What's Race Got to Do with It?

Counting Who’s Missing (depicted in video – DVD Chapter 2) ***

This exercise explores underrepresentation and “invisible” disparities.

>>In advance of your screening, have participants count the number of African American students in each of their classes. (Variation: have them count the number of students of every race; however, the idea is to notice who is underrepresented, not the overall make-up of their classes.)

In class, go around and have each student report the number of African American students and the TOTAL number of students in each of their classes, then ask people for their reactions to the exercise: have they ever noticed the numbers before? have they ever spoken to those students? picture themselves in a similar situation: how would they feel? how indicative are the numbers across the campus or on other campuses? If there are Black students in your group, allow them to share their experiences but don’t put them on the spot or ask them to speak for the experiences of other African American students.

Related Discussion Questions:
Underrepresentation & Segregation, Colorblindness/The Burden of Race

© 2006, California Newsreel. All rights reserved. www.whatsrace.org