Race and Racism are very powerful, resilient belief systems with differing consequences for each of us. Race attributes certain meanings to different kinds of physical appearance and perceptible traits. Where did this belief system and its associated meanings come from? How did it develop? How and why does it continue? How is it transmitted across generations?

In this course we will study the concepts of Critical Race Theory and the ways in which law and history have shaped and reflected contemporary understandings of race. We will study race and racism from the points of view of major racial groups in the United States: African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos/as, Asian Americans and Whites. We will also explore the current consequences of race and racism as they manifest in the killings of unarmed black men and women, the suppression of voting rights for people of color, the resurgence of anti-immigrant and anti-Asian hatred, and the status of native sovereignty.