What Does it Mean to be White?

white hand.jpg

We haven't always been white, and it's important that we learn how we got labeled as such.

In fact, while whiteness is not real (biologically), it is profoundly real. 

Long story short, there was a group of people who came up with the racial label 'white' for us around 1691. Then, over time, different groups of people who were not white, became white. All for a very particular, tactical reason. Creating whiteness was a strategy.

Whiteness is a social construct, which means people made it up. Since whiteness is something people made up, then we are going to want to know a few things about it:

  • Who made whiteness up?
  • When did they make whiteness up?
  • Where did they make whiteness up?
  • What did/does whiteness mean? 
  • And, perhaps most importantly: Why did they make whiteness up? 

This video is my best to attempt to explain all that, in 30 minutes. 

 

Kelly Strickland