Monday, January 19, 2015

Race, the Power of an Illusion Showing

Race--The Power of an Illusion
Thursday, January 22
Kalamazoo Valley Museum
Free and open to the public!

Looking for growth? Looking for a chance to connect? Looking for a place to eat your lunch among good company while having a stimulating dialogue about issues that affect you and your community? Well, look no further! 

Please join us this Thursday, January 22 at Noon at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, for a free film showing followed by a facilitated discussion. Presented by the Racial Healing Initiative of the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society and Kalamazoo Valley Community College's Arcadia Campus Committee for Cultural Understanding, we will be showing a segment of the three-part film "Race--The Power of an Illusion,"  a compelling and influential documentary that questions the idea of race as a reality.

The film explores the ways that race has been built up and how it has shaped the way we related to ourselves and each other.  The documentary shows us that although race is only a social construct, it is a very real system and foundation on which our society has been structured and built. And the consequences of this imagined identifier have been catastrophic for our humanness on a whole--wounding and damaging our humanity in the lingering legacy of centuries of oppression and cruelty. As a social construct, race still exists as the foundation for discrimination and oppression, giving white populations more freedom and access to resources and opportunities, while creating incredible barriers to attaining these same resources for folks of color. 

As we reflect on the film together, we'll be asked to think about race and racism in ways that go beyond individual stereotypes and prejudices, and address the systems, policies and procedures that allow oppression and disparities to thrive between people of different skin colors. 

Until Thursday, check out the website, where you can explore some of these ideas and analysis about race before the showing. The PBS site for "The Power of an Illusion" is a very interactive site where you can look at definitions of race, discover how race is a social construct and not a genetic code, see how people are sorted into races (rightly or wrongly), view the variety of shared traits such as skin and blood type between races, explore a timeline of how American ideas of race have changed over time based on shifting political priorities and much, much more. I highly recommend taking a look at this resource.

See you there!

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