Podcast Episode: The History of Whiteness and How We Teach about Race
I have been listening to an excellent series of podcasts from Learning for Justice--formerly Teaching Tolerance-- called "Teaching Hard History". The podcast is educator focused and includes many free resources and primary document recommendations to get students to think critically about issues of race and justice in American history.
This episode featured a discussion of Whiteness, an important component of understanding our country's legal and social history of creating the idea of a white racial identity. These early distinctions led to the legal and sometimes faulty scientific basis for a separate set of laws for Black, Indigenous and People of Color which allow
ed white settlers to secure land, legal benefits and political might to maintain white superiority.
The episode examines a question, "Who gets to be called white? When? and Why?" Different immigrant groups, including the Irish which are prevalent in New England, gained a legal and social status of whiteness at different times.
The episode also includes a great segment that shares resources and books for talking with young children about race in the classroom. These picture books provide an age appropriate set of books, lessons and activities to help young people think about race and difference including basic vocabulary.
You can listen to the podcast series on Spotify or many other services for free. If you'd like to listen to the episode mentioned here you can click the play button below. Educators can even download a professional development contact hours certificate for listening to the episode.