Blog / discrimination

Who Was the Real Dido Elizabeth Belle?

What historical records say about the mixed-race heroine of a new film.
Have you seen the movie yet? If not, do you plan on it? I sure do! See on www.theroot.com
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Video: Lesson in discrimination

[caption id="attachment_2078" align="aligncenter" width="300"](photo credit) (photo credit)[/caption] Oh how I love this! I have seen the original exercise many times, however, PBS's Frontline produced an amazing five part series you won't want to miss! Jane Elliott's - Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise - "A CLASS DIVIDED"
This is one of the most requested programs in FRONTLINE's history. It is about an Iowa schoolteacher who, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968, gave her third-grade students a first-hand experience in the meaning of discrimination. This is the story of what she taught the children, and the impact that lesson had on their lives.
Watch the five part series: The Daring Lesson Day Two 14 Years Later Teaching it to Adults How the Adults Reacted Jane Elliott is still around doing amazing work, check her out! Happy Friday, Your Friends at iCelebrateDiversity.com
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Speak Up! Responding to Everyday Bigotry

SPEAK UP! Your brother routinely makes anti-Semitic comments. Your neighbor uses the N-word in casual conversation. Your co-worker ribs you about your Italian surname, asking if you're in the mafia. Your classmate insults something by saying, "That's so gay." And you stand there, in silence, thinking, "What can I say in response to that?" Or you laugh along, uncomfortably. Or, frustrated or angry, you walk away without saying anything, thinking later, "I should have said something." People spoke about encounters in stores and restaurants, on streets and in schools. They spoke about family, friends, classmates and co-workers. They spoke about what they did or didn't say — and what they wished they did or didn't say. And no matter the location or relationship, the stories echo each other. Speak Up! is a book that shares love, insight and pain, but also offers "lost words", practical solutions and hope for a better tomorrow. Download your free copy of SPEAK UP! Another great resource offered by Teaching Tolerance.
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Poem: "On my applications" (biracial)

Here's another great poem from Arnold Adoff that was in the book All the Colors of the Race that I featured yesterday. On my applications by Arnold Adoff On my applications   I can                                put: this girl:           a black,              white, Christian, Jewish,             young             woman:                  student,                  musician, singer, dancer, runner    in the middle distance races,                  is willing to help you                  if you take her as she                                              is.
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Poem: "The Cold Within" by James Patrick Kinney

The Cold Within by James Patrick Kinney Six humans trapped by happenstance in black and bitter cold Each possessed a stick of wood, Or so the story's told. Their dying fire in need of logs, the first woman held hers back For on the faces around the fire She noticed one was black. The next man looking 'cross the way Saw one not of his church And couldn't bring himself to give The fire his stick of birch. The third one sat in tattered clothes He gave his coat a hitch, Why should his log be put to use To warm the idle rich? The rich man just sat back and thought Of the wealth he had in store, And how to keep what he had earned From the lazy, shiftless poor. The black man's face bespoke revenge As the fire passed from his sight, For all he saw in his stick of wood Was a chance to spite the white. And the last man of this forlorn group Did naught except for gain, Giving only to those who gave Was how he played the game. The logs held tight in death's stilled hands Was proof of human sin, They didn't die from the cold without, They died from the cold within.
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"Race: Are we so different?" Part 3 - Who is white quiz

This is a continuation of our look at the "Race: Are we so different?" exhibit highlights. If you are just joining us, you might also want to check out Part 1 and Part 2. Today I'm linking to the Who is White? quiz. Take it and see what you think. In her own words, this is why Vernellia Randall, Professor of Law, University of Dayton Law School, developed it:
I created this survey to help show that we make judgments not only about who is white but also about what countries are white (or predominantly white), and to call attention to some of the questions this raises. For example, when someone is not considered white is a citizen of a country that is considered white, that person is often perceived as a foreigner. For instance, even though the families of many Japanese Americans have been in the U.S. much longer than the families of European Americans, they are often viewed as outsiders. Our opinions about who is white and who is not can affect how we relate to one another. Race matters because discrimination based on perceived racial grouping continues to exist."
Your thoughts? To learn more about the exhibit, visit Understanding Race
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"Race: Are we so different?" Part 2 - History of race

Today is Part 2 in the highlights of the traveling exhibit "Race: Are we so different?". Check out Part 1 if you missed it. Today let's look at the history of race:

To learn more about the exhibit or dig deeper, visit Understanding Race
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"Race: Are we so different?" Part 1 - Introduction

There is a traveling exhib that was developed by the American Anthropological Association, titled "Race: Are we so different?". The exhibit examines racial issues through history, science, and experiences. This is a wonderful exhibit that offers a wealth of information. I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of my favorite parts of the exhibit over my next several posts. Let's start with an introduction to the exhibit:

To learn more about the exhibit or dig deeper, visit Understanding Race
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Talking to Children About Race

At what age should you start talking to your children about race? Birgitte Vittrup of the Children’s Research Lab at the University of Texas tried to answer that question in her 2006 study. A recent article in Newsweek focused on the results of her study — See Baby Discriminate. Kids as young as 6 months judge other based on skin color. What’s a parent to do? [btw, I hated the title of the article--it begged for a small readership]. While the study was extensive, and I didn't agree with much of it, it showed that the majority of [white] families simply could not bring themselves to discuss race with their 5-7 year olds. "We don't want to have these conversations with our child. We don't want to point out skin color." 

According to Vittrup, hardly any of these white parents had ever talked to their children directly about race. They might have asserted vague principles—like "Everybody's equal" or "God made all of us" or "Under the skin, we're all the same"—but they'd almost never called attention to racial differences. They wanted their children to grow up "colorblind".

The article also mentioned that in homes of people of color, race is discussed much more openly. I can attest to that in our home. I know from a very early age, we have been careful that our children don't buy what the media sells (i.e. beauty = blond hair + blue eyes + white skin). It is very much apart of our lives on a daily basis. I personally think efforts are misguided if children are raised to be "colorblind". Color is the very first thing people see and our society and history dictate the inability to be such.  

I'm curious to hear what other families have to say, how do you talk to your children about race? at what age do you begin?

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