Suggested timing: 5 minutes

5 min: Plus/Delta – What went well today? What do you want to change for the final meeting?

Independent Assignment

Review and practice what you learned in this module by completing the following:

  • Read and watch the resources in “Social Identities And Systems Of Oppression” from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
  • Reflect by considering the answers to these questions from the page. You can also discuss with a friend or write the answers in a learning journal to keep track of your progress as you progress through the course:
    • “So long as we are divided because of our particular identities we cannot join together in effective political action.” Audre Lorde cautioned us about the ways that our various identities can prevent us from seeing our shared humanity. Why do you think she felt this was a danger to all people?
    • “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” Lilla Watson, an Aboriginal women’s activist, rejects people coming to “help” as she fights against oppression within her community. Why do you think she does so? Considering your own life and social identities, can you draw comparisons to her struggles?
    • “I learned a lot about systems of oppression and how they can be blind to one another by talking to black men. I was once talking about gender and a man said to me, ’Why does it have to be you as a woman? Why not you as a human being?’ This type of question is a way of silencing a person’s specific experiences. Of course, I am a human being, but there are particular things that happen to me in the world because I am a woman.” Why do you think Ngozi Adichie insisted on being able to talk directly about her specific identity as a woman? What identities are important to you that others don’t always acknowledge?
    • Watch How the U.S. Suppressed Native American Identity and answer the following:
      • How do you think individuals, institutions, and the dominant American society justified this cruel and inhumane treatment?
      • What kept those who had power and voice (government officials, school teachers, civic leaders, regular citizens, etc.) from acknowledging the humanity of these children and preventing this atrocity?
      • Banks connects historical oppression to current oppression faced by Native peoples. How can we join together as allies against this oppression?

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