In EDFDN 355 this week, the topic of the class was on race. As a set, our prof led us through this online activity that had us trying to sort photos based on race.  There are five categories: Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Black, White, and American Indian.  Then there are 20 photos of people with a mixture of ages, and gender.  Our task was to try to place each photo under one of the 5 races listed. We were doing this together as a class on the projector, and it was very easy to tell that our answers were far from unanimous.  The people in these photos could often fit in more than one category.  We kept pushing a few of the photos to the end, and by that time, we just slotted them into the empty spaces since we couldn’t come up with a consensus.  Then came the results….we weren’t successful whatsoever! We only had approximately a handful of the photos in the right categories.  When you see the results, you can also click on each photo to learn more about the background of the person, as well as a comment that they’ve made on their race based on things they’ve encountered.

I thought that this was such an interesting activity to try, even though it was frustrating to say the least.  While sorting, it was difficult not to judge photos based on stereotypical traits such as eyes, facial structure, nose, and teeth.  We were proven that these aren’t always effective, especially with the large range of possible ancestries today.  What I learned from this activity is that I can’t judge my student’s race based on their appearance.  Looks can be deceiving, and I don’t want to assume I know that aspect of my students without them telling me themselves.  I encourage all of you to try this test, and comment on how you did and what you thought of the activity. Good luck!

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