1 — The concept of whiteness/blackness/race has been central to our readings thus far.
All of the readings suggest it is a fluid concept and that some folks have occasionally been considered non-white and then “earned” whiteness. Hale speaks about the gradual acceptance of European immigrants as white, while Smedley notes that skin tone was not seen as a major distinction in the early Virginia colony. Describe the process of becoming white. What does it mean to be white? What are some of the advantages that McIntosh sees as part of “white privilege?” A successful and thoughtful essay will come to terms with all of the readings listed below and develop an analysis of what it means to be white, how does one achieve whiteness, and who can never be white.
1. Audrey Smedley, “The History of the Idea of Race,” 2007, online.
2. Charles Hirschman, “The Origins and Demise of the Concept of Race,” 2004, online.
3. Adolf Hitler, “Mein Kampf”, Chapter 11.
4. Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, 1989, online.
5. Grace Elizabeth Hale, Excerpt from Making Whiteness, 1998.
6. Rubén G. Rumbaut, “Pigments of Our Imagination”, 2009, online. [This work discusses Latinos].
****contain at least one parenthetical footnote from all five assigned readings
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