Length: 21:43 (total for 3 clips)
Access: YouTube (clip 1; clip 2; clip 3)
Summary: These are excerpts from the PBS documentary Race: The Power of an Illusion (3 parts, at 56 minutes each). In this group of videos, clips 1 and 2 (16:13 total) critique the biological foundations of race by drawing upon a variety of scientific experts and DNA evidence (and addressing popular misconceptions). I show these 2 clips and then ask, "If race is not based upon our genes or biology, then what is it based upon?" After some discussion, I show clip 3 (5:31) which discusses race as an "idea constructed by society to further certain political economic goals," linking the emergence of race in the US in justifying slavery. This could be utilized with any introduction to race (in an intro, social problems, inequality, or theory class) and may be paired with Omi and Winant's racial formation theory. Note that most, if not all, clips from the entire documentary are posted on YouTube and can be reconfigured to match your lecture's needs. The documentary's first episode, "The Difference Between Us," is available online here.
Submitted By: Paul Dean