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White Fragility: Book Discussion Series

Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility - Spring 2019 Library Book Discussion, sponsored by ISU Library

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Reparations

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ full opening statement on reparations at House hearing, June 19, 2019. Courtesy PBS News Hour

Guidelines for Learning

In an earlier work, Sensoy & DiAngelo offer the following Guidelines for maximizing your learning:

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1. "Strive for intellectual humility."

2. "Recognize the difference between opinions and informed knowledge."

3. "Let go of personal anecdotal evidence and look at broader societal patterns."

4. "Notice your own defensive reactions and attempt to use these reactions as entry points for gaining deeper self-knowledge."

5. "Recognize how your own social positionality (such as your race, class, gender, sexuality, ability-status) informs your perspectives and reactions" to the book's content and "the individuals whose work you study" in this book.

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Source: Sensoy, Özlem., and Robin J. DiAngelo. Is Everyone Really Equal? : An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education / Özlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo.Teachers College Press, 2011.
LC191 S38 2011



Syllabus - Selected Videos

Race: The Power of an Illusion (Three episodes)

Episode 1: "The Difference Between Us examines the contemporary science - including genetics - that challenges our common sense assumptions that human beings can be bundled into three or four fundamentally different groups according to their physical traits." (Synopsis from Kanopy) 

Episode 2: "The Story We Tell uncovers the roots of the race concept in North America, the 19th century science that legitimated it, and how it came to be held so fiercely in the western imagination. The episode is an eye-opening tale of how race served to rationalize, even justify, American social inequalities as "natural."" (Synopsis from Kanopy)

Episode 3: "The House We Live In asks, If race is not biology, what is it? This episode uncovers how race resides not in nature but in politics, economics and culture. It reveals how our social institutions "make" race by disproportionately channeling resources, power, status and wealth to white people." (Synopsis from Kanopy)

What's Race Got To Do With It?

What's Race Got to Do with It: "Despite 15 years of diversity programs and initiatives, many of our discussions about race remain mired in confusion. Even a casual observer can't help but notice how structural racism is ignored, how multiculturalism is confused with equality, and how many campuses remain hamstrung in their efforts to become more inclusive and welcoming of everyone. Ironically, in responding to surveys, many students claim they already know all they need to know about diversity and they shy away from opportunities to engage in interracial dialogue and understanding." (Synopsis from Kanopoy)

White Like Me: Race, Racism, and White Privilege in America

White Like Me: Race, Racism & White Privilege in America. "Based on the work of acclaimed anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise, explores race and racism in the US through the lens of whiteness and white privilege. In a stunning reassessment of the American ideal of meritocracy and claims that we've entered a post-racial society, Wise offers a fascinating look back at the race-based white entitlement programs that built the American middle class, and argues that our failure as a society to come to terms with this legacy of white privilege continues to perpetuate racial inequality and race-driven political resentments today. For years, Tim Wise's bestselling books and spellbinding lectures have challenged some of our most basic assumptions about race in America. White Like Me is the first film to bring the full range of his work to the screen -- to show how white privilege continues to shape individual attitudes, electoral politics, and government policy in ways too many white people never stop to think about." (Synopsis from Kanopy)