Disrupting Racial Myths

Step 1: Begin by free-writing (typed or handwritten notes are both OK) for 10-15 uninterrupted minutes on the following questions.  You should have already done this in the first page of this module.  Here are the questions again in case you did not do this.

 

  1. Do you think colorism (prejudice/discrimination against individuals with a darker skin tone) is the same as racism?  Is it related?  Does it operate similarly?  Explain your answer.

2. Think about color terms like “negrito” or “darkie” or when people avoid terms altogether and instead point/rub their arms to signify a particular skin color (as part of “racial etiquette”).  Think about how and when these terms/actions are deployed and in your own words, explain if they add up to a larger meaning over time?  Do they implicitly impact how people are positioned within those societies where the terms are used regularly?

3. Some of you may have heard the term “avanzar la raza/mejorar la raza” (advance/improve the race) by means of racial mixing with someone lighter skinned?  What do you think this implies?  From where do you think this concept comes and why is it still prevalent today?

4. Do you think that the ideology of”color-blindness” is a good solution to fix racism?  Why or why not?  Explain your answer using a good example.

5. Why do you think skin whitening creams is big business in places across the Caribbean and Asia?  In the places where these lightening creams and cosmetic surgery to look “whiter” evidence that the society is inherently deeply racist?  Explain your answer and support it with a strong example.

 

Now choose any of the three readings/multimedia options below and WRITE notes on the three you chose.  You will need to upload these notes too:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/brazils-colour-bind/article25779474/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12001750

Step 3: Now look at your answers above and identify information that was new and/or surprising to you.  You may want to consider: What did you learn about colorism, the lasting impact of racial capital at large (macro settings) and in micro-conditions (within families, partnerships (marriage/dating), the impact of color-blind myths on societies? Was there information that was new or surprising to you?  If so, why was it new or surprising? What doesn’t surprise you and why? Are there other interpretations of the ideas you held about stereotypes before you began? Be specific and explain to which piece you are referring when discussing the new information.  Think of at least 3 new points you learned addressing some of the questions above. You will need to include these in #4 below.

Step 4: Now write a short analysis of 350-500 words in which you reflect on your experience of doing this research in Step 2 and how it might have dispelled what you thought you knew about colorism and color-blind ideology. What was it like? What are your thoughts about the topics you researched? Did your interpretations of them change at all while doing the research for this? If so, how have they changed any “common sense” beliefs you might have had as you read/watched?

Step 5:  After writing and revising your analysis, think of a title of a blog post you could write for your peers.

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