Inventing The Concept of Race: There's Nothing Natural About Segregation

None at Strand Bookstore

Fri, Jul 21 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

This Olio will trace the historical invention of the “race” concept as a step-by-step, intentional process designed to prevent interracial collaboration.


Many people believe that racial segregation is natural. People simply want to be around others who look like them. This line of reasoning assumes there is something coded in our DNA that compels us to marry, live, and work around people from the same ethnic backgrounds. If this were true, why did the interracial marriage rate drastically increase after laws forbidding it were abolished? If a natural inclination to racially segregate existed, why were anti-miscegenation laws necessary in the first place?


This Olio will trace the historical invention of the “race” concept as a step-by-step, intentional process designed to prevent interracial collaboration. We will look at important laws and images that tell the story of how and why “race” was invented. This class will also address what happened to ethnic groups that did not fit within the “black/white” dichotomy, the performance of whiteness, and how these processes continue to impact us today.


Recommended Reading:
PBS interview with Audrey Smedley (based on her book Race in North America: Origins of a Worldview)

Teacher: Angie Beeman
Venue: Strand Bookstore
Add to Calendar July 21, 20177 p.m. July 21, 2017 America/New_York Think Olio | Inventing The Concept of Race: There's Nothing Natural About Segregation This Olio will trace the historical invention of the “race” concept as a step-by-step, intentional process designed to prevent interracial collaboration. None

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.