- Kenneth and Mamie Clark, "Racial Identification and Preference in Negro Children," 1950 (You will need to read this on and/or download this from this site: https://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/13/doll.study.1947.pdf
- Paul Bloom, “The Moral Life of Babies,” New York Times, May 5, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/magazine/09babies-t.html
- James H. Burnett III, “Racism Learned: New Research Suggests Prejudices May Form at a Much Earlier Age, but It Also Offers Hope that Biases Can be Unlearned,” Boston Globe, June 10, 2012. https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2012/06/09/harvard-researcher-says-children-learn-racism-quickly/gWuN1ZG3M40WihER2kAfdK/story.html
Wait a minute: wasn’t it just recently that we were talking about the problem of the definitions of race and ethnicity and the arbitrary nature of these categories? Holy moley, how did we get here?
As we saw with the children in Anderson Cooper’s 2010 piece on skin color preferences when asked to judge what skin color young children preferred, the general sense was that they preferred lighter skin to darker skin. The question of whether adults preferred a particular skin color again, according to the children interviewed, seemed to be that, “Yes, they do. They prefer the lighter skin colored people.”
Now granted, Cooper’s study was not scientific and therefore could easily be questioned, but it is a quasi-recreation of an study done by Kenneth and Mamie Clark in 1940-1941, a study that was at the core of the arguments made in favor of the plaintiff in the landmark Brown v Board of Education case that led to desegregation of the nation’s public schools after the Supreme Court ruled in 1954. A summary of that study by the Clarks in the link as the reading above. It’s essential that you read it!
So what explains why the children feel the way they do? Does Paul Bloom’s article offer any explanation? Is Mahzarin Banaji’s research helpful in this context? In other words, are there factors that affect the growth and views of children? Offer your thoughts on this and support them with specific, clear evidence. In other words, take a thoughtful post taking a position on these questions, reflecting what you learned from the three readings and what you saw in the Anderson Cooper video.
Be sure to respond to the comments of at least two people who precede you (or follow you) in this discussion.
[BTW, in case you were not in class on Wednesday, the URLs for the various pieces we watched in class are:
part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cWgV5sigbQ (5:27)
part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xh1dkE7yn8 (2:00)
part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll9O9Inohnc (1:15)
Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture, 2012:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPVNJgfDwpw (9:29)
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OKgUdQF-Fg (6:25)