Race – The Power of an Illusion
Please Note: This is not a Christian movie but we have included it in our resource section because it contains material that you may find helpful for discussion.
This video is available from California Newsreel. To order, call 1-877-811-7495 or fax 1-802-846-1850. You can also visit the California Newsreel Web site for more information: www.newsreel.org
Description of this movie from the film’s website:
The division of the world’s peoples into distinct groups – “red,” “black,” “white” or “yellow” peoples – has became so deeply imbedded in our psyches, so widely accepted, many would promptly dismiss as crazy any suggestion of its falsity. Yet, that’s exactly what this provocative, new three-hour series by California Newsreel claims. Race – The Power of an Illusion questions the very idea of race as biology, suggesting that a belief in race is no more sound than believing that the sun revolves around the earth.
Yet race still matters. Just because race doesn’t exist in biology doesn’t mean it isn’t very real, helping shape life chances and opportunities.
Episode 1- The Difference Between Us 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 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 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, status and wealth to white people.
By asking, What is this thing called ‘race’?, a question so basic it is rarely asked, Race – The Power of an Illusion helps set the terms that any further discussion of race must first take into account. Ideal for human biology, anthropology, sociology, American history, American studies, and cultural studies.