Critical Race Paper


This is a 5-6 page, size 12 font, double spaced paper.

Be sure to include your NAME and COURSE section and submit via SafeAssign on Blackboard.

You will earn your grade by responding to the following questions (please response in essay format, i.e., not numbered answers):

Part One: What race is and what it isn’t: 20 Points (Answer TWO of the following)

A) What is the difference between a biological and a social view of race?

B) Excluding your immediate family members, are you more likely to be genetically like someone who looks like you or someone who does not?

C) Why is it impossible to use biological characteristics to sort people into consistent races? Describe the concepts “within-group vs. between group variations (differences).”

Part Two: Benefiting from the concept of race?: 20 points (answer TWO of the following)

D) Who has benefited from the belief that we can sort people according to race and that there are natural or biologically based differences between racial groups?

E) Besides race, what other things explain why some people might be more susceptible than others to disease? Think about the girl in the film with sickle cell anemia. How is ancestry different from race?

F) What are some ways that race has been used to rationalize inequality? How has race been used to shift attention (and responsibility) away from oppressors (dominant society) and toward the targets of oppression (racial minorities)? For example– How has race been used to explain differences in health, education, job status? What role do stereotypes play in rationalizing equality?

Part Three: U.S. History and the concept of Race: 25 points (answer THREE of the following)

G) What is the connection of American slavery to prejudices against Africandescended peoples? Why does race persist after abolition of slavery?

H) Why was it that not slavery but freedom and the notion that “all men are created equal” that created a moral contradiction in colonial America— how did race help resolve that contradiction?

I) Contrast Thomas Jefferson’s policy to assimilate American Indians in the 1780s with Andrew Jackson’s policy of removing Cherokees to west of the Mississippi in the 1830s. What is common to both policies? What differentiates them?

J) Who was allowed to become a naturalized citizen before 1954 and who wasn’t? What rights and privileges do citizens have that non-citizens don’t have? What were the consequences for those denied citizenship?

Part Four: Long-lasting effects since the “birth of race” in the U.S.: 20 points (answer TWO of the following)

K) How did federal housing policies institutionalize segregation and wealth disparities? How does this affect health, health policy, and well-being?

L) Why do property values go down when a neighborhood changes from white to nonwhite? Who plays a role in this?

M) What happens to measures of racial disparities in terms of education and welfare rates when groups of similar income AND wealth are compared? In other words, when matching income and wealth for both Black and Whites, are there any differences in terms of disparities (health, education, or welfare use)? If so, what are they?

CLOSING THOUGHTS on the Topic of Race and Disparities: 15 points (answer ALL items)

1) What can I influence?

2) How am I making this (world, school, community) a more equitable environment?

3) Who is included in this picture and who isn’t; who has had opportunities in my environment and who hasn’t?

4) What can I do about that?


3 thoughts on “Critical Race Paper

  1. Aside from the given reference on this page, do you want the class to provide additional resources/references/sources (going to get darted looks in my direction, but it’s good to be certain, instead of assuming) to the paper? Or is it just a “answer based on what you have learned in class and how you interpret the lectures/lessons”?

    • Good question. There is no need to use outside references. The paper is designed to assess the information gained from the films and your interpretation of the new knowledge in the context of course readings and lectures. Additional resources will not be useful or necessary to complete the paper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *