Who's Blacker: Oprah or Sojourner Truth?
Assistant Professor of Sociology Prentiss Dantzler and his Inequality in the U.S. class were recently featured in a segment titled “Playing the Race Cards” on The Nod, a podcast centered around different dimensions of black life. The podcast includes interviews with Dantzler and several students in his Block 1 class, who played the card game Trading Races, in which players are asked to argue the case for what makes one person Blacker than another. “I knew the game was going to make the class uncomfortable,” says Dantzler. “However, I have a unique advantage to discuss race freely given my own identity. Yet, at times, I too, feel uncomfortable. The beauty in using a game like this is that we can all come together to think critically about our own assumptions and our biases. We can dig deeper to find out why we think the way we think.”
Dantzler says, “the biggest questions I want students to grapple with deal with agency. As a white student, can I talk about race? Can I define what Blackness is? Can I define what Whiteness is? Engaging in difficult conversations like the one we had with Trading Races allows students to question issues of power, agency and choice. I hope they realize that while everyone has a choice, their choices are socially constructed meaning that there are individual, institutional and society factors that influences one behavior.”
Reporting from Dantzler’s class was done by 91.5 KRCC’s Jake Brownell ’12, who also assisted with the production work. Learn more about the class here.