Reflecting on Racism & Raíces

A Self-Guided Curriculum

Tomás Roberto Díaz
Jul 23 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post

In the setting of increased visibility of social movements aimed at confronting anti-Black racism and police violence, I developed a self-guided podcast-based curriculum for my family members, Black immigrants from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. This curriculum is introductory and by no means comprehensive; it is meant to prompt reflection on the ways in which historical constructions of race in the US manifest in present-day injustices.

The New York Times: 1619

What emotions are raised hearing this history?

Is this history familiar to you? Why do you think much of this history has not made it into most textbooks?

Scene on Radio: Made in America

How are the initial constructions of race in the US tied to racism and white privilege today?

Given that the construction of race in the US is largely based on conceptions of whiteness and Blackness, how do non-Black people of color fit into this racial framework?

Code Switch: Black Like Who?

What does it mean to be Black? Is it based on ancestry? On skin tone? On identification with the group? Or a combination of multiple things?

How do different Black people experience Blackness differently?

Code Switch: Puerto Rico, Island of Racial Harmony?

Latino USA: Afro-Puerto Ricans Fighting to be Visible on the Census

Are Black people from the US and Black people from Latin America different? Why or why not?

How does anti-Blackness (or anti-Negritud) play out in Latin America? What specific instances have you experienced or witnessed?

Throughline: American Police

The Daily: The Systems that Protect Police

How do the racist origins of the police play out in policing today? How did white people view slave patrols? How do white people view the police today? How do you view the police?

If the goal is to keep citizens of all races safe, is having police the best way to do this? Can you imagine community programs or workers that might achieve the goal of safety?

Code Switch: A Decade of Watching Black People Die

What are the positive aspects of sharing viral videos of Black victims of police violence? What are the negatives?

Are there differences in how Black people and non-Black people might respond to seeing these videos? Is increased societal awareness of police violence worth repeatedly re-traumatizing Black people?

Today, Explained: The Talk

How should we talk to children about race and anti-Black racism? Is the responsibility on Black parents, non-Black parents, both, neither?

Should schools have the responsibility to teach these topics? By the time children enter school, is it too late?

Ultimately, what specific and actionable steps will you commit to in order to confront anti-Black racism in your spheres of influence?

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store