Being Black in America
This discussion centers on the theme of being black in America. You will be asked to address information presented in the supplemental material assignment as well as information presented in the text.
Questions like the following should help get you started:
Do you think the initial racial categories or even those used on the U.S. census today serve a purpose?
Why do you think the one-drop-rule was used?
What did you come away with after reading the Applying Sociology piece on whether race affects intelligence?
Why do you think African-Americans earn less, have fewer college and graduate degrees and are more highly represented in poverty than Americans as a whole?
For many people Affirmative Action has outlived its usefulness, and some have even claimed that it results in reverse discrimination. There are those who have suggested that, instead of race or ethnicity, socio-economic status or parents’ educational attainments (e.g., never attended college) should be the basis for giving people a leg up. In sum, do you think there is something we as a country should do to level the playing field? What?
Had you heard of HBCUs? What do you think of such colleges and universities?
What did you think of Jane Elliott’s experiment? Do you think it would have a lasting, meaningful effect on young people?
After reading the piece on white privilege, do you think such a phenomenon exists? Have you benefited from it?
The cover of The New Yorker sure has gotten a lot of media buzz. What’s your opinion? Are people reacting too strongly to a piece of satire, albeit one that does not seem as clear or funny as it was intended to be? Do you believe, as many in the media have said, that there are many Americans who are not smart enough to understand what is meant by the art?
How does the whole issue of whether Barack Obama is black enough strike you?