Session 3

Download Handout for Participants | Download Facilitator Guide (Word .doc format)

Session 3: Where and When We Come From


• To understand how and why “white” was socially constructed.
• To understand the process of establishing white superiority.

Learning From History

“The psychic and physical devastation that so marked slave and colonial systems echoes into our lives today…If we could but see a causal chain, a procession of events linked over time, it might teach us many lessons about the long-term consequences of violently exploiting humans as only capital.” ~ Patricia Williams, 1997

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Winston Churchill

Reflections on Homework

In small groups, share your reflections on the articles “Membership has its Privileges” and “A Long history of Affirmative Actions for Whites”

Video: RACE – The Power of an Illusion ~ “The House You Live In”

This video is created by California Newsreel and was shown on PBS.

For more info on the video, visit:

• What was your reaction to hearing the current statistics?
• Has this information changed your perceptions of racism and white privilege in the U.S.?
• How does what was shared in the video related to your own family of origin story?

Video: Allan Johnson – The Economic Legacy of Slavery

If you cannot access this video clip, you can read Allan Johnson’s essay, “Where White Privilege Comes From.”

You can also use the video by Doug Bowen-Bailey , “The House I live in” in which he explains how racism and white privilege has been a part of building his home.

Homework: Unpacking Our Own Knapsacks

In the next session, you will be asked to bring artifacts from home that represent your understanding of how white privilege plays out in your life. Read Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of Privilege by Peggy McIntosh.

Here are two video examples of the assignment to fill your own knapsack with artifacts from your life which represent your understanding of how white privilege has played a role in your life.

Closing Reflection

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” James A. Baldwin
“I am responsible for the house which I did not build but in which I live. “ Dorothee Soelle

Posted in: Cracking the Shell of Whiteness