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How to Kill a Neighborhood and Make a Profit
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Teaching Race and Racism
What is race? What is ethnicity? Is there a difference?
Race and ethnicity are often used interchangeably, but have different meanings. Race is an externally-imposed categorization based on certain physical features such as skin color and hair texture, a common ancestry, and cultural and moral attributes. Ethnicity is a self-defined group identity based on shared kinship, history, and culture.
Where Does the Idea of Race Come From?
Where does the idea of race come from? When we meet new people, one of the first things we notice about them is their race. But, what if I told you the idea of race hasn’t always existed? Before 1492, when Columbus arrived in Hispaniola, the notion that people belong to different races didn’t exist. Europeans created racial categories to explain the differences between themselves and the rest of the world. Race is a modern invention. Ancient people didn’t divide the world into distinct races. The ancient Ethiopians and Greeks, for example, didn’t think of each other as black or white. There wasn’t even a word for “race” in their vocabulary. The rise of science made the idea of race possible.
What is Intersectionality?
Intersectionality is not a question of counting our identities to see how many marginalized identities we have. Intersectionality is not something that only applies to people color or to women. It applies to us all, as intersectionality involves an analysis of how multiple systems of oppression shape all of our lives.
The Racist History of U.S. Immigration Laws
The United States was a sovereign nation for a full century before immigration restrictions became a subject of political debate, let alone law. When the United States began to pass immigration laws at the end of the 19th century, these laws were overtly racialized and expressed a clear preference for people from Northern and Western Europe.
What we watch on the screen influences how we see the world. Sociologist Patricia Hill Collins came up with the concept of “controlling images” to explain how media representations reinforce stereotypes. This video explains how these stereotypes reinforce racist beliefs and are used to justify racial inequalities.