Community viewing and conversation of the three-part PBS documentary “RACE – The Power of Illusion.” Check out the preview or read more about the series. Join us for one, two or all three parts: January 16, 23, and 30. Offered in partnership with the Wellesley Community Center.
Part 3: The House We Live In
This final episode focuses not only on individual behaviors and attitudes, but also on how our institutions shape and create race, giving different groups vastly unequal life chances. Who is white? In the early 20th century, the answer was not always clear. Often, the courts had to decide, and they resorted to contradictory logic to maintain the color line. After World War II, whiteness increasingly meant owning a home in the suburbs, aided by discriminatory federal policies that helped whites and hindered nonwhites. European “ethnics,” once considered not quite white, blended together as they reaped the advantages of whiteness—including increased equity as property values rose dramatically—while African Americans and other nonwhites were locked out. Forty years after the Civil Rights Movement, the playing field is still not level, and “colorblind” policies only perpetuate these inequities.