We played the race card

postracialAs part of a lecture on identity, I shared with the University of New Haven students in my COMM1100 class (Human Communication) WNPR’s Michele Norris’s The Race Card Project, which asks participants to write something — anything — about race, but use only six words.

We talked about the notion that we are a “post-racial” society and if that were the case, what would that look like. We talked about how race is used to identify, both by other people and ourselves. I am not sure, but this may be the least diverse class I teach, though the school at large is, according to this, 53 percent white. University of New Haven is  I’ve also talked about race before. I’ve talked about (in a class on symbols) the Confederate flag and what I learned growing up, versus what many others learn growing  up.

For this project, I didn’t know what to expect (I never do, really). This was a short portion of a larger lecture, but here is a sampling of what the students handed in:

Everything is not what it seems.

Why’s there a need for categorization”

You sure you’re Puerto Rican?

History will always repeat itself. Always.

I’m not smart because of my background.

I don’t know what to believe.

I couldn’t bring home black boys.

I see not color, but soul.

I will not judge.

I don’t know. I sat and thumbed through the cards afterward and thought how much teaching teaches you, and how much I still have to learn.


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