Theories of Race

Day 4
Session 9
10:20 AM

The purpose of the lecture is to offer a general overview of the main approaches or theories that have dominated the discussion of race in America. This lecture is not an exhaustive treatment of the various movements or events involving race in America, nor is it mainly about the validity of scientific theories of race, although the topic will be referenced. Instead, it is an attempt at understanding the assumptions underpinning various approaches to the questions of race and ethnicity in our society and how they still inform our approaches.

Recommended Books:

Thomas Sowell: Race & Culture: A World View; Migrations & Culture: A World View; The Economics and Politics of Race

Orlando Patterson: Freedom in the Making of Western Culture; Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study

Shelby Steele: The Content of Our Character; A Dream Differed: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America; White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era

Cornell West: Race Matters; The Cornell West Reader

Michael Eric Dyson: Debating Race with Michael Eric Dyson

The last three recommendations are for the purpose of offering examples that showcase one or the other of the two distinct visions of race in America.

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