Getting Students to Say What They Are Not Supposed to Say: The Challenges and Opportunities in Teaching About Race in a College Classroom
This chapter addresses the challenges instructors face when teaching about race in the college classroom. By using concrete examples from inside the classroom, the chapter provides suggestions and ideas about how to get students to talk openly and honestly about race. One of the biggest challenges is finding ways to create a space within the classroom where students can say what they believe they are not supposed to say. Our students have grown up in a racialized society and many believe there are certain opinions and beliefs about race that should not be discussed. Finding ways to allow students to share these opinions and beliefs about race as well as their own racialized experiences provides an important opportunity to help students learn about race in ways that have the potential to stay with students well after the course has ended. The chapter ends with a discussion about white privilege and colorblindness and the importance of including these topics in courses about American race relations.