So I was stumbling across some things earlier today and this site popped up. In case you don’t know what a stumble upon is, it is a website that generates websites around the world wide web according to your likes. You start off with a list of things you are interested in and you click on stumble and see what website comes up. Recently I added race/ethnicity into my likes in hopes of finding something to put up into the blog and luckily it worked!

I stumbled on the PBS website and it had a section that was based on a documentary by California Newsreel on race. The section was called “RACE: The Power of Illusion”. Just seeing the word “illusion” in the title made me stop and think, wow it really can be seen as trick on the eyes! Looking through the different interactive sections to the site made the title made more and more sense.

The first section “What is race?” poses an interesting statement, “There’s less – and more – to race than meets the eye.” It then goes on to provide 10 facts on race. As I clicked through the facts some i knew already but yet some caught me by surprise like fact number eight. I obviously understand that no two people are genetically alike, but I would think two people of one race would have more commonalities to each other than to people from two different races.

In the second section “Sorting People” there is a great interactive sorting game that will really have you amazed to see what you perceive a race to be, and what an individual classifies themselves under. Here you have to label each person under “White, Black, Native American, Hispanic/Latino, or Asian”. You would think that you can tell races apart and sort them correctly. When I began doing it I thought to myself “this is going to be easy” but as i progressed I began to question previous sorting and question what really makes someone a certain race. To my surprise I barely had any right. There was one in each section that was right, maybe two if I was lucky. My sorting was so off that I began to think that everyone automatically thinks they know someones race just by looking at them. This is something I think everyone should try, or should even be tried in class. I would be interested to see how many of us disagree in sorting the individuals in the game.

The quiz under the section “Human Diversity” is another interactive part of the site that really caught me by surprise. I barely got any of the questions correct and it was unbelievable. You learn crazy facts on human diversity that you would think wouldn’t even be true. This is another section that would be interesting to look over in class, again since it would be very debatable on which answer is the right answer.

There is plenty more to look at on the site like videos and a timeline on the concept of race throughout history. It is really interesting and makes you really think about the concept of race beyond of what you know. Again, “There’s less – and more – to race than meets the eye.”

Here’s the link!

http://www.pbs.org/race/000_General/000_00-Home.htm

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2 responses

  1. Cindy Lu says:

    I think race definitely isn’t something people can know off the bat just by looking at someone. Just by playing the matching game and trying to match the faces with the race we believed they were, showed us how stereotypical most of us think. It really demonstrates how wrong we can be by assuming that a person is a particular race by judging them by their phenotype.

    With these assumptions, I can only imagine the daily activities that these people encounter on their everyday lives. Imagine a person who looks Black but actually identifies them self as American Indian who is looking for a home or a job. Think about how different their experience must be if the real estate agent or person who is hiring only judges by their phenotype. Or how different a white looking Hispanic person’s experience was during the Arizona illegal immigrant search scandal.

    Thanks for the post! It made me think a lot!

  2. sharonbetesh says:

    We actually tried this activity in class- matching the faces to races and I found the results very interesting. We were all so sure with what we believed the people’s races were just by looking at them and in most of the cases, majority of the class believed the same thing. When we got the results, there were only 3 or 4 people that we put in the correct slot. The whole class was shocked, we were so sure we chose the correct slots and we couldn’t imagine how we were so wrong. This showed us loud and clear how wrong our assumptions about race are and how we barely know anything just by looking at them.
    This really struck me and opened my eyes to the fact that people categorize themselves very differently than from what others perceive them to be and people should not assume someone is from a particular race just by looking at them.