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ERIC Number: EJ932456
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Blindsided by the Avatar: White Saviors and Allies out of Hollywood and in Education
Cammarota, Julio
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v33 n3 p242-259 2011
This article discusses how the white savior syndrome renders the misrepresentation of the potential of people of color to resist and lead the transformation of oppressive conditions within their own social context. Indigenous resistance requires endogenous (internal) leadership such that all social justice actions derive from and continue to flow through communities of color and their leaders. White saviors represented in popular media overshadow the fact that people of color are part of and, most importantly, make history. In the school context, the author discusses Ruby Payne's (2005) work to underscore pseudo-educational approaches that avoid building leadership in communities of color while continuing to label them as deficient. This negligence results from the impact of racism shaping the worldview of the savior. Acceptance of Payne's approach depends upon internalized racism influencing the perspective of the "saved." In contrast, the author examines the virtues of white allies and how they can help promote leadership among people of color by challenging the privileges that provide them with superior social status and legitimacy. The article concludes with a discussion of how racial justice can occur with the oppressed in leadership positions and the oppressor adhering to and following this leadership. The existence of white saviors may help some people of color but it will not result in long-term systematic change. White allies can contribute to systematic change by abdicating both privileges and superior status while cultivating leadership within communities of color and relations of mutuality and respect.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona