Community & Government
What to Do Now
In this multi-instructor lesson, John McWhorter, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and Sherrilyn Ifill share what they believe is the right way forward.
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Topics include: Racial Justice Must Include Us All • This Is the Moment for Democracy
Lessons from Influential Black Voices
Seven preeminent Black thought leaders share their insight on the reckoning with race in America in three parts: past, present, and future.Sign Up
[MUSIC PLAYING] - We chose our seven instructors for this class because each of you has a message that you are uniquely qualified to deliver. But of course, as Black men and women, each of you has a personal stake in the issue too. So what is the message you tell your own daughters about race? - This is the message I want to tell my daughters about race. You may not live-- you must not-- you ought not live your life with your primary identity being all about how somebody else feels about you or may not feel about you. That's not what your life is about. That is not what your identity is about. Your identity is about what you like as an individual. White people may give you some problems here and there. But here and there is not enough to form an identity about. And, of course, that's an issue, because my kids are biracial. Their mother is white. As we record this, they're six and nine. Things are starting. But they are not going to form their identities in fear of something that, frankly, is not going to hurt them or affect them enough to make sense as the basis of an identity. And I think about this at least once a week. The day one of them came home trying to form an identity based on how white people feel about them, exaggerating the effects of racism, having taken in some of the stuff that we get, it would hurt me if one of them was an athlete. But I would get past that. It would hurt me if neither one of them wanted to learn other languages. It would hurt me if neither one of them ever wanted to play an instrument, all that kind of trivial stuff. But I'd get over it. But if one of them came home with that, it would be the equivalent of Archie Bunker finding out that Gloria was going to marry a Black man. I would have to really, really work to not be very, very angry with one of them for the first time if they gave in to that, what I believe to be, melodramatic attitude toward white people. What I want you to take away as a mantra in terms of whatever it is that I have to teach about race is that focusing on obstacles as the most interesting and charismatic thing that we, as Black, people can dwell upon gets us nowhere. And I think that our times make it such that we really could get further if we would think proactively. Understand, I didn't say be positive and stick your chinny chin up. No, I'm not a positive person. But the idea is to focus on doing things rather than talking about why we can't. No human group has ever gotten ahead with its professional class as focused on obstacles as we tend to be. I believe that with a little bit of creativity and a little bit of persistence that what we regard as Black America's problems could turn around in one generation with a few dedicated sociopolitical commitments. I believe that a great many people are distracted from thinking about those things out of a sense that the proper Black thing to do is to think about what the obstacles are to succ...
About the Instructor
From critical race theory to the 1619 Project, Black intellectuals are reshaping conversations on race in America. Now seven of those preeminent voices share their insight on the reckoning with race in America in three parts: past, present, and future. Gain a foundational understanding of the history of white supremacy and discover a path forward through the limitless capacity and resilience of Black love.
Featured Masterclass Instructor
Angela Davis, Cornel West, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Sherrilyn Ifill, Jelani Cobb, and John McWhorter
Seven preeminent Black thought leaders share their insight on the reckoning with race in America in three parts: past, present, and future.Explore the Class