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RACE: The Power of an Illusion Series, Part II


What is this thing called “Race”?


The Westerly Area Peace and Justice Group is sponsoring a 3-part film series: "RACE -  THE  POWER OF AN ILLUSION" on Thursday evenings, October 13thOctober 20th and November 10th in the Auditorium at Westerly Library, 44 Broad St., Westerly RI. 
The program will begin at 6:00 pm with the showing of one 56-minute segment followed by a brief discussion and light refreshment.


The division of the world's peoples into distinct groups - "red," "black," "white" or "yellow" peoples - has become so deeply imbedded in our psyches, so widely accepted, many would promptly dismiss as crazy any suggestion of its falsity. Yet, that's exactly what this provocative, three-hour series by California Newsreel claims. Race - The Power of an Illusion questions the very idea of race as biology, suggesting that a belief in race is no more sound than believing that the sun revolves around the earth.


Yet race still matters. Just because race doesn't exist in biology doesn't mean it isn't very real, helping shape life chances and opportunities.


Episode 1- The Difference Between Us examines the contemporary science - including genetics - that challenges our common sense assumptions that human beings can be bundled into three or four fundamentally different groups according to their physical traits.


Episode 2- The Story We Tell uncovers the roots of the race concept in North America, the 19th century science that legitimated it, and how it came to be held so fiercely in the western imagination. The episode is an eye-opening tale of how race served to rationalize, even justify, American social inequalities as "natural."


Episode 3- The House We Live In asks, “If race is not biology, what is it?” This episode uncovers how race resides not in nature, but in politics, economics and culture. It reveals how our social institutions "make" race by disproportionately channeling resources, power, status and wealth to white people.


By asking, “What is this thing called 'race'?,” a question so basic it is rarely asked, Race - The Power of an Illusion helps set the terms that any further discussion of race must first take into account.  (description taken from


For more information please consult the website or contact Pam McDonald at 860-796-4543.

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