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ERIC Number: EJ920710
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0882-4843
Using Students' Racial Memories to Teach about Racial Inequality
Macomber, Kris; Rusche, Sarah Nell
Feminist Teacher: A Journal of the Practices, Theories, and Scholarship of Feminist Teaching, v20 n3 p214-225 2010
As teachers, the authors' lessons about contemporary racial inequality are complicated and contradicted by the rhetoric of color-blindness--the belief that race no longer matters for determining life chances--entrenched in the culture. Students remain attracted to notions of racism as a problem of the "past" and often reject the idea that racism is still a major problem today. In this paper we describe an effective classroom exercise, adapted from bell hooks, that we use to overcome these challenges by helping students learn about the persistence of contemporary racial inequality. We ask students to reflect on their own racial memories, and by integrating their own experiences with scholarly readings about race, power, and privilege, students learn to connect their racial memories to broader patterns of racial inequality. This exercise meets a key pedagogical goal of both feminist teachers and sociologists, which is to help students understand how their personal experiences are connected to broader social arrangements and patterns of inequality. We discuss both successes and challenges of the exercise in this article. (Contains 6 notes.)
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A