK THE SAME” (1986, 1:30 min)
This short video effectively debunks a racial myth, provoking the viewer to confront stereotyping and prejudices about Asians and Pacific Islanders.
Black Sheep (1990, 6 min)
Utilizing short vignettes, Soe recounts the story of her “black sheep” uncle to explore the implications of difference within and without marginalized culture.
New Year (1987, 23 min)
This videotape uses hand-drawn illustrations and found footage to explore the conflicts of a child caught between her Chinese American background and the stereotypes and expectations created by mainstream American film and television images.
Picturing Oriental Girls: a [Re] Educational Videotape (1992, 11 min)
Clips from more than 25 Hollywood films and television programs, layered with voice-over and written words, examine the orientalism and exoticism prevalent in media images of Asian American women.
Golden Gate Award, Best Bay Area Short Video, San Francisco International Film Festival
Walking the Mountain (1992, 2:00 min)
A memorial to the filmmaker’s young aunt and relatives.
Mixed Blood (1992, 20 min)
Takes a personal view of interracial relationships between Asian Americans and non-Asian Americans. Soe skillfully combines interviews with couples, text and clips from scientific films and classic miscegenation dramas to explore the complexities of intimate emotional and sexual choices. She wonders whether such choices have public and political implications.
UNNATURAL CAUSES sounds the alarm about the extent of our glaring socio-economic and racial inequities in health and searches for their root causes. But those causes are not what we might expect. While we pour more and more money into drugs, dietary supplements and new medical technologies, UNNATURAL CAUSES crisscrosses the country investigating the findings that are shaking up conventional understanding of what really makes us healthy or sick.
This is a story that implicates us all. We're spending $2 trillion a year and rising on health care, more than twice per person than the average industrialized nation. Yet American life expectancy ranks 29th in the world, behind Costa Rica. Infant mortality? Cypress, Slovenia and Malta do better. One third of Americans are obese. Chronic illness now costs American businesses more than $1 trillion a year in lost productivity.
It turns out there's much more to our health than bad habits, health care or unlucky genes. The social conditions in which we are born, live and work profoundly affect our well-being and longevity.
The four-hour series, broadcast by PBS, was conceived as part of an ambitious communications and public engagement campaign conducted with leading public health, policy and community-based organizations. Groups around the country are using UNNATURAL CAUSES and its companion tools (available at www.unnaturalcauses.org) in classrooms, community dialogs, trainings, policy forums and town-hall meeting to help reframe the national debate over health and what we can - and should - do to tackle our health inequities
WINNER: Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award
WINNER: Council on Foundations Henry Hampton Award
WINNER: Congressional Black Caucus / National Minority Quality Forum Leadership in Journalism Award
WINNER: TV & Radio Journalism Award, Nat'l Inst. of Health Care Management (NIHCM)
WINNER: Media Award, Illinois Public Health Association; New Mexico Public Health Assoc.
What Does It Mean to Be White? The Invisible Whiteness of Being
In this program, Derald Wing Sue defines white privilege and shows how it keeps whites relatively oblivious to the oppression felt by nonwhites. Based upon a series of interviews with White folks and People of Color, Dr. Sue asks a very straightforward question: What Does It Mean To Be White? The variety of reactions are both provocative and powerful as they reveal how unaware and uncomfortable many White folks are in answering the question. Why do many Whites rather not think about their whiteness? Why are they uncomfortable with the question? Why do they deny its importance in affecting their lives?
DVD / 2004 / 60 min
49 minutes, 2006
Ten years after Skin Deep, campuses still struggle to attain diversity, create equity, close achievement gaps, and enhance student success for everyone. California Newsreel has produced this new tool to support your diversity goals.
Despite 15 years of diversity programs and initiatives, many of our discussions about race remain mired in confusion. Even a casual observer can’t help but notice how structural racism is ignored, how multiculturalism is confused with equality, and how many campuses remain hamstrung in their efforts to become more inclusive and welcoming of everyone. Ironically, in responding to surveys, many students claim they already know all they need to know about diversity and they shy away from opportunities to engage in interracial dialogue and understanding.
What’s Race Got to Do with It? is a new 49-minute documentary film that goes beyond identity politics, celebratory history and interpersonal relations to consider social disparities and their impact on student success in today’s post-Civil Rights world. Visit the companion Web site (www.whatsrace.org) for discussion questions, action steps, suggested group activities and more.
A celebration of diversity, Young Jewish and Left weaves queer culture, Jewish Arab history, secular Yiddishkeit, anti-racist analysis, and religious/spiritual traditions into a multi-layered tapestry of Leftist politics. Personal experiences from many of today’s leading Jewish activists reframe the possibilities of Jewish identity. It presents a fresh and constructive take on race, spirituality, Zionism, queerness, resistance, justice, and liberation.