As some of you know, I am writing my dissertation for my Ph.D. in History at Liberty University. The starting of the dissertation has been a rough process, and I am in week 5, and my first draft of chapter one is being submitted today. These first several weeks have been about narrowing my topic down, and I have expanded and narrowed it down at least four times. The working title is Constitutional and Legal Racism in Indiana: 1787-1870.
This week I defined racism for this paper. I searched the internet and found one I liked from the Australian Human Rights Commission. I chose this one because it encapsulates the idea perfectly. I modified the language to suit my academic needs and thoughts.
My dissertation will define legal racism as the systemic and institutional inequity that creates unequal opportunities and outcomes for people based on their racial or ethnic backgrounds. The power to discriminate, oppress, or limit others’ rights constitutes legal racism, andI think this will help me focus my work.
I have my dissertation chair, Dr. Thomas Adams Upchurch. I am very honored that he will be guiding my work. Dr. Upchurch focuses on African American history (slavery, the abolitionist movement, and Jim Crow/Civil Rights) and religious history. He is the author of Abolition Movement,among others. I am incredibly lucky to have him on this project.
I will update my blog from time to time to keep everyone up to date on my progress. Some posts will be drafts, and some will be my thoughts on the process.
 “What is Racism?” Australian Human Rights Commission. https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/race-discrimination/what-racism.
 Thomas Adams Upchurch, Abolition Movement (Oxford, UK: Greenwood, 2011).