2004-01-27 Grand Haven Tribune Racism film discussion series to be offered in SL

Racism film discussion series to be offered in SL
Grand Haven Tribune

The Tri-Cities Community Action Team of the Ottawa Area Summit on Racism will sponsor a film discussion series, “Racism: Roots and Reality” on Monday evenings in February. The series will be held at the Spring Lake Public Library, 123 Exchange St. Films will begin at 7pm and will be followed by an open discussion of the film’s theme and its relationship to the Tri-Cities community. Admission is free.

“RACE: The Power of an Illusion” is a three-part documentary that challenges our most fundamental beliefs about race. It scrutinizes the implications of looking at race as a biological fallacy but a social reality.

Episode 1, “The Difference Between Us,” will be shown Feb. 2. It examines the contemporary science – including genetics – that challenges our common sense assumptions that human beings can be bundled into three or four fundamentally different groups according to their physical traits.

Episode 2, “The Story We Tell,” will be shown Feb. 9. The second part of the documentary series uncovers the roots of the race concept in North America, the 19th century science that legitimated it, and how it came to be held so fiercely in the Western imagination. The episode is an eye-opening tale of how race served to rationalize, even justify, American social inequalities as “natural.”

Episode 3, “The House We Live In,” will be shown Feb. 16, and asks, if race is not biology, what is it? This episode uncovers how race resides not in nature but in politics, economics and culture. It reveals how our social institutions “make” race by disproportionately channeling resources, power, and status and wealth to white people.

“A Place at the Table” will be shown Feb. 23. This film spans three centuries to show how individuals and groups have toppled barriers in education, transportation, voting, employment, housing and other areas to become full participants in the democracy of the United States. It features high school students of varying backgrounds who tell how their families and they themselves have struggled for and four “a place at the table.”

The mission of the Tri-Cities Community Action Team is to provide forums to explore racism’s roots and current practices and engender community response. The team formed as a part of the Ottawa Area Summit on Racism, a five-year initiative that provides and opportunity for all community members to positively impact the individual and institutional state of racial justice throughout the entire Ottawa area.