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freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 318

Read:

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

NOTE: Yes, I know that looks like quite a bit of reading. Page-wise it is, though you have a few days to do this. But it’s an easy read, with ample page-sized photos (that are like 2D identity vessels!) so the actual text is not as long as it appears to be, based on the page numbers. Still, budget your time to do this, as the post itself is somewhat involved.


Some background:

We’re going to take a look at what I think is an uber-cool book by two women, Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi, who graduated from high school in Princeton, New Jersey, and took a gap year to write it.


The book is called Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, and Identity and it was published just before the pandemic, in 2019. The women who wrote it became interested in exploring this topic in depth after the murder of Eric Garner in 2014 and a discussion that followed in their 10th grade history class. At first, they formed a club--called CHOOSE--as a way to explore racial literacy. As a professor they consulted described it, “racial literacy is developing a historical + sociological tool kit to understand how we got here and how it could’ve been/CAN BE otherwise.” And they began collecting stories...and stories….and stories, mostly from folks in New Jersey and New York.


One of the results was this book, first published as a textbook called The Classroom Index, which got considerable buzz thanks to Teen Vogue and a boatload of social media. That motivated the two to fundraise to support taking a year off without working pre-college to travel across the United States--from Anchorage, Alaska to Charlottesville, Virginia--and get….more stories.


In the introduction to the book, Priya + Winona let us inside their thinking:


“Our heads throb and our hearts hurt when we think about the stories we have heard. Many are tragic. Many are hopeful. Most detail lives we have never imagined and still cannot imagine.


The stories leave us feeling disturbed. Touched. Tired. Energized. Sad. Optimistic. Angry. Compassionate. More than anything, they leave us urgently wanting to make sure these stories are heard. As we have traveled, we have learned that racial literacy never stops. We--including the two of us--can all learn more about who we are.”


<b>The post: </b>

We will look at more parts of this book in class on Wednesday. But for this post, I ask you to address the following:


Winona + Priya 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?
  2. Identify one (1) first-person account from this first chapter in the book that says something that, in your view, is important about race and identity. Identify the 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) VERY 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.

Be sure to divide your post into paragraphs. Paragraphs are your friend and they make your post much more readable. Thank you in advance for making this reader-friendly.


SillyGoblinMan178
Brighton, MA, US
Posts: 10
I agree with Winona and Priya's take on race, as the biological factors that impact how race is perceived (i.e. skin color) already have the scientific classification of phenotype, and a person's ancestry is not necessarily related to their phenotype. Out of all the stories we read in this chapter, Jennifer's stuck out to me the most. Jennifer is a Vietnamese American who grew up in a tightly-knit Vietnamese group, so she had little contact with non-Vietnamese people. Her only impression of other racial groups was from her absent father, who was extremely racist. This rubbed off on Jennifer for much of elementary school, but in high school, she began to experience discrimination herself. This changed her perspective on race and made her confront some of her privileges as an Asian American. The most important part of this story to me was how all of Jennifer's racist behaviors were learned from her father and the environment she grew up in. Although it's hard to break away from the beliefs of your community, especially if it's as small as Jennifer's, but it is possible.


The factoid about code-switching (Page 17) was particularly interesting to me. Code-switching is essentially changing how you speak when among certain groups of people. I think that people should know more about code-switching so they can recognize when they are unconsciously doing it, and where they need to stop doing it. Another factoid that intrigued me was the one about how there are 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam (page 47). I have a lot of Vietnamese friends, and, until now, I had no idea there were so many different groups in the region. It's good for more people to understand the culture of other countries to avoid making generalizations.

So far, I absolutely adore this book, because all it is is just talking to people. I love hearing the stories others have to tell, but sometimes people are really boring, so it's nice to have a book full of interesting stories from complete strangers.

FlyingCelestialDragon
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7
I agree with Winona and Priya about the role of race. The United States was built on this idea of the role of race, and for most of its history it had struggled with

many battles of race. Even though we have somewhat moved from those times, the idea of race had imprinted itself to our society, and it still plays a critical role in our lives. But not in a positive way.

One person from the first chapter that says something that stood out to me was Jennifer. She talked about her parents would tell her to stay away from Black kids and how she grew up in that environment where she was taught that such skin color was inferior. When she realized what she was doing and changed her ways, her sister called her "White". This reminds me of myself and what my parents told me before. Growing up, my parents told me the same thing as Jennifer's parents. When I tried to tell them what they were doing is wrong, I get called "White" and a "Joe Biden follower". What Jennifer said was significant because there are some people out there that don't realize that what they're doing is wrong. Or they think that it's normal because of how they were brought up and where they grew up.

One of the footnotes stated the definition of an ally. An ally is someone who recognizes their privilege in either gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc. and work with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. People should know about this because some would call themselves an ally when they aren't meeting the requirements to be one. Another footnote that catch my eye was the one about black women being denied the rights to their own bodies. I find this extremely disturbing and horrible from just thinking how one is denied rights to their own body. It's like someone telling you you're not you. People should know this because black women are rarely talked about in history and this is just one of the things people should know about how history treated such people.

So far, I like this book, because it talks about many things that I feel like many people are afraid to talk about in our society today. Although it comes up as today that the role of race is not an issue anymore, it still is, people just never care enough to look and how wrong it is. This book tells us all how the role of race today is still a problem. It also uses people's stories. Which is why I like it.

autumnpeaches
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

How Does Racial Identity Play into How People See Us?

The interesting thing is before I read Chapter 1 of the book, I skimmed over the questions and actually disagreed with calling race a “cancer” because it has such a negative connotation behind it. My race can impact who I am, but it’s also a part of who I am. Then, I read the chapter and now I agree with what Winona and Priya are saying. What I was thinking of before was my ethnicity, my culture, and how that’s what defines me. Race itself is a social construct because it’s a human-invented classification system. It’s based on phenotypes, so when a person looks “racially ambiguous”, there’s no real way to tell which “race category” they fit into.


One person’s commentary that I found really interesting is Liz’s. She talks about how traveling alone as a black woman is really exhausting, especially when people treat her as something “exotic”. However, when she went to East and South Africa, she felt a sense of belonging, because no one was gawking at her and no one was asking to take pictures. This really goes to show how Europeans/white people outside America pride themselves in being better than Americans, but in reality, they treat black people with such subtle microaggressions that they themselves don’t even notice it.


At the bottom of Liz’s commentary, the footnotes stated that most hotels don’t offer shampoo that work with Black hair and that was so crazy to me because I haven’t noticed that at all. I have straight hair and usually I don’t think twice about using hotel shampoo. Yet, black people and people with non-straight hair have to worry about this problem every time they travel. This is definitely something that needs more attention because it’s such a small detail, but it matters a lot. Another footnote that really striked me was a quote on Justin E.’s commentary. It says, “biologically, it is likely that a woman from the Congo would have more in common with a woman from Germany than she would with a woman from Botswana”. This further proves the idea that race is not biological, but is based on looks.


My opinion on the book so far is pretty good. I like how there’s different perspectives and opinions rather than just one person speaking. They even included people who are previously racist in the past and are trying to do better.

Snailaligator
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

How Does Racial Identity Play Into How People See Us?

  1. I do agree with their presumption. I believe that race is so integrated in everyone’s day to day lives and whether some of us are aware of it or not, it is constantly working through our unconscious brains. Similarly to our discussion of stereotypes in class, we are constantly digesting information about race from a young age which shapes a large part of our behavior towards different groups of people, and being reflective of that can be extremely difficult when the actions become so innate.

  1. I thought that what Justin said was very important to how we see race and identity. He talked about his experience of being black in America and the contrast to how people see him in Senegal. He said that in West Africa, the slave trade was something that was looked at as history but not something that defined West African identity, while in the United States, black people are almost entirely introduced in history through slavery. I think that this is an extremely noteworthy point to reflect on because even BLS, a school that may seem much more progressive than schools in other parts of the country, still has a curriculum extremely centered around a white perspective on history. The point Justin made about defining black people’s identity in history through this white lens is very discernable in the history classes that I’ve personally taken.

  1. One of the factoids that stood out to me was the fact that American immigration laws banned females from China to prevent Chinese-American families from obtaining citizenship through children being born in the country. I think more people should know about this because it demonstrates the white exclusivity of America and actual legislation that tried protecting those white values. I personally did not know that this was actually legislated, and although I can’t say I am surprised, it is another example of how central race is to the United States (and the world now that things are so globalized).

  1. I really like this book so far. Hearing the different perspectives and getting the historical facts in the margins makes it a fascinating read that is very thought-provoking and important to reflect on.
Martha $tewart
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

How Does Racial Identity Play into How People See Us?

I think that Priya and Winona make very valid statements about race. I agree that race and racism influences everything and impacts everyone, however, like autumnpeaches, I disagree with race being a cancer. I understand what they are saying here and I also believe that our heavy focus on race fuels racism and the persecution of certain groups of people. But I also think that the way race influences people and our culture as Americans can be beautiful. With race being a part of everything we do, we can choose to focus on the harm it could bring or the contributions people of all races have made to create our country.


Vic’s story stood out to me because she mentioned the stereotype of the “safe” person of color and the false notion that it is up to minorities to defend themselves. She talks about how her experience was better because she knew “how to be respectable”, but that as she got older she realized respectability wouldn’t get her anywhere when it came to racism. I’ve been seeing a lot of videos on social media recently about how there has been more POC representation in movies (specifically cartoon movies), but that they are always portrayed as the sidekick or some kind of animal (Ex: Sebastian the Crab, the Princess and the Frog, Spies in Disguise). There was also a lot of this in the Disney shows I watched growing up. One example I can think of is Jesse. The main character is a white woman who helps take care of four children, two of whom are POC, that provide comedic relief (often with their Hollywood stereotypical accents or by not being able to understand American societal norms). It's sad that the media acknowledges that these problems are present but chooses not to make change.


The first fact that caught my attention was in Justin’s story that discussed how much genetic and physical diversity there is in Sub-Saharan Africa and how African people as a whole have been victimized by the false belief that all people from Africa are the same. I think more people should know about this because there is so much racism based on false information. The factoid states, “it is likely that a woman from the Congo would have more in common with a woman from Germany than she would with a woman from Botswana”. It also points out that the ineducation of people on facts like this made for harmful things such as the eugenics movement. I think that racism and education are heavily linked, and I feel that our world would be a lot more accepting if there wasn’t so much false information. On the internet, you can find anything if you look hard enough.


The second piece of information I found interesting was, “Have you noticed how most hotels don’t offer shampoos that work with Black hair?”. I am upset that I have never noticed this, and even more upset now that I do. Thinking back, I have never been to a hotel that has offered products meant for anyone except white people. I feel that when most people think about racism, we think about violent hate crimes and not about “small” daily injustices.


I like this book so far, especially that it brings up the “yes, but..” thing. I have definitely heard this before, even when discussing feminism, which links to the connections between sexism, racism, and capitalism that a few people talked about. I’ve seen online or heard things along the lines of “yes, but that was your ancestors, not you”, or “yes, but men also face challenges”. I think this book does a great job at confronting the real world problems people live with that have become normalized.

green64
BOSTON, MA, US
Posts: 8

1. I can definitely agree that race does shape our entire world. I am more of the belief that racism at this stage has the largest impact systemically while not as much on a day-to-day basis. African-Americans that descended from slaves are already set back years then after slavery was abolished there was still segregation and various racist practices that lead to more separation between "whites" and "blacks". In this current climate, I believe that blatant racism has gotten much better and isn't something that is anywhere close to how they pose it or how it was 50-60 years ago. While of course race does play an impact on our lives it doesn't impact every minute especially when people spend most of their time online.

2. I selected Chef Tu. He is from the island of Vietnam both his parents escaped the Vietnam war. Tu discusses how he isn't viewed as a "normal" Vietnamese person and how he feels that he is connected to various cultures. Food has connected him to these places as well as to his parents because they passed on their recipes to him. I picked this story because I always find people like Tu who don't conform to the box that they are given intriguing. The fact that he is a cook has tattoos, and works at a prison was really cool to me as someone who would like to work at a prison to help people.

3. The FIRST Factoid I look at was the laws that prevented Chinese/Asian people from voting and having families joining them as well as a few other absolutely ridiculous laws. More people should know about this because racism against Asian Americans I feel is largely underrepresented in the current American political climate. Knowing the history of what has happened to these groups leads to a better understanding of the struggles that other people have to face on a daily. The SECOND factoid I saw was that 500 treaties were signed with Native American groups and nearly 500 were broken. Native American strife is also extremely underrepresented in the media. The reservations that Natives live on are often of poor quality there is a lack of economic mobility along with various other problems. There is a Native lacrosse player by the name of Lyle Thompson the brought light to problems with alcohol and schooling in the Reservations. It is a problem that has been ignored for almost the entirety of America's life and there deserves light to be shown on it.

4. I like it especially because it is broken up and isn't just one long monologue it makes it much easier to understand. I also found interesting that they didn't just focus on one group's people but on people from various groups.

johndoe
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

reading questions

I do agree with their assumptions on race because throughout the history of the United States race has always played a crucial role but in a bad way.


One person that stuck out to me was Jennifer. She stuck out to me because she is Asian American, and she herself faced discrimination, but also discriminated against people because of her upbringing. It struck me that someone who is a victim of racism can still discriminate against others knowing the potential pain that it would cause them.


Two things I found interesting were the fact that immigration laws were passed so that Chinese-American babies couldn't get citizenship and the fact that hotels do not provide shampoo for curly, traditionally non-White styles of hair. I found the laws insane because America is supposed to be the land of opportunity and freedom but if they restrict who's allowed to have children and what rights those children get then they obviously do not want everybody to have freedom and opportunity. I found it crazy that hotels don't accommodate all because that's literally what they're supposed to do.


I like the book because it has opened my eyes to things that wouldn't affect my daily life.

bigbear
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

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

I agree with Winona and Priya's take on race. Race has been engraved in places around the world for most of our lives, and it started before the United States was even founded. It isn't something that can be chosen at birth, but something that affects our society in a negative aspect.

One of these people who stuck out to me the most was Jennifer, who was the daughter of a very racist Vietnamese father who influenced her in a bad way. She never met any non-vietmnamese people before and the only things that she knew about them were the racist things that her father had told her. She was told to stay away from black kids, however, when she went to school she decided to change her thoughts, and was called white in the process. I really like this story because of how it exemplified how much the people around you affect your thoughts and feelings on certain subjects be they good or bad.

One of the things that I found super interesting, was the shampoo in the hotels that don't work on black hair. Personally, I've never had to deal with this problem, however, if it did occur in my life, I would be very annoyed at the hotel for not accommodating and angry that I can't wash my hair. When hotels, and finding shampoo and conditioner, they should be conscious of who is staying in their hotel and should be providing for every race, which I found crazy. Another footnote that I found interesting was the laws that were passed banning Chinese-American babies to have citizenship in America. People should be able to decide where they want to have babies, and those babies should be given equal chances in America, and not be restricted by their race. When I read about this I was super surprised that they could pass this law, and act as if nothing wrong had occurred. I think this is a bad representation of the U.S. government, and that law should have never passed in the first place.

Usually I'm not the biggest book reader out there, but after I had started to read these stories, they were so interesting that they made me want to read more, and I ended up doing so. I really enjoyed these books because I thought they mentioned what was wrong with this world, and talked about things that needed to be addressed

Steely Gibbs
Posts: 10

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

I agree with Winona and Priya's assumptions. Everything that they've said has been rooted in fact. Even with some of the things that may be opinionated, I still agree with them. The original quote that stuck out to me when reading the assignment was "race is a cancer that impacts every part of our lives". That statement holds true, no matter what race you may be. It affects different people in different ways and feeds into our conversation about stereotypes. The facts they gave at the bottom of the pages made it even more evident of how applicable the claim is. The other quote that I found interesting was talking about how White people try to insert themselves instead of adding to someone's support system. It almost seems like they have a fear of missing out in a sense. Even for White people, race effects them.

The account that I selected is from Justin. He talked about growing up in southwest Chicago and how it's mainly low-income immigrant families. He goes on to talk about how how being a light-skinned Latino helped him in school. He recognized this dynamic as code-switching. He rounds out his statement by talking about how people describe different neighborhoods and, for lack of a better term, deglamorize life in those neighborhoods. He mentions how White people get worried about once instance of being uncomfortable, while people like him a re constantly uncomfortable. I think it's significant because code switching is something that seems to go unnoticed in life. I also found it interesting how he doesn't uplift nor condemn it. He only recognizes that he does it.

The first footnote that I found interesting was the one talking about the new Texas public schools curriculum. It essentially cuts out slavery and "frames the Civil War as a debate regarding states' rights". It also doesn't pay mind to the KKK or Jim Crow. The other footnote talks about 500 treaties being made with American Indian tribes and around 500 treaties being broken. I think that people should know more about these footnotes specifically because it seems like they don't get talked about as much as they should be. The first one is shocking because it takes a very conservatist framing that blots out a large part of history. It's making history subjective rather than objective. The other footnote is interesting because it goes against the democracy, which is put on a pedestal in the US.

I like the book so far. I think the accounts are the best part of it. Being able to read about these things helps put people in a more supportive role. The footnotes around the text is a great add-on as well.



ilovesharks44
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

I agree with Winona + Priya’s assumptions, especially their commentary on the origin of race. So much of our history in the US and the broader scope of the world is built around this construct of race that it has become intertwined with the basis of our society. I think that the idea of nationalism as the creation of a people ‘within artificially created borders’ also pertains to the idea of race. Scientifically, humans are classified by their phenotypes which are completely individual from person to person. Race was constructed as a means of classification by someone’s phenotypes for the purpose of creating generalizations about a group of people who share traits/look alike.


One account from chapter 1 that I found very interesting was Jennifer’s. I found her history with discrimination very interesting because it was very contradictory. She discriminated against her Black classmates because of the ideas that she was taught at home, but was later discriminated against by her White classmates in high school. This reversal of the narrative is interesting because it seems that both of these situations are due to the environment in which the perpetrators were raised and formed their ideas in. Jennifer’s story is proof that people can grow and change, as SillyGoblinMan178 said. While this change is good, the fact that it took a reversal of the roles of perpetrator and victim for her to realize it is concerning because it isn’t often that than happens, especially to white people. While Jennifer realized what she did was wrong because she had to experience it herself, the white people who discriminated against her were not held accountable. This accountability is so important because if people aren’t held accountable, they won’t ever change the way they think and act, therefore continuing the cycle of discrimination.


One idea that was brought up which I found extremely interesting was when Melina talked about how her systemic advantages and disadvantages are intertwined with one another and can’t be separated because doing so would be denying the existence of the other. I think this is important because it helps to explain how people who face similar circumstances in some aspects will have an entirely different set of challenges if one factor is changed: their race. Because our systems are designed to benefit white people, they automatically get that added privilege whereas people of color will not, and therefore suffer more because of it. This is interesting because it approaches the complex idea of intersectionality in which those who are already disadvantaged by society are only further so based on premises out of their control.


Another fact that I read about and found important was that Black women were ‘denied rights to their own bodies’ in the name of science and progress. They were used as human test subjects against their wills in order to advance the field of gynecology. This fact is absolutely appalling to me and I cannot believe that these acts were committed and are now celebrated as scientific achievements. I think that more people should know about it because people should be educated on the dark past of these practices and be at the very least aware of the disregard for human life that made theirs easier.


So far, I am finding this book fascinating. I think it is incredibly important to learn about people’s personal experiences with identity and their experiences because if we don’t listen to what they have to say, then we are not doing our part to do better if we can’t even acknowledge the struggles of others. Hearing multiple perspectives is really important, and I think that this book does a good job of trying to include viewpoints from different people in different circumstances with different perspectives.

palmtreepuppy
Posts: 7

How Does Racial Identity Play Into How People See Us?

I definitely agree with the author's assumptions because I think that it is very smart, especially with a book of this nature, to set from the get-go the role that race places in our lives. I especially liked the part when they were explaining the incident to open the story with and said that a clearer view of America is seen with glasses of losing self ignorance and that is important and reigns true today and forever because as a country many of us don't have those glasses. I also think that, as they stated, this isn't just a new phenomenon, this racism is both embedded in our country but also the world's blueprint with colonialism and started with Chirstopher COlumbus and everything surrounding him and his exploration and the impact it had on the rest of the world. And until recently, that fact has been seemingly swept under the rug and ignored as people didn’t know or think about what atrocities he commited and the impact it left on every non-white person even today.


Someone that I thought said something important about race and identity would be Justin E. from Lawrence, Kansas. To summarize it quickly, Justin talks about an encounter that he had as a black person in America with a white person who called him a derogatory term. Being black from a young age defined him as he grew up and as he looked more into the past of black people in america. When he went to West Africa he realized a big difference. He realized that being black in America was this community that was specific to black people in a white dominated society but he also realized that race in West Africa wasn't the deal and identifier that it is in America. This is important because it shows how this country has done so much to alienate those who aren't white and make them feel like they are sticking out like a sore thumb and that this way of life is really only like this in America.


One of the side notes that I noticed as interesting was for Queen Esther from New York and something that I found interesting in her little blurb was that before she hit puberty she thought she was a boy. This to me seems important for two reasons. One of them is how people of color, specifically black people, are often portrayed as more masiculine and have more masicluine features that are considered undesirable. The second would be how gender identity and expression of gender is as important as any other part of a person's identity and oftentimes we only see people for the thing that stands out and use that one thing to define them. The other blurb that I found quite interesting was Chef Tu from California. His blurb says that he teaches inmates at San Quentin State Prison how to cook. I found this very interesting because in America we have created a prison system that is so flawed and is almost all purely about profit than anything else. It is also very focused on punishment of inmates rather than teaching them to be better and sending them back out into the world which they should be doing. This doesn't really have anything to do with race but I just found it interesting.


So far I like this book and I really like the format of it as well. I really appreciate how the authors really took the time to make this book personal. They very well could have just interviewed people, wrote down their answers and called it a day but no, they decided to put a face to the name and show how different people are. There is also a personal aspect by adding facts about them. The only thing I don't like about the book thus far would just be how long the sections are.

limitlessknowledge
East Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

I agree with Winona + Priya's assumptions that race and racism inescapably impact everything around us, because of the different stereotypes one person has for every race which might make them prejudiced towards one person and treat them differently, But I don't agree that race is cancer that impacts every part of our lives because your race allows you to be the way that you are today and your race should be a gift not cancer. One person that I associate with is Justin because we are both Latino and both live in a predominately Latino neighborhood, I also understand how he is the Whitest for being the one that goes to a good school and maybe because he doesn't act like the typical Latino kid, and I also agree that white people are scared to be uncomfortable or treated badly while we are looked down upon because of our race and our stereotypes. one of the information details that the book gives is that in public schools undocumented workers have the same right to attend public primary and secondary schools just like US citizens because where I'm from most of my cousins and friends dream about coming over here for a better life and education and if they are not given a visa they might have to go through the border but it is good to know that they have an education ready for them once they get into the United States. Another detail is how if we share our soul it could really connect you to the people that you need most in your life because if I know someone is in the race as me I'm definitely going to ask where they're from and if they have ever been there and how they liked it etc. but it allows humans to make interactions on similarities and even differences because one is always curious about another persons culture. So Far I like the book because it feels like mini auto biographies and how different people describe themselves and how they connect to today's world filled with sterotypes and racism

sand
Posts: 10

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

1. I do agree with Winona and Priya's assumptions that race and racism inescapably impact everything around us and every part of our lives. The existence of the United States in particular is rooted in othering groups of people and dehumanizing them. It is not possible to look at any part of American history, be it a time period like the civil war era or even a single specific day, and not see how race has played a role in the events of that time. I also think its important to challenge the roles of race in American society. By challenge, I don't mean deny, I mean recognize the strength of the role and work towards challenging and dismantling it. We have to recognized our preconceived notions and biases first in order to not only reverse them in ourselves, but also prevent passing them on.

2. Alexa mentioned that in her new school, she was not only confused as to why she was being called white, but also why she was being called rich. This made her very aware of the connection between color and socioeconomic class. I think this is incredibly significant because it acknowledges intersectionality- something that also inescapably impacts everything around us. Trying to have a conversation about race/racism/racial identity without acknowledging it is an intersectional issue is like trying to play chess with missing pieces.


3. Public schools in some states as recently as 2015 have adopted curriculums that purposefully brush over slavery, ignore the KKK, and overall misrepresent American racial history. These are large institutions getting in the way of kids receiving proper education, and purposefully feeding into these issues by ignoring them.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome is a condition that exists as a result of multigenerational oppression of African Americans dating back to chattel slavery. Consequences of history are felt modern people. The traumatic experiences Africans who were forced into the slave trade had to endure have not only social and economic consequences, but also emotional ones. It stems from a false ideology that has had a very real impact.

4. I really like this book because it's informative in a digestible way. It is written so that stories can be exchanged on paper just as they would in person- it creates a connection. Fancy language isn't used to overcomplicate things and turn these stories into an argumentative essay for a college professor. The authors relay the stories true to the words of the storytellers.

Babybackribs
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

I do agree with Winona ad Priya's take on race it is deeply rooted into the Hierarchical systems of our government. Since the founding of America, your race had played a role in your financial stability and your influence in politics. When referring to the fact that even the existence of the US demanded the presence of multicultural groups. Without this they wouldn't have a system in which to suppress certain groups, and give freedom to others. Because we depended on a system which suppresses certain groups, it can be related to a cancer as it is preventing certain groups from changing their class, like cancer it is irreversible and stitched into our DNA (race: systemic racism "stitched" into us). Ed highlighted the issue of the suppressing minorities groups. As a weatherman Ed saw various hurricanes and storms, specifically during a hurricane in Texas, and he noticed that the news only covered the predominantly white neighborhoods, when neighborhoods of color also needed attention and support from the people and their government. Ed felt that it was his moral obligation to educate his fellow media members on why it was just as important to cover these black and hispanic neighborhoods. We need more people like Ed who are in position of influence can help to shed light on the struggles that some people face. Because of the negligence that some people have in regards to recognizing the struggles that all people face, not just a certain group (white). One of the factoids I found interesting was on page 15. The factoid was essentially describing the increased geographical split between white and black people. More people need to see this fact because it indicates that there is an increased amount of segregation in the Chicago neighborhoods whether it be directly or indirectly. The second factoid I found interesting was the definition of code switching: when someone alternates their language based on the group of people there with. This fact is important as it demonstrates the reality the most immigrants must live in, in order to find the success they're looking for. So, far I think the book is interesting, but I do feel that some of the stories don't correctly exemplify what being a minority is like (some of their stories can be argued as too broad and not clear). Besides that I love it so far.
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