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“How to be Black” (Participation)

February 1, 2012

After watching this video, discuss your own racialization; how and when you learned about your own identity.  What does that tell us about race, racialization, and privilege?



From → Participation

  1. Kyla Chappell permalink

    Like the last part of subtitles say at the very end of the video, I grew up being a white ghost. Meaning that I was not identified for my race or the color of my skin solely. Unlike people of varying colors of skin other than white, who face being reminded of their race everyday, it was not something that was talked about often in my life. White people just go on through life being the norm, while people outside of this “norm” are often recognized based on the color of their skin before any other attributes about them. When I think about when I first realized I was white, I guess I have to say that it didn’t really effect me until probably high school. Starting to take more in-depth history classes, where you learn how all the different races were recognized, and who were bad and who were good…I thought where did I fall into? This is when I truly thought of myself as “white” over other attributes and with further education I started to learn the privileges of being part of this label.

  2. Hannah Zabel permalink

    I think it is very interesting what the man from Africa said. In Africa everyone is black so no one asks, no one sits around wondering what race you are or if it should define you. They care about getting to know who you are, what tribe you are from, what your passions are like the man said. My question is do you think our race does not define us only around people that are the same race as us?

    • Jacob Holmes permalink

      Not everyone in Africa is black. There are large amounts of Whites as well, some even born there, They are White Africans. I am sorry but not to be mean, but come on.

      • Jacob Holmes permalink

        wasnt so much about you, but the guy who is speaking in the video.

  3. DeShaun Mizner permalink

    I first realized that i was mexican-italian when my friends would always make fun of my family’s name, “Pierone”, which happens to be a italian mafia somewhere and some place. They would joke about how i like to steal things, or how i like to shank people.
    Even though i never shanked a person, i kinda felt pushed into the gang related mexican stereo type that a lot of people assume about. Some people have even asked if i am muslim because of my dark hair, dark eyebrows and brown skin. If thats not a stereotype then i don’t know what is.

  4. Madison Magliocca permalink

    Being a white female, it took me a while to realize my identity because I didn’t feel any different from anyone else. I would see other kids around me who maybe had a different skin tone, but I never thought in depth about it. I think it was around the 4th grade when my school started talking about the differences between girls and boys, that I started to view the differences in people around me and truly understand that there are different “identity’s”.

    I think what this says about race is that people feel the need to categorize each other whether consciously or not. When Derrick talked about how he was born/lived in Africa, the color of your skin was nothing that people focused on. Instead they got to know each other based upon name, tribe, personality etc. But who is to say that they then didn’t have different judegments and opinions based upon the different tribes? So I feel that we obviously inflict race upon ourselves by believing in the need to find out “identity”. But race isn’t something to be ashamed of…realizing the differences between them will allow us to have a deeper understanding of the people around us and our history. What’s wrong is when it is used to make one race superior compared to the other.

  5. Hailey Pusich permalink

    After watching this video I think I first realized my own identity not until middle school when I really started to think about it more and learn about history of race and our civilization. My identity as a white female never really affected me because I was always surrounded by people that had similar identities to myself. It was very interesting to me how the man from Africa described his experience. In Africa everyone is black so race is not an issue and you focus more on the actual person getting to know them. I think this is how it should be everywhere. I think being white I didn’t think about my identity until later in life because I was white and that is where the privilege comes in. I didn’t have to deal with race at a young age as someone of color might have had to because maybe they were the only black or mexican child in the school. I think this is an example of white privilege.

  6. Victoria Kolytiris permalink

    Ever since I was a young girl I always had a sense of pride of where I was from and never thought anything difference of it. When I started to get into high school that is when I became more aware of what being “black” and “white” really was. I went to an all girls Catholic high school in the middle of downtown Seattle where we had many different types of girls. We all accepted each other but some times certain girls made it known who and what color they were so that we would have to be aware of them. As a white female I had never experienced anything of this sort.

  7. Briana Nelson permalink

    I realized my racial identity when I was in first grade. For birthday parties, my friends used to always go swimming. I noticed that I was very different when I went swimming with some friends. My mom made sure to always pack a swimming cap to protect my hair from getting “nappy” and wet. Since most of my friends were white, getting their hair wet wasn’t a problem, and they didn’t have to worry about it getting tangled and frizzy. After answering many questions as to why I had to wear a swim cap, I began to realize that I was truly different from my white friends.

  8. Julia Balaban permalink

    I think I first noticed that I was a “white” person when I was old enough to notice differences between me and other kids. Right before I was born my aunt and uncle adopted two children from India. A girl and a boy who were both brother and sister. As I grew older with them and we would meet for family gatherings I started to notice that they did not look the same as the rest of my “white” family. I don’t remember asking about why I was white because everyone around me seemed to be white, but I wondered why they looked different than me. When I was old enough to have the adoption process explained to me is when I could sort of understand different races. I like in the video when he talked about being born in Africa, everyone was black. You never really think about what color anyone was because everyone was the same. You focused more on what your name was, your tribe, and what languages you spoke, etc… I find that very interesting because when he moved to the Middle East is when he realized he was so called “different.”

  9. Gary Barquet permalink

    I feel as if there has been numerous times when I realized that i was black, I cant really recall the very first time but one specific time I do remember realizing i was black was playing on an all white baseball team. I remember sitting on the bench before the game with my whole team and one of my teammates said he needed a pinch runner. Immediate one kid suggest my name without even knowing my, seeing me play nor run. So I thought to myself how would he know if i was fast?? Then after he suggested my name he said he’s black, and the whole team laughed, even the coach. I pretended to think it was funny, and no i didn’t take extreme offense to it because i know it was just a joke but at the same time i realized that he only said that to me because i was black. I feel as if White people get the privilege of not worrying about stereotypes and much or even not worrying about being a minority especially in baseball in Washington. Meaning they don’t have to worry about being different, or being viewed different as much.

  10. Alexandra Wilson permalink

    I realized that I was a “white ghost” once I left my hometown predominantly white suburbia. Growing up in a town that everyone for the most part was either white or Asian I never thought about the differences or known any different. Although once I attended Washington State University last year as a freshmen I noticed much more minority living in the dorms. Being surrounded by racial slurs and others joking around at me as the “white girl” I then realized my racial identity. Before then I never focused on racial difference or questioned it, rather I would focus on who I am and others are around me as people and their ambitions.

  11. Alex Carkner permalink

    As a child I noticed the differences among my classmates and myself but I did not know what they signified until I had grown up a bit more. I knew I was white but I didn’t know what the term Caucasian was until I had to start filling in identification information on standardized tests in school. I remember looking for the American bubble which was not there. Caucasian was not in my vocabulary so I broke down and asked the teacher which one to fill in. That is the first time I realized how confusing it is to racially identify yourself because I had always just seen myself as an American.

  12. Interesting conversation – keep it up. When and how are we taught that these “differences” mean “something”

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