Looking for parallels should be done cautiously. For example, the advantaging associated with race may be different from the one associated with heterosexism. It’s also hard to disentangle [dis]advantaging where social class, economic class, race, religion, sexuality, ethnic identity, and other factors interact.
Black Racial Identity Development
The stages are presented linearly, but often individuals revisit an earlier stage as a result of new encounter experiences. However, the subsequent experience of the stage may be different from the original experience.
The African American has absorbed many beliefs and values of the dominant White culture, and seeks to be accepted by Whites, and distances themselves from other Blacks. The de-emphasis on one’s racial-group may contribute to a belief in a US meritocracy.
Characterized by the simultaneous desire to surround oneself with visible symbols of one’s racial identity and an active avoidance of symbols of Whiteness. Tendency to denigrate White people, and glorify Black people.
Secure in one’s own sense of racial identity, with less need to assert the “Blacker than thou” attitude. Establishing meaningful relationships with Whites who acknowledge and are respectful of the individual’s self-definition.
Translates their personal sense of Blackness to concerns of Blacks as a group, which is sustained over time. Blackness becomes “the point of departure for discovering the universe of ideas, cultures, and experiences beyond blackness in place of mistaking blackness as the universe itself.”
White Racial Identity Development
Precipitated by experiences that cultural and institutional racism exist, often leading to discomfort, e.g., guilt, shame, and anger. Coping mechanisms: denying/questioning evidence, victim-blaming, withdrawal from PoC and racial conversations, naïvely trying (and failing) to change attitudes of friends and family.
A desire to be accepted by one’s own racial group, even at the cost of reshaping one’s belief system to be more congruent with an acceptance of racism. Blaming PoC as the source of discomfort. If avoidance of PoC is possible, most Whites become stuck here.
Precipitated by information-seeking, and abandoning beliefs in White superiority. Experiences alienation from other Whites, yet may be rejected by PoC who are suspicious of the individual’s motives. Trying to positively redefine what it means to be White; literature on White antiracist allies to PoC is empowering.
The thinking about equality and equity is incomplete if unearned advantage and conferred dominance are kept taboo. We shouldn’t just try to get folks into a position of dominance, while denying that systems of dominance exist.
Implications for Reducing Resistance When Teaching about Race
Raise awareness about the model of racial identity development. This allows the individuals to be less frightened when collisions of developmental processes occur, e.g., a White person not personalizing or feeling threatened by an African-American’s anger during Immersion/Emersion.
Empower learners with the possibility of change, e.g. developing action plans for interrupting racism, taping an initial interview and replaying it at some later point to let them see how they’ve progressed since.
Implications of Teaching About Race for Institutions
Letter from Birmingham Jail
What was the main purpose of the Letter from Birmingham Jail? To encourage civil rights activists to keep advocating despite King’s arrest.
Direct-action movements are never “well-timed” because that is on the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from segregation. The word “wait” has almost always meant “never”. The white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice is the greater stumbling block toward freedom than the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner.
What are the steps of non-violent campaign? The cause must be clear enough to not need prose to make apparent. Must identify non-nuanced injustices, such that the campaign is almost a parody of society.
There are four basic steps in a non-violent campaign. First, collect the facts to determine whether injustices are alive. Birmingham was highly segregated, had an ugly record of police brutality, and more unsolved racial bombings than any other city. Second, negotiating with the powers that be on how to end the injustices. Promises on reform were not honored. Third, self-purification. Workshops on non-violence and restraint against retaliating. Fourth, direct action.
Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has consistently refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.
One force comprises of Negroes who have adjusted to segregation and those who, having risen to the middle class and at times profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred that comes close to advocating violence. Nonviolent direct action is a creative outlet for the normal and healthy discontent.
What is the difference between just and unjust laws? If a certain law were reverted, would society be better overall? If so, then that law is unjust.
Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself. This is difference made legal. On the other hand, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow, and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. A law can be just on its face and unjust in its application, e.g., requiring a permit for a parade, and then denying civil rights activists said permits.
- Talking about Race, Learning about Racism: The Application of Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom. Beverly Daniel Tatum. Harvard Education Review, Vol. 62. Mount Holyoke College. equity.ucla.edu . scholar.google.com . www.connectedpapers.com . 1992. Cited 2083 times as of Sep 18, 2022.
- Intersectionality. en.wikipedia.org . Accessed Sep 18, 2022.
- Letter from Birmingham Jail. Martin Luther King, Jr. www.csuchico.edu . 1963. Accessed Nov 19, 2023.