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freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 246

Reading:

From Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi, Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, and Identity (2019).


Winona Guo + Priya Vulchi state that “race and racism inescapably impact everything around us. Even the very existence of the United States demanded their presence.” (12) They go on to say “race is a cancer that impacts every part of our lives.” (13) Their inquiry + book starts from the notion that this is true and proceeds from that assumption.


  1. Do you agree with Winona + Priya’s assumptions or do you want to challenge some part of what they believe about the role of race? Why or why not?
  1. Identify 3 first-person accounts from this first chapter in the book (number them!) that says something that, in your view, is important about race and identity. Name each person you select and share with us

(a) a brief summary of what each person said and

(b) why you think it’s important/significant/noteworthy (your choice).


  1. IMO, among the cool things about this book are the eye-opening factoids/information details that appear in the margins, as if they are footnotes OR side-references, OR commentary. Select at least 2 of those and lift them up in the post by

(a) briefly summarizing the factoid/information and

(b) why you think more people should know about this.


  1. If you like or dislike this book ….so far….say so! Tell us why you feel the way you do about it.
  1. And...respond to at least one person whose post preceded yours. (If you are first to post, you can revisit this part later….and do a second post with your response to that other person!)

Be sure to divide your post into paragraphs (and you can incorporate any numbering (see #2 above). Paragraphs are your friend and they make your post much more readable. Thank you in advance for making this reader-friendly.


pseudonym
boston, Ma, US
Posts: 10

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

1. When Winona + Priya state that "race and racism inescapably impact everything around us," I agree. This is because, as a society, we have consistently grown up with this idea. There are many races, and unfortunately, depending on how you were educated, in my opinion, you believe whether or not people are different because of their race. From experience I've had at such a young age, I am fortunate to have been raised in a family that has taught me that although we might seem different on the outside, we are all the same inside. But I've also seen many families who have taught their children differently. Sadly, the notice that after so much time given to us to learn from the past in history, there are still people who refuse to acknowledge and continue with their life. Some examples of race impacting everything around us would be in healthcare, housing, and politics.

2.

  1. Jenniffer grew up in a household where her father had always told her that POC were inferior and for her not to interact with them. This mentality was engraved in her head from a young start, not allowing her to think differently. When she starts going to school she experiences people treating her the way she treated others. This makes her very sad and uncomfortable leading her to regret and question how she was able to ever think that way and treat others. This is very important in my opinion because it shows how much we are conditioned by our parents or guardians in our environment. It also shows that personal experience can truly make you understand the struggle and change.
  2. Justin is a male who describes his story of always feeling like others don't respect him for the man he is but for what they see on the outside. This prejudice from other people leaves him furious and disappointed because the hard work he has put to get where he is now is all discredited or not even considered. This is important because it shows how as a society (not everyone) we are so quick to judge based on what stereotypes we have been told or taught. People have much more to offer inside than out.
  3. Chef Tu recalls his identity crisis as a Vietnamese chef whois constantly being called out for not being Vietnamese enough. He questions what he'd have to do to show this or who he'd have to be. This identity crisis is a lot more common than we think. Personally I can relate to this when my family in Italy says i'm too american and when americans say i'm too italian. The most important thing is to acknowledge that you don't have to fit into a certain category.

3. One of the side margins that spoke the most to me is how black women have always been denied rights to their bodies. This started when women in slavery were forced to have children born into poverty. I think more people should know about this because it relates to the same problem we have today. Texas, for example, has banned abortion, leading many women and families fearful. It's not fair to force a woman to carry a child they do not want. It's not just about not wanting the baby; it's about a woman knowing that her lifestyle cannot provide a stable and safe environment for this child. It's genuinely sickening knowing that his behavior has been going on for so long.

Another side margin that stood out to me is that since 2015, Texas has decided to filter its school's history curriculum, not to mention aspects of slavery, KKK, and Jim Crow laws. This approach to teaching history, to me, is entirely wrong and unjust. History, even when bad, in my opinion, is to be taught. If generations to come are not being educated on what has happened and how we need to change; there will be no change. Unfortunately, and sadly I was not surprised to learn that the state was Texas. More people should know about this because it is absurd that states can decide what history to teach and what not to. History isn't like an English class where the teacher would choose what book to read for that month; facts that happened need to be taught.

4. So far, I enjoy reading this book because it has opened my eyes to a lot of factual evidence of how race truly impacts everything around it. From something simple as country music adopted from Blues, a branch of Music started by African American musicians. While reading this book, I often felt uncultured because it was never brought to my attention by the tiny little details. Like I had mentioned before, my favorite part is the margins on the side because they give facts about how as a society, we have and are diminishing our past, especially when recalling events of African Americans in slavery and their rights.

hotchocolate
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 10

such powerful stories wow!

  1. Racism is definitely at the root of society and everything human life is based on. At least it plays a huge role in the lives of people from all backgrounds, whether colored or not. To exist peacefully with each other, people of all different cultures and identities, we have to acknowledge how impactful race and racism are. After accepting that it definitely exists, then we can figure out how to unite and find solutions. Racism is definitely a cancer but the idea of race which means grouping people by common physical traits, which is also wrong in the sense that appearance shouldn’t matter but rather what’s inside does, doesn't have to be bad because I’m thinking that since I’ve grown up in a sort of diverse community, I’ve learned a lot from people of all appearances and backgrounds. Like it seems sort of harmless if it was used as an identifier in general but when it becomes racism and all the weight the word carries, it’s wrong. Sometimes with race comes cultural practices that I want to learn more about and appreciate. When race is being used to categorize people in hateful ways, of course it’s cancerous and hurtful and oppressive. But the way I’m interpreting it is that many different races and ethnicities are so important to human growth and it’s awful that minorities are targeted and made uncomfortable and assaulted. I feel like no matter what we do, race will continue to be a basis of exclusion of people and will determine social status and societal superiority.

  1. a) Vic from Seattle, Washington says that as an Asian cis woman, white people view her as safe and it’s added to the denial of her experience as a colored person. Instead of sugar coating things for white people (and being caught in white respectability politics) and being seen as a sidekick, she wants to speak her truth and organize the community.
  2. b) I remember learning about how quick white people were to turn against black people and that they tried to gain support from Asian people who they had just discriminated against. They just wanted someone to blame and hate. I’m also familiar with the term “model minority” and that some people see Asian people as facing less racial oppression or as being more white. It’s easy to feel, as an Asian person growing up in a white community/world, a large disconnect from my culture and I often say that I’m “basically white” or “white washed”. I really loved what she brought up about how the places that are being gentrified are close to Chinatown rather than prominent black communities, which I hadn’t thought about before. And I would agree that the reason is because Asian people are taught to kind of mold into the model minority myth that white people encourage, which gives the Asian community more “safety” but kind of takes pride away from their own culture. Does getting into a fancy college even correlate with the model minority culture or is it just Asian cultural values to work hard? But we clearly have more opportunities for success than black or Latinx people and instead of just being comfortable like that, the colored community should support one another in making a change and not feeling obligated to respect racist things that have been normalized.

a) Vineela and Tyler from LA share a dialogue: Vineela grew up with a strict mother who prevented her from dying her hair or having sleepovers because she didn’t want her daughter to lose her sense of culture and become white. Although Vineela’s mother wasn’t ready to meet Tyler, Vineela’s white partner who dropped out of school to pursue acting, she agreed and the whole meal, she and Tyler talked and he even got praised for being brave enough to follow his dreams which Vineela’s mother never would’ve said to her.

b) I found this account extremely interesting because when Vineela’s mother meets Tyler who embodies everything she disagrees with, she loves him. I know that it’s hard for parents to stray from tradition even if it’s totally okay and that by having strict rules, most kids don’t feel understood and want to rebel even more. I think Tyler stood for an American dream by appearing like everything came easy to him and that he could just drop out and pursue acting, and then make some millions. Or maybe Vineela’s mom wasn’t as judgmental as Tyler because he isn’t her child and he can do what he wants. By letting your child grow up and become independent and have opinions on how they want to present themselves, it teaches them that self expression is okay and as a person who has struggled with my identity, I know that as I’ve grown, I’ve also grown to appreciate my culture more and find ways to connect with it in a white world. This also connects with what Vic says because she identifies that white people are respected for taking risks and are treated superiorly in every instance, out of admiration but also fear. I’d like to hear someone else’s thoughts on this story who has been in a similar situation because I’ve heard about how damaging it can be for one’s child when they observe someone praising others and kind of ignoring or being disapproving of their own child when they do something. It shows that a very far away goal is having everyone appreciate different cultures and that not everyone fits into one bubble/profile.


a) Justin from Lawrence Kansas: They say that the black community is only seen as their history, the slave trade, and nobody listens or takes their struggles seriously unless it’s a white person speaking.

B) It’s true that when a history is being taught of a certain peoples, it’ll often get sugar coated or it’ll just focus on all the negatives. As students, we are taught about enslavement which is memorable but not much about how impactful black people’s roles and achievements are in history. I read an article in history class about how in order to make reparations to the Jews because of their expulsion in Spain, Spain decided to grant citizenship to anyone whose ancestors were affected by the “purity by blood” law. Someone who has this option said that they don’t feel like Spain owes them anything and that so much time has passed. In terms of racism and mistreatment of black people which is ingrained in society, I think some people are so sympathetic towards black people because they see them as having enslaved ancestors which is true but they are much more than that. They are PEOPLE. In terms of many social/political issues, everyone needs to care about them and be opinionated because it’s true that people tend to listen if white people care, hence why major issues that deeply affect colored people and minorities aren’t being solved. Everyone deserves to be heard and use their voice.


  1. A) Factoid information accompanying Liz’s story brings to attention that hotels advertise lying in the sun by the pool and have shampoo that won’t work for black hair. There’s a quote from W. E. B. Du Bois about how with two identities such as being black and an American, people see themselves through other’s eyes.

B) It never occurred to me about that shampoo fact but I do know that everything is catered to white people in media and reality. I’ve heard about how much shame this society brings upon black people with all types of super curly hair and part of that is not having all products be user friendly for everyone. Travel is a luxury and I know that depending on how someone appears and the melanin in their skin and gender affects their income which can prohibit spending on things that are for pleasure which is a huge disparity. I’ve heard someone ask someone else in a short video, “Would you want to be “overweight” like me?” and everyone says no because all these things are rooted in white supremacy. I've seen what it’s like to be kind of a subject of fascination because when I traveled to China, everyone took photos of my white parents. It was hard to feel like I belonged there in my birth village because people knew I was American and it felt good to meet an American on the street to converse with. There’s just a huge disconnect. As people, we are affected by how people see us and care so we are trying to figure out our identities but making it more confusing for other people to feel comfortable in the process. I wish everything would accommodate everyone!


a) A celebrity hairstylist Vernon Francois defined cultural appropriation as an aesthetic borrowed from a culture that is celebrated the way it never was originally.

B) Cultural appropriation is such a common controversial topic today. I like Francois’s definition because I think celebrating other people’s culture should be encouraged and is beautiful when it’s done in an honorable way. I’ve seen traditional Asian dresses in Urban Outfitters which made me feel uncomfortable even as someone who doesn’t know that much about Asian culture. But I love the sharing of cultural practices and creating a space where these aesthetics can be appreciated and people can be included. The only way to create respectful connections is to bring more awareness to this topic and teach ways to not be culturally appropriating. A lot of people have different opinions even people of the same culture might disagree on what is deemed disrespectful.

4. I’m definitely interested in this book not only because the stories it shares are valuable and give everyone a voice which gets the reader thinking and reflecting, but also because the writers are people around my age and it’s sad to see that even young people understand how much racism impacts our lives. It’s very powerful to speak up and use your voice publicly to share your thoughts and beliefs so this book is pretty special. I think it brings to light a bunch of personal stories and perspectives that people of all ages can relate to.

pseudonym
boston, Ma, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by hotchocolate on October 03, 2021 18:25

  1. Racism is definitely at the root of society and everything human life is based on. At least it plays a huge role in the lives of people from all backgrounds, whether colored or not. To exist peacefully with each other, people of all different cultures and identities, we have to acknowledge how impactful race and racism are. After accepting that it definitely exists, then we can figure out how to unite and find solutions. Racism is definitely a cancer but the idea of race which means grouping people by common physical traits, which is also wrong in the sense that appearance shouldn’t matter but rather what’s inside does, doesn't have to be bad because I’m thinking that since I’ve grown up in a sort of diverse community, I’ve learned a lot from people of all appearances and backgrounds. Like it seems sort of harmless if it was used as an identifier in general but when it becomes racism and all the weight the word carries, it’s wrong. Sometimes with race comes cultural practices that I want to learn more about and appreciate. When race is being used to categorize people in hateful ways, of course it’s cancerous and hurtful and oppressive. But the way I’m interpreting it is that many different races and ethnicities are so important to human growth and it’s awful that minorities are targeted and made uncomfortable and assaulted. I feel like no matter what we do, race will continue to be a basis of exclusion of people and will determine social status and societal superiority.

  1. a) Vic from Seattle, Washington says that as an Asian cis woman, white people view her as safe and it’s added to the denial of her experience as a colored person. Instead of sugar coating things for white people (and being caught in white respectability politics) and being seen as a sidekick, she wants to speak her truth and organize the community.
  2. b) I remember learning about how quick white people were to turn against black people and that they tried to gain support from Asian people who they had just discriminated against. They just wanted someone to blame and hate. I’m also familiar with the term “model minority” and that some people see Asian people as facing less racial oppression or as being more white. It’s easy to feel, as an Asian person growing up in a white community/world, a large disconnect from my culture and I often say that I’m “basically white” or “white washed”. I really loved what she brought up about how the places that are being gentrified are close to Chinatown rather than prominent black communities, which I hadn’t thought about before. And I would agree that the reason is because Asian people are taught to kind of mold into the model minority myth that white people encourage, which gives the Asian community more “safety” but kind of takes pride away from their own culture. Does getting into a fancy college even correlate with the model minority culture or is it just Asian cultural values to work hard? But we clearly have more opportunities for success than black or Latinx people and instead of just being comfortable like that, the colored community should support one another in making a change and not feeling obligated to respect racist things that have been normalized.

a) Vineela and Tyler from LA share a dialogue: Vineela grew up with a strict mother who prevented her from dying her hair or having sleepovers because she didn’t want her daughter to lose her sense of culture and become white. Although Vineela’s mother wasn’t ready to meet Tyler, Vineela’s white partner who dropped out of school to pursue acting, she agreed and the whole meal, she and Tyler talked and he even got praised for being brave enough to follow his dreams which Vineela’s mother never would’ve said to her.

b) I found this account extremely interesting because when Vineela’s mother meets Tyler who embodies everything she disagrees with, she loves him. I know that it’s hard for parents to stray from tradition even if it’s totally okay and that by having strict rules, most kids don’t feel understood and want to rebel even more. I think Tyler stood for an American dream by appearing like everything came easy to him and that he could just drop out and pursue acting, and then make some millions. Or maybe Vineela’s mom wasn’t as judgmental as Tyler because he isn’t her child and he can do what he wants. By letting your child grow up and become independent and have opinions on how they want to present themselves, it teaches them that self expression is okay and as a person who has struggled with my identity, I know that as I’ve grown, I’ve also grown to appreciate my culture more and find ways to connect with it in a white world. This also connects with what Vic says because she identifies that white people are respected for taking risks and are treated superiorly in every instance, out of admiration but also fear. I’d like to hear someone else’s thoughts on this story who has been in a similar situation because I’ve heard about how damaging it can be for one’s child when they observe someone praising others and kind of ignoring or being disapproving of their own child when they do something. It shows that a very far away goal is having everyone appreciate different cultures and that not everyone fits into one bubble/profile.


a) Justin from Lawrence Kansas: They say that the black community is only seen as their history, the slave trade, and nobody listens or takes their struggles seriously unless it’s a white person speaking.

B) It’s true that when a history is being taught of a certain peoples, it’ll often get sugar coated or it’ll just focus on all the negatives. As students, we are taught about enslavement which is memorable but not much about how impactful black people’s roles and achievements are in history. I read an article in history class about how in order to make reparations to the Jews because of their expulsion in Spain, Spain decided to grant citizenship to anyone whose ancestors were affected by the “purity by blood” law. Someone who has this option said that they don’t feel like Spain owes them anything and that so much time has passed. In terms of racism and mistreatment of black people which is ingrained in society, I think some people are so sympathetic towards black people because they see them as having enslaved ancestors which is true but they are much more than that. They are PEOPLE. In terms of many social/political issues, everyone needs to care about them and be opinionated because it’s true that people tend to listen if white people care, hence why major issues that deeply affect colored people and minorities aren’t being solved. Everyone deserves to be heard and use their voice.


  1. A) Factoid information accompanying Liz’s story brings to attention that hotels advertise lying in the sun by the pool and have shampoo that won’t work for black hair. There’s a quote from W. E. B. Du Bois about how with two identities such as being black and an American, people see themselves through other’s eyes.

B) It never occurred to me about that shampoo fact but I do know that everything is catered to white people in media and reality. I’ve heard about how much shame this society brings upon black people with all types of super curly hair and part of that is not having all products be user friendly for everyone. Travel is a luxury and I know that depending on how someone appears and the melanin in their skin and gender affects their income which can prohibit spending on things that are for pleasure which is a huge disparity. I’ve heard someone ask someone else in a short video, “Would you want to be “overweight” like me?” and everyone says no because all these things are rooted in white supremacy. I've seen what it’s like to be kind of a subject of fascination because when I traveled to China, everyone took photos of my white parents. It was hard to feel like I belonged there in my birth village because people knew I was American and it felt good to meet an American on the street to converse with. There’s just a huge disconnect. As people, we are affected by how people see us and care so we are trying to figure out our identities but making it more confusing for other people to feel comfortable in the process. I wish everything would accommodate everyone!


a) A celebrity hairstylist Vernon Francois defined cultural appropriation as an aesthetic borrowed from a culture that is celebrated the way it never was originally.

B) Cultural appropriation is such a common controversial topic today. I like Francois’s definition because I think celebrating other people’s culture should be encouraged and is beautiful when it’s done in an honorable way. I’ve seen traditional Asian dresses in Urban Outfitters which made me feel uncomfortable even as someone who doesn’t know that much about Asian culture. But I love the sharing of cultural practices and creating a space where these aesthetics can be appreciated and people can be included. The only way to create respectful connections is to bring more awareness to this topic and teach ways to not be culturally appropriating. A lot of people have different opinions even people of the same culture might disagree on what is deemed disrespectful.

4. I’m definitely interested in this book not only because the stories it shares are valuable and give everyone a voice which gets the reader thinking and reflecting, but also because the writers are people around my age and it’s sad to see that even young people understand how much racism impacts our lives. It’s very powerful to speak up and use your voice publicly to share your thoughts and beliefs so this book is pretty special. I think it brings to light a bunch of personal stories and perspectives that people of all ages can relate to.

I really appreciate and find it interesting how in your first answer, you talk about unification. I agree that our differences when interpreted in bad ways is cancerous while when we all come together and embrace our differences it’s the cure. Living in an environment that allows you to meet people with different backgrounds is very important as you said. It allows you to accept and learn the cultures that crafts the people around us.

no name
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 5

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

1) I agree with Winona + Priya's statement of how race affects everything as in the dozen examples in the introduction to chapter 1. Whiteness is a concept built on exclusion and purity. We see this in America and in history, Europeans now like to think "wow racism is horrible in America thank god we don't have racism here" when they literally imported racism into America. White supremacy is in every aspect in life too, a cancer it's undertones are everywhere and in everyone. White Europeans and Americans are so scared to lose their power privilege and comfort that they fall back onto the ideology of purity, they are terrified of small numbers. We see this in France where they literally rebranded the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory of the Frankfurt School with Islam(if you are interested look up Islamo-Leftism France). This is so powerful that is converting once liberal white people to subscribe to dangerous extremist ideas.

The recent conservatives panic during the Haitian border crisis. You see these photos and videos of people just trying to survive and there are border patrol whipping them on horseback. Many of you may know Tucker Carlson, Fox News anchor scum and white nationalist, selling watered down Nazi rhetoric to your family members. Here is a clip of him calling Iraqis "semiliterate primate monkeys" along with many other horrible things. Anyway his converge of recently of immigration he doesn't even hide his white nationalist take. He talks about the "Great Replacement" and Democrats using demographic change to win election. The great replacement also called the white genocide is that white people are getting "bred" out of existence, this also connects to the Fourteen Words "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children". This is why the Right has been so successful over the years because they sell watered down ideas to you whether it be Blue Lives Matter or All Lives Matter they slowly sprinkle white supremist ideas crumbs over time.

PS: I have been in many political circles past two years, and if anybody is obsessed with demographic stats, run away they are must likely a white supremacist .

2) Melina talks about how much effort it took just for her internalized white supremacy to be recognized. She stresses the importance of the education because the ones who can do the most are the most privileged. What I think is important are the big three, the foundation of the modern day system: capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy. These three concepts have had centuries to evolve and when a new obstacle crosses their path they adapt -- for example capitalism into neoliberal capitalism.

Justin started out in a low income Latino neighborhood, but transition to a wealthier private school. When he tried to join a club with "more difficult race conversations", they were fake because they didn't want to actually experience any discomfort. For me what stuck out was the "you can't say something's racism, if it is not" because I went through the same thing. When someone says a offensive joke and you call them out they say "relax it's just a joke" or "you are making a big deal out of nothing" even when your identity is the exact target of the joke. I recently learned the term for it, racial gaslighting.

Jennifer is the last one. She went from more diverse to a white dominated school, which was a huge shock for her. She felt like an outsider which many in their identity presentation said. This was important because I experience the opposite I went from a white dominated school space to diverse one, which made me realized how much of a bubble I was in. Most likely the people of color in this discussion board will agree we all had a phase of wanting to be white when we were younger.

3) Page 45 the first footnote

African Americans were freed by the US government and neglected. More people should know this because it is yet again another lie told to prop up the US as the beacon for freedom and liberty.

Page 47 second footnote

Estimated 1.5 million people fled during the Vietnamese of which around 3%-13% died. This should be know that these people were died not because of communism or whatever but by US imperialist aggression.

Page 49 footnote

Sharing soul stories(stories of racial background) brings you much closer than ego stories(like flexing college application or something). This is true it feels much more personal and emotional than telling someone that you got an internship for the summer.

4) I don't dislike any part of the book, I really enjoyed reading the excerpt.


saucymango
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

I) Overview

I agree with the vast majority of Winona and Priya’s statement that the concept of racism is a disease that infiltrates every institution and affects every aspect of the lives of people of color. Their need to highlight the ubiquitous nature of racism emphasizes the greater danger it holds because it makes it that much easier to accept racist acts and beliefs as “normal” when it is present everywhere around you.

I would add on that race wasn’t simply created to divide people, but to justify the abuse of divided people. It was mentioned in both the Brief History of Whiteness and a side note on page 32, that Black, Brown and Asian bodies were (and are) only desired for labor. Biases from Darwin’s Theory of Race and general misconceptions were part of the reason why people could accept exploitation, but I think the racism that lasts till today was purposely created after the need to justify the exploitation of people of color, thus coming from a place of manipulation rather than pure ignorance. This begs the question of how conscious was the decision to create racism, and is it more dangerous if it is intentional or unintentional


II) First Person Stories

  1. The first story that I found insightful was Justin’s, who speaks to the need to conform to the whiteness around him, especially by codeswitching. It relates back to a line from the Brief History of Whiteness, where being “white” is the norm and every other race is “not white.” From Justin’s story, he talks about how exhausting it can be to constantly attempt to fit in or explain things to white people why you don’t, as those are essentially your two choices. It is always a burden on the oppressed when white people worry about being uncomfortable for even one minute, while people of color are oppressed every minute. This causes a significant mental strain which shows how racism becomes the root of other issues that are less visible and the hardships when these issues intersect that we should all be more aware of.
  1. Queen Esther’s piece made me question a lot of my own biases and where they came from. They discuss how history and reality are contorted when it comes to the accomplishments of Black people. While people have started to understand that “American” music all have African roots, we have yet to recognize that numerous technological advancements have also come from Black Americans, such as our refrigerators, traffic lights, caller ID, etc. I think they effectively summarize their entire piece with the statement that White people essentially want to erase all of Black “history, their culture,[...] and just leave this stripped-down husk of a person. A Black person.” This makes it easier to paint the narrative that Black people are inept and slavery was only terrible because it took away their ability to be successful. Thus, even though we do not explicitly argue that Black people are inherently inferior to white people, we continue to promote stereotypes that they are less intelligent, lazy, or only good for athletic activities. We must recognize the achievements and strength of Black people instead of only their pains and challenges.
  1. Finally, Rylee, Parker and Marley brought up an important perspective. They talked about their struggles as Pacific Islanders, which are often overlooked in the discussion about racism, such as the blatant ignorance towards their culture and daily lives, disrespect towards their culture, and erasure of their history. Their issues and stories emphasize the need to, during the fight against racism, not only uplift people of color, but at its root, take down white supremacy. If we only focus on certain groups, it may lead to harm for other groups (i.e. when white women fought for the right to vote, they exacerbated racism against black women by arguing white women are superior and should have more rights). This is the fault of how our system is currently set up; therefore, the entire system needs to be reformed to ensure equity for all.

III) Side Notes

  1. Of the more than five hundred treaties signed with Native Americans, approximately five hundred of these treaties have been broken as explained in the footnote on page 29. The lack of US credibility is shocking when you also consider our direct violations of treaties with North Korea, Libya, Iran, and so many more countries. This factoid emphasizes the need to hold the US government accountable because the government can do whatever it wants to appease the performative activists, but at the end of the day, continue to enforce racial discrimination. We must continually pressure the US into matching their actions to their word, which must go beyond "condemning actions" and "offering their condolences."
  2. There is a quote on page 22 that notes how Black women’s rights to their own bodies were taken away, and further abused to bear children that were predetermined to become property of owners of enslaved people. Most of us learn in school how an enslaved person’s status is passed onto their children, but it was taught as if it were the same as a monarch passing the throne down to their children. There is a severe lack of humanity in determining unborn infants as free tools, torturing Black women to know that they are bringing a child into hell and with the pain that many of the slave owners had raped Black women, resulting in their pregnancies. I’ve heard many say that enslaved people were treated much worse than what textbooks say, but I don’t think we’ve even understood the full extent of the horror in things that are mentioned in textbooks.

IV) Overall, I found this chapter to be a helpful read. It really built upon ideas I've heard a bit about, but never looked deeper into, as well as contextualize many issues and make them easy to understand!

saucymango
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by no name on October 03, 2021 21:12

Justin started out in a low income Latino neighborhood, but transition to a wealthier private school. When he tried to join a club with "more difficult race conversations", they were fake because they didn't want to actually experience any discomfort. For me what stuck out was the "you can't say something's racism, if it is not" because I went through the same thing. When someone says a offensive joke and you call them out they say "relax it's just a joke" or "you are making a big deal out of nothing" even when your identity is the exact target of the joke. I recently learned the term for it, racial gaslighting.


Post your response here.

No name's point here really resonated with me, and I think it's a significant cause of internalized racism as well! I assume many BIPOC students, especially Asian students, will agree that they had been trained by society to be submissive and any reaction they have to racism is them being sensitive until eventually, we blame our ancestors and heritage for enabling people to make these jokes. I was genuinely afraid of being smart for years because I didn't want other people to joke about me being "just another Asian nerd."

p.s. I really enjoyed reading your entire post, you brought in a lot of external information and pointed out funny (for a lack of a better word) ironies

pinkskittles
boston , Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

  1. I do agree with Winona and Priya, I think it is very unfortunate but race is a very big part of people's lives and whether we like it or not, it does affect everyone. Because different races have had/still have prejudice against them I feel that due to that, there are still people who are affected by it every day. Obviously, not every single person is racist to every race, but there definitely are a good amount of people who still are, and that does make a absolute huge difference.
  2. Alexa- she was born in Mexico but was light skinned and got bullied or made fun of due to her light skin. This roles into race because her mom was struggling a lot financially but due to her race, people would automatically think she was rich or wouldn't look at her as someone who was struggling. This is noteworthy because this shows that every. every race can get bullied, can be called names, no matter what. She also realizes, with her light skin tone she can get discriminated against, but she also does have a lot of privilege with it, that others do not have. Justin- He being light-toned and mexican never really felt like he fit in, because if he went with his mexican side, it was low income and he didn't really belong there because he was "too good" or "too smart" for that but then if he went to the white schools or neighborhoods he wouldn't fit in quite right either. I think this just shows how races truly are divided even if you don't think they are, and how so many people struggle with this, feeling like they never 100% fit in anywhere due to their race. Jennifer- She was asian and during her high school experience she noticed races were divided in a sense as well, and didn't know where she fit it completely. She said because of her light tone she didn't have to worry about the police, and because she was asian people would think she was automatically smart, which in a way is an insult, and she would get called slurs. This shows that race does 100% affect people's lives on a daily basis regardless.
  3. On page 37 there is a side note about white privilege, and it is a few definitions of the term from a few different people. I think this is important because sometimes people forget or don't quite understand what white privilege is, and even if white people can get hate, white privilege is still 100% a thing and everyone should be aware of it. On page 17, there is a definition for code-switching, and I think it honestly is very important as well because I didn't know what that was, and having the meaning really helped. I am sure many others also don't know what it is, so it is good that everyone is educated on it.
  4. I do like this book a lot so far, I think it gives you perspective of many others and you can really put yourself into their shoes. Although it did take some time, reading through the stories makes you really think on society and races as a whole, and makes you sometimes realize the privilege you have. I think it is also nice that all those people did get to share their story to other people through this book, so that people can be educated from their experiences.

(sorry the numbering got messed up and i cannot fix it, but it goes in order 1-4, from top to bottom)

pinkskittles
boston , Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Originally posted by pseudonym on October 03, 2021 15:59

1. When Winona + Priya state that "race and racism inescapably impact everything around us," I agree. This is because, as a society, we have consistently grown up with this idea. There are many races, and unfortunately, depending on how you were educated, in my opinion, you believe whether or not people are different because of their race. From experience I've had at such a young age, I am fortunate to have been raised in a family that has taught me that although we might seem different on the outside, we are all the same inside. But I've also seen many families who have taught their children differently. Sadly, the notice that after so much time given to us to learn from the past in history, there are still people who refuse to acknowledge and continue with their life. Some examples of race impacting everything around us would be in healthcare, housing, and politics.

2.

  1. Jenniffer grew up in a household where her father had always told her that POC were inferior and for her not to interact with them. This mentality was engraved in her head from a young start, not allowing her to think differently. When she starts going to school she experiences people treating her the way she treated others. This makes her very sad and uncomfortable leading her to regret and question how she was able to ever think that way and treat others. This is very important in my opinion because it shows how much we are conditioned by our parents or guardians in our environment. It also shows that personal experience can truly make you understand the struggle and change.
  2. Justin is a male who describes his story of always feeling like others don't respect him for the man he is but for what they see on the outside. This prejudice from other people leaves him furious and disappointed because the hard work he has put to get where he is now is all discredited or not even considered. This is important because it shows how as a society (not everyone) we are so quick to judge based on what stereotypes we have been told or taught. People have much more to offer inside than out.
  3. Chef Tu recalls his identity crisis as a Vietnamese chef whois constantly being called out for not being Vietnamese enough. He questions what he'd have to do to show this or who he'd have to be. This identity crisis is a lot more common than we think. Personally I can relate to this when my family in Italy says i'm too american and when americans say i'm too italian. The most important thing is to acknowledge that you don't have to fit into a certain category.

3. One of the side margins that spoke the most to me is how black women have always been denied rights to their bodies. This started when women in slavery were forced to have children born into poverty. I think more people should know about this because it relates to the same problem we have today. Texas, for example, has banned abortion, leading many women and families fearful. It's not fair to force a woman to carry a child they do not want. It's not just about not wanting the baby; it's about a woman knowing that her lifestyle cannot provide a stable and safe environment for this child. It's genuinely sickening knowing that his behavior has been going on for so long.

Another side margin that stood out to me is that since 2015, Texas has decided to filter its school's history curriculum, not to mention aspects of slavery, KKK, and Jim Crow laws. This approach to teaching history, to me, is entirely wrong and unjust. History, even when bad, in my opinion, is to be taught. If generations to come are not being educated on what has happened and how we need to change; there will be no change. Unfortunately, and sadly I was not surprised to learn that the state was Texas. More people should know about this because it is absurd that states can decide what history to teach and what not to. History isn't like an English class where the teacher would choose what book to read for that month; facts that happened need to be taught.

4. So far, I enjoy reading this book because it has opened my eyes to a lot of factual evidence of how race truly impacts everything around it. From something simple as country music adopted from Blues, a branch of Music started by African American musicians. While reading this book, I often felt uncultured because it was never brought to my attention by the tiny little details. Like I had mentioned before, my favorite part is the margins on the side because they give facts about how as a society, we have and are diminishing our past, especially when recalling events of African Americans in slavery and their rights.

I agree when you said you liked the margins on the side, i think they are very important and are very educational.

redemmed2021
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

How does racial Identity play into how people see us?

1) I would definitely agree with Winona and Priya's assumptions about the role of race. Race is something that I believe plays a role in everyday life. Your most of the time plays into your education, income, housing, health care, career's, and social life. Many of the time depending on your race you are viewed as different, or"other". We see this mostly among Black, Latinx, and Asian Americans today, or to be honest any non white or light skinned person. In today's culture your race is something that holds you back, which it shouldn't. So, yes, "race is a cancer', something that people don't choose but yet has unwanted strong and lasting consequences and problems.



2) 3 first-person accounts

-Justin E

  1. Justin said that in today's world he feels that white people see him as a Black face, someone whose ancestors were enslaved. He wants white people to realize that he is more than a black face, and he believes that the oppressor should help in waking up other oppressors.
  2. I believe this is significant because Black people are more than the color of their skin. I feel like people when a non black person sees a black person, most of the time, a plethora of stereotypes go on in their head. They don't see beyond the skin color and I strongly believe this is something that needs to be changed.

- Queen Esther

  1. Esther mentioned that there are so many things that were invented by slaves, or people of color, but were not allowed to claim the invention. Their wonderful and extraordinary inventions were stolen by White colonizers/people, and received all the money and historical credit.
  2. This was very interesting because this is something that I never really knew and something that a lot of people should know. This supports the idea, which I strongly agree with, that the majority of the United States success is built upon the back of Black, African-American, Asian, and Indigenous communities. In school we are always taught about the horrible things that black, and any non white individuals faced but rarely the success, accomplishments, inventions, and greatness that came from these individuals.

- Alexa

  1. A summary of what Alexa had to say was that she faced problems regarding her race/skin color in her own household and at school. In her house she was considered white because she went to a good school and was intelligent, but considered to “colored” for the white people at her school
  2. This is significant because I believe that a lot of people hold to a view that says intelligence is only something that White people have. Intelligence has nothing to do with the color of your skin.

3)

-“As of 2015…” (p.23)

a)This information essentially says that, in Texas, public schools have stopped addressing slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow, and framed the Civil war as a war regarding states rights


b) More people should know about this because slavery, the KKK, and Jim Crow are all important things that has occurred in the recent history of the United states. These are things that have lasting effects and are still affecting people to this day, to some extent. Most importantly if these are not being taught then we a robing many children and teens of the truth behind why the US is the way it is regarding race and racism


-“ It is a particular…”(page 43)


a) This information talks about the double-consciousness that many Black people face, always looking at oneself through the eyes of others


b)More people should know about this because it allows people to understand why they perceive themselves the way they do.


4) Yes, I love this book so far. I enjoy reading and learning about the experiences many people have faced regarding race and racism. You always get a different perspective or learning something that you never learned before. To add on I love this book so far because I can relate to a lot of the first person accounts that I read.

redemmed2021
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by saucymango on October 03, 2021 21:34

I) Overview

I agree with the vast majority of Winona and Priya’s statement that the concept of racism is a disease that infiltrates every institution and affects every aspect of the lives of people of color. Their need to highlight the ubiquitous nature of racism emphasizes the greater danger it holds because it makes it that much easier to accept racist acts and beliefs as “normal” when it is present everywhere around you.

I would add on that race wasn’t simply created to divide people, but to justify the abuse of divided people. It was mentioned in both the Brief History of Whiteness and a side note on page 32, that Black, Brown and Asian bodies were (and are) only desired for labor. Biases from Darwin’s Theory of Race and general misconceptions were part of the reason why people could accept exploitation, but I think the racism that lasts till today was purposely created after the need to justify the exploitation of people of color, thus coming from a place of manipulation rather than pure ignorance. This begs the question of how conscious was the decision to create racism, and is it more dangerous if it is intentional or unintentional


II) First Person Stories

  1. The first story that I found insightful was Justin’s, who speaks to the need to conform to the whiteness around him, especially by codeswitching. It relates back to a line from the Brief History of Whiteness, where being “white” is the norm and every other race is “not white.” From Justin’s story, he talks about how exhausting it can be to constantly attempt to fit in or explain things to white people why you don’t, as those are essentially your two choices. It is always a burden on the oppressed when white people worry about being uncomfortable for even one minute, while people of color are oppressed every minute. This causes a significant mental strain which shows how racism becomes the root of other issues that are less visible and the hardships when these issues intersect that we should all be more aware of.
  1. Queen Esther’s piece made me question a lot of my own biases and where they came from. They discuss how history and reality are contorted when it comes to the accomplishments of Black people. While people have started to understand that “American” music all have African roots, we have yet to recognize that numerous technological advancements have also come from Black Americans, such as our refrigerators, traffic lights, caller ID, etc. I think they effectively summarize their entire piece with the statement that White people essentially want to erase all of Black “history, their culture,[...] and just leave this stripped-down husk of a person. A Black person.” This makes it easier to paint the narrative that Black people are inept and slavery was only terrible because it took away their ability to be successful. Thus, even though we do not explicitly argue that Black people are inherently inferior to white people, we continue to promote stereotypes that they are less intelligent, lazy, or only good for athletic activities. We must recognize the achievements and strength of Black people instead of only their pains and challenges.
  1. Finally, Rylee, Parker and Marley brought up an important perspective. They talked about their struggles as Pacific Islanders, which are often overlooked in the discussion about racism, such as the blatant ignorance towards their culture and daily lives, disrespect towards their culture, and erasure of their history. Their issues and stories emphasize the need to, during the fight against racism, not only uplift people of color, but at its root, take down white supremacy. If we only focus on certain groups, it may lead to harm for other groups (i.e. when white women fought for the right to vote, they exacerbated racism against black women by arguing white women are superior and should have more rights). This is the fault of how our system is currently set up; therefore, the entire system needs to be reformed to ensure equity for all.

III) Side Notes

  1. Of the more than five hundred treaties signed with Native Americans, approximately five hundred of these treaties have been broken as explained in the footnote on page 29. The lack of US credibility is shocking when you also consider our direct violations of treaties with North Korea, Libya, Iran, and so many more countries. This factoid emphasizes the need to hold the US government accountable because the government can do whatever it wants to appease the performative activists, but at the end of the day, continue to enforce racial discrimination. We must continually pressure the US into matching their actions to their word, which must go beyond "condemning actions" and "offering their condolences."
  2. There is a quote on page 22 that notes how Black women’s rights to their own bodies were taken away, and further abused to bear children that were predetermined to become property of owners of enslaved people. Most of us learn in school how an enslaved person’s status is passed onto their children, but it was taught as if it were the same as a monarch passing the throne down to their children. There is a severe lack of humanity in determining unborn infants as free tools, torturing Black women to know that they are bringing a child into hell and with the pain that many of the slave owners had raped Black women, resulting in their pregnancies. I’ve heard many say that enslaved people were treated much worse than what textbooks say, but I don’t think we’ve even understood the full extent of the horror in things that are mentioned in textbooks.

IV) Overall, I found this chapter to be a helpful read. It really built upon ideas I've heard a bit about, but never looked deeper into, as well as contextualize many issues and make them easy to understand!

From reading Queen Esther, I have definitely learned things that I didn't know before. It honestly makes me sad how black people had there ideas stolen from them and didn't receive the credit they rightfully deserved. I'm interested in learning more about invention, accomplishments, and other things that were developed by black people. I also believed that this is something that should be taught in schools way more. Sometime I think people are racists because they are jealous and have there own insecurities, and shortcomings. They need other people to do the dirty/hard work that way they can just rip that work away from them so they can feel superior.I feel like reading Esther's account just confirms this for me so much more.

Lion03
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8
  1. I agree with Winona and Priya's statements that race impacts every single aspect of your life. These impacts occur whether you realize it or not. It effects things like where you live, how you're treated, and what opportunities you have access to. Racism is a prevalent idea that has existed since the beginning of life. The idea of treating someone less than based on their skin color has been a key role in society for centuries and centuries. I agree with Winona and Priya because being treated based on race is something that is so deeply rooted in American culture that it can impact you in ways that you don’t even realize

  1. a) Nick: Nick’s story was about being Native American and Jewish and growing up with the struggles surrounding that. He talks about the way natives were treated and protesting at an early age. He also talks about how even at three years old police tear gassed him which created a long lasting fear of police for Nick. I think this is important because I can connect it to things that happen today and how police still treat people. In 2020, we saw this similar thing happen at the Black Lives Matter rallies and protests. The fear of police for people of color is still so common today because of systematic rules that were put into place that the police were founded on.

b) Queen Esther: Queen Esther’s story was about being a black country singer. She talks about how her instruments were from Africa and how no one gives Africans the recognition they deserve for all the inventions they’ve created. I think this is noteworthy because it just shows how the foundation of America was built on the backs of African American slaves and that the don’t get the recognition they deserve. She also talks about all the tools and technology that enslaved Africans brought to this country. I think its important to give recognition and credit where credit is due. If we are unable to recognize all that they have done for this country, than how can we accurately depict the correct history and colonization of America.

c) Justin E: Justin talked about his experience of how he really “knew he was black”. He continues to talk about being called a slur and how the slave trade has become apart of his history. He talks about how in history black people are portrayed as only being slaves. I think this is important to recognize because it puts an emphasis on things like the history textbooks we use today and how the school curriculum only shows the “white-washed” part of history to make it seem better. This is an ongoing issue in schools today and is just now finally beginning to be talked about.


  1. a.) The footnote on Justin E’s page really stuck out to me. This footnote points out the fact that Africa is a continent with many different variations of Africans and that there are many different physical genetic variations. It also talks about Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. I did not know about this and I think more people should find out about this. People should know about this because it shows the impact that race has on adaptation to survival and how it can be passed on through generations which is interesting.

b.) The footnote on Queen Esther’s page also stood out to me. It talks about how just 6 years ago, the history curriculum in Texas was changed in order to take out education of slavery and does not mention the KKK or Jim Crow laws. I think more people need to know about this in order to change the curriculum. The education of slavery and Jim Crow laws is essential because without it, then how would we learn from our mistakes.


4. I like this book so far because it isn’t like the other school books that we read. It catches my attention by talking about peoples experiences on a personal level. It takes on a new perspective which I enjoy.

Kazuma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 8

I like this book so far!

# 1.) I agree with their presumption that race impacts everything. Whether we like it or not, race is quite literally in your face. It is something that we as humans created and now we have to deal with its ramifications. I think that no matter how you look at it, race has been around for so long that the terrible ideologies that come with it are deeply ingrained within our society and the world. People pass on racist ideologies to the next generation like it’s a recipe. It is hard to move on from the negative effects that come with Race when Race is something that is seemingly going to go on forever.

#2.) 1.A.) Alfred talks about how “Eskimo” is a derogatory term created by the Russians. It means “raw meat eater”. B.) This is significant to me because just like Priya, it baffled me to think about how many history textbooks had used the term and how often it was used to refer to people in society in general.

2.A.) Nick talks about how they think we’re in the final stage of colonization, that being the wiping away of history. He talks about how every Native American has to become some sort of historian and remind America of their history. B.) This is significant to me because I never thought about it like that. Native Americans shouldn’t have to remind us of a history that we all share as residents of this country. They’re essentially being forced to remind us of something we should already know even though they’re the ones that have and are still suffering.

3.A.) Vic tells us that in her class they were watching a movie on the Vietnamese-American War. She wrote an analysis on the film for the class, specifically analyzing the racism and it was labeled as a rant. B.) This is noteworthy for me because it is a student directly pointing out the racism within the film. Instead of acknowledging this and having the necessary conversation, the teacher chose to diminish Vic’s analysis in avoidance of being uncomfortable.

#3.) 1.A.) This factoid talks about how Black Women were denied the right to their own body! It goes on to say that even their children ended up not being ‘property’ of the slave master. B.) I think that more people should know about this because it really changes how we think about women’s rights today and especially Black Women. A similar situation is still going on today as the government attempts to control what women can and can’t do with their own bodies.

2.A.) America’s first immigration law banned Chinese women from coming to the United States. This was to stop the Chinese men entering from being able to procreate and create Asian-American families. The White man simply wanted their labor. B.) I think that more people should know about this because it goes to show that what a tight grip racism had and still has on the government and the nation as a whole.

#4.) So far, I like the book because it isn’t some guy just telling about the history of the country. It is first-person stories and how those people deal with the ramifications of this country’s history with race. It feels refreshing as there aren’t many talks about race and history in school.


Kazuma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by Lion03 on October 03, 2021 22:43

  1. I agree with Winona and Priya's statements that race impacts every single aspect of your life. These impacts occur whether you realize it or not. It effects things like where you live, how you're treated, and what opportunities you have access to. Racism is a prevalent idea that has existed since the beginning of life. The idea of treating someone less than based on their skin color has been a key role in society for centuries and centuries. I agree with Winona and Priya because being treated based on race is something that is so deeply rooted in American culture that it can impact you in ways that you don’t even realize

  1. a) Nick: Nick’s story was about being Native American and Jewish and growing up with the struggles surrounding that. He talks about the way natives were treated and protesting at an early age. He also talks about how even at three years old police tear gassed him which created a long lasting fear of police for Nick. I think this is important because I can connect it to things that happen today and how police still treat people. In 2020, we saw this similar thing happen at the Black Lives Matter rallies and protests. The fear of police for people of color is still so common today because of systematic rules that were put into place that the police were founded on.

b) Queen Esther: Queen Esther’s story was about being a black country singer. She talks about how her instruments were from Africa and how no one gives Africans the recognition they deserve for all the inventions they’ve created. I think this is noteworthy because it just shows how the foundation of America was built on the backs of African American slaves and that the don’t get the recognition they deserve. She also talks about all the tools and technology that enslaved Africans brought to this country. I think its important to give recognition and credit where credit is due. If we are unable to recognize all that they have done for this country, than how can we accurately depict the correct history and colonization of America.

c) Justin E: Justin talked about his experience of how he really “knew he was black”. He continues to talk about being called a slur and how the slave trade has become apart of his history. He talks about how in history black people are portrayed as only being slaves. I think this is important to recognize because it puts an emphasis on things like the history textbooks we use today and how the school curriculum only shows the “white-washed” part of history to make it seem better. This is an ongoing issue in schools today and is just now finally beginning to be talked about.


  1. a.) The footnote on Justin E’s page really stuck out to me. This footnote points out the fact that Africa is a continent with many different variations of Africans and that there are many different physical genetic variations. It also talks about Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. I did not know about this and I think more people should find out about this. People should know about this because it shows the impact that race has on adaptation to survival and how it can be passed on through generations which is interesting.

b.) The footnote on Queen Esther’s page also stood out to me. It talks about how just 6 years ago, the history curriculum in Texas was changed in order to take out education of slavery and does not mention the KKK or Jim Crow laws. I think more people need to know about this in order to change the curriculum. The education of slavery and Jim Crow laws is essential because without it, then how would we learn from our mistakes.


4. I like this book so far because it isn’t like the other school books that we read. It catches my attention by talking about peoples experiences on a personal level. It takes on a new perspective which I enjoy.

I completely agree with your answer to #4. I think that having that more personal level to the book makes it all the more enjoyable and allows for you to truly sympathize with the characters and feel their pain.

YellowPencil
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

  1. I agree with Winona and Priya’s assumptions on race. I strongly agree with the first statement “race and racism inescapably impacts everything around us” because from how we individually and society view and treat each other to the advancements of humankind, race and racism impacts them all. Like for example, the computer I am using. The computer itself is maybe made with the exploitation of groups of less privileged people. For example the lithium in the laptop batteries may be mined by children and adults in Congo. Because of colonization and the existence of race, they live lives with less opportunity. Moreover, the technology company that made the computer, Microsoft, has a African-American employee rate of 4.9, another example of race. The camera on my computer also mostly likely takes pictures of white people better than colored people. This also supports the second statement “race is a cancer that impacts every part of our lives.”

2)


1a) Queen Easter is black woman who enjoys playing country music. But people don’t see country music as African American culture but of whiteness although it has African like many other music genres in America. Others see her as straying from her culture but she is actually reclaiming it. She explains how African Americans are robbed of their inventions and their inventions are put under White Americans names without acknowledgment of them.


1b) I found this account very impactful because it shows Queen Easter’s strong feelings of unfairness. She explains how the roots of her culture was stolen and relabeled as something White American, her people being exploited, but in the end society doesn't say sorry or give back but responds by trying to delete that part of history and continuing to treat her and other African Americans poorly.



2a) Alexa is an undocumented Mexican in the US who was rejected scholarship opportunities because of her undocumented status and struggled with her identity during highschool because of her lighter skin tone compared to other around her.


2b) Alexa’s account stood out to me because it showed how rigged racial categories affect people. Others called her rich and white even though she was born in Mexico and didn't get the opportunities of a white, rich, documented citizen. There was anger towards her because of her lighter skin tone and assumptions based on that. To add on, even though she has the grades and the qualities of a good student she was rejected scholarship just because of her undocumented status.



3a) Vic is a Chinese American that used to be very careful of what she said and to not disrupt the system and an optimistic view on White Americans. But later discovers that she has to speak up on what she finds wrong and “shake things up”.


3b) Vic’s account is important because many people are passive about racial issues and are accepting of the current situation. Vic gives encouragement and awareness to those who may fall into being passive in their beliefs and opinions on this topic.



3)


1a) In Justin Z’s account there was a footnote on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, which is the theory that there are adaptive survival behaviors in African communities that’s the product of generations of oppression.

1b) This is important because Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome explains behaviors that negatively affect African American interpersonal relationships like mother-son and also mental health of African Americans. Knowing of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome could help those affected by it and be more aware of it and possibly not pass it down to the next generation.



2a) In Queen Esther’s account, there was a footnote on how Texas in 2015 changed their curriculum to address slavery, KKK, and Jim Crow.


2b) It is shocking to me how a whole state could just decide to change how history is taught and decide to take important but darker parts of our US history out. I think it was a selfish decision for the state, because although it may make the state look better, it is overall a stupid decision to just not educate the next generation about these important issues and wrongdoings of our past.


4) I deeply enjoyed reading this book!! It was very engaging and informative at the same time and a book I actually wanted to read more of.


5) In response to Kazuma, I especially liked your claim that “people pass on racist ideologies to the next generation like it’s a recipe. It is hard to move on from the negative effects that come with Race when Race is something that is seemingly going to go on forever.” I definitely agree, because like a recipe that changes over time, in addition to racist ideologies, new problems emerge as we move on generations and time. As we are trying to fix our pre-existing problems like racisms in our government and workplaces, new problems emerge as our civilization advances. For example, when technology first came out, people wouldn’t think of it being racist. But now technology is a tool that could be used to spread racist ideologies and also in some ways expanding the problem even further. We now have AI machines such as twitter algorithms that prefer white faces over black faces and etc.
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