Race: The Power of an Illusion, Part 1

Posted by sbattle

Is race in our genes, or just in our heads? Where did the idea of race come from? Why is it so hard to talk about race? What if it was suddenly revealed that the most basic assumptions about race — for instance, that the world's people can be divided biologically along racial lines — were false?

A three-part PBS documentary series, Race: The Power of an Illusion, asserts that race has nothing to do with biology. Instead, the series features scientists and experts who believe the notion of race is a construct based on history, laws and social custom. The documentary series uncovers the history of race, the "science" that justified it, and traces how these beliefs took such a furious hold on our imaginations, arguing that while race may be a biological fiction, the consequences of racism are very real.

Linden Place Museum will sponsor a three-week screening series, Each week a one-hour episode of the documentary will be viewed followed by a facilitated conversation about race and its relevance to our society and today’s current events.

Thursday, March 23, 6:30 PM, Part 1: The Difference Between Us" — a survey of scientific findings that suggest the concept of race has no biological basis.

Thursday, March 30, 6:30 PM, Part 2: "The Story We Tell" — the historical context of race in North America, how the idea got started and how it took hold.

Thursday, April 6, 6:30 PM, Part 3: "The House We Live In" — how social institutions uphold racial differences by favoring select groups when it comes to housing, loans and other economic and social benefits, perpetuating inequalities 40 years after the Civil Rights Act proclaimed all Americans "equal."

The screenings & discussions will take place at the Rogers Free Library Herreshoff Community Room at 525 Hope Street, Bristol. Admission is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested as space is limited. More information is available by calling 401-253-0390 or visiting www.lindenplace.org

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