In her book White Fragility, sociologist (Links to an external site.)

 In her book White Fragility, sociologist (Links to an external site.) Robin DiAngelo examines how often, when we discuss issues of racial positionality or diversity, we tend to only connect these topics with marginalized groups, specifically people of color. However, what is not discussed is whiteness as a racial positionality. It is important to keep in mind that discussions of whiteness and white privilege are not meant to assign guilt or blame to white folks, but rather, these discussions promote deeper critical thinking and awareness of one’s positionality (and blind spots) in the context of larger social spaces, just as any particular positionality should do. This requires that we reflect intellectual traits of humility, integrity, and courage. In this way, people can better connect with another’s experiences and life perspective. Ultimately, the goal is to demonstrate empathy, compassion, and hopefully spark positive change in American culture, which has a history of prejudice and oppression.

In the poems assigned this week, all authors convey their experiences of prejudice in some form.

  1. Briefly summarize DiAngelo’s points from the excerpt (2-3 sentences).
  2. Make the connection of DiAngelo’s discussion to one poem assigned this week: How does DiAngelo’s discussion of whiteness manifest or reflect in the poem’s theme? Does the author use word choice, tone, or a certain literary device (i.e. figurative language or figures of speech) to convey that theme?


Poem of the week: Pat Mora’s “Legal Alien”

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