Teaching About Whiteness and Privilege

Teaching About Whiteness

"For teachers working within homogeneous groups privileged by race and class, providing a critical multicultural education is of tremendous importance. A robust, diverse democracy depends not on self-interested, uncritical kids, but on young people who are willing to step outside of their comfort zones. To do that, students must understand how race and class influence their lives and want to work to make the world a better place." ---Katy Swalwell, "Confronting White Privilege," a very helpful article detailing case studies on teaching about white privilege and tolerance in the schools.

How to get students talking honestly about themselves, race, difference, and privilege? Two college teachers have had some success. Read an account here.

An interview with Dr. Christine Sleeter on teaching about diversity and privilege.

Teaching About Whiteness Handout

Terms of Racial Discourse Handout

Article on course about whiteness and women's studies at the University of Massachusetts

Syllabus and Bibliography for Audrey Thompson's course on "Whiteness Theory and Education"

Understanding Whiteness, a brief guide from the University of Calgary.

See also the classroom resources section from the University of Montana bibliography on whiteness studies.

"Whiteness Studies and the Multicultural Literature Classroom" by Gregory Jay and Sandra Elaine Jones.

Essay collection: Exploring Race in Predominantly White Classrooms, ed. George Yancy and Maria del Guadalupe Davidson.

K-8 teachers looking for multicultural literature materials will be interested in the blog Writing While White.

Two Key Essays on White Privilege

"White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack," by Peggy McIntosh (the classic essay that is still required reading).

"Understanding White Privilege," by Frances Kendall. See the book-length version as well.

Blacks on Whites

In this edited collection, white studies historian David Roediger gives us access to two centuries of critical writing on whiteness by African Americans, who invented the discipline in the first place: Black on White: Black Writers on What It Means to Be White.

Nobel-prize winning novelist Toni Morrison pioneered critical white studies in Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination.

See also What White Looks Like: African-American Philosophers on the Whiteness Question, ed. by George Yancy.

Tim Wise

The home page of anti-racist educator Time Wise contains essential materials and links to books, articles, and YouTube videos.

PowerPoint Presentation

A Short History of White Supremacy (looks at the invention of the "white" race, colonialism, slavery, and the impact of racial inequality on wealth in the modern era).