It's necessary to constantly remind ourselves that we are not an abomination.
|Franklin, from "Peanuts"|
There's a phrase that many of you may have heard: "Race is a social construct," meaning, race is not biological--indeed, science has determined that true human variation (statistically speaking) is virtually non-existent--skin pigmentation is simply a matter of the amount of melanin one possesses. Racial difference is socially constructed--society determines it and creates categories/classifications called "race." We have seen, in many of our texts (as well as in many of the photos I have posted), individuals categorized as "black" but who, in terms of phenotype, are racially indeterminate. Why, then, do we persist in our use of phenotype to judge "blackness" in all its variations? Why do we add to that discussions of intellectual capability and moral rectitude?
We say that race is "socially constructed...meaningless...we are the world.."and all that jazz--but the truth is, society does not live out the ethos of racial "blindness." Color prejudice persists, racism persists, and injustice persists. When I put your words on the blackboard the other day, what emerged was a medley of ideas of what constituted blackness. I want you to reflect on the meaning of "blackness" as you define it, but incorporating into your response one or two of the texts we have read during the course of the semester, including the Riggs film, Black Is...Black Ain't.
|Valerie, from "Josie and the Pussycats"|
I would like for you to have these reflection papers ready for me by Tuesday, 4/5.