University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
The Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society (STARS) promotes anti-racism education at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan through the support of the College. We work collaboratively to understand, identify, and address individual and systemic racism and its interlocking forms of oppression based on gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion and other socially constructed categories. We believe that anti-racist and decolonizing education, when woven together, can create humanizing and emancipatory change for everyone.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Black or White: Kids on Race. A CNN analysis of race

Although CNN doesn't provide a thorough race analysis of this study, the study is interesting and important because it tells us that children are STILL internalizing the hierarchy that STILL exists in our society. It also tells us that kids are thinking about race in complex ways. This documentary can be used in the classroom to show students how the history of race and contemporary racist ideologies, that support beliefs in white superiority, continue to hold power and influence everyone. One of the important messages in the study is that we have to examine our own beliefs before and as we teach children about racism - children model adults' behaviors (what we do and say) and these observations influence children more significantly than what we try to teach them. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYkUMqxr_o8

CNN tried to hold individual parents accountable for the children's responses, however, they did not explore the history and purpose of race or the structures existing in our society that allow racism to occur. These structures normalize the false beliefs that whiteness is ideal and dark skin signifies inferiority. Clearly, as this study demonstrates, it is never too early to start to teach children about racism and anti-racism education.

Some questions for students: How would you apply this study to a Saskatchewan context? What policies and practices do these messages justify? Who benefits? What are the social and material outcomes of these beliefs? From where do these ideas originate and why? What has to happen to challenge and change these ideas? What can one person do?

Thanks for sharing Janice!

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