I’m Not Racist…Am I? A conversation with the film’s director, Catherine Wigginton Greene

photo (49)photo (51)On January 7th, Hamlin’s Diversity Council showed the insightful film, I’m Not Racist…Am I?  The Director of the film Catherine Wigginton Greene led a profound discussion at the conclusion of the documentary.

I’m not Racist…Am I? is a feature documentary about how this next generation is going to confront racism.  We asked 12 teenagers from New York City to come together for one school year to talk about race and privilege in a series of workshops and in conversations with friends and family members.  We hope that by documenting their experience, the film will inspire others to recognize and interrupt racism in their own lives.  The film is part of a larger initiative-Deconstructing Race-developed by the Calhoun School to create a multimedia platform to get young people, their teachers and their families talking-and doing something about structural systemic racism” (Film Website).

A few key points made by the film were:

-Bigotry and racism are different, racism is a systemic historical construct that whites created for their benefit, bigotry is comprised of individual acts of discrimination or hatred

-African-Americans cannot collectively oppress whites because they lack the systemic power to do so

-White people are racist in a similar way that people are capitalistic, it is a system that one is born into

-In order to confront racism, students have to be willing to lean in and have “uncomfortable moments”

During the forty minute conversation that followed; students, parents, faculty members, and Greene grappled with various topics brought up in the film. Some participants questioned the film’s definition of racism, others spoke eloquently about their own despair and concern for the future of young African-Americans growing up in an inherently racist society.  Many in the audience pondered over what could be done to interrupt a system born in slavery, alive today with the mass incarceration of African-Americans.

The next day, students had an opportunity to discuss the film in their Social Studies classes.  The following is a video excerpt from one of those conversations:

For more information about the film, please visit:

http://www.notracistmovie.com

 

 

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