RACE: The Power of an Illusion (Episode II: "The Story We Tell")

Monona Public Library

Program Description:

Join us for a viewing and facilitated discussion of the award-winning documentary series by California Newsreel. RACE—The Power of an Illusion is a provocative three-hour series that questions the very idea of race as biology. Scientists tell us that believing in biological races is no more sound than believing the sun revolves around the earth. So if race is a biological myth, where did the idea come from? And why should it matter today? RACE—The Power of an Illusion provides an eye-opening discussion tool to help people examine their beliefs about race, privilege, policy, and justice. 

Episode II – “The Story We Tell” uncovers the roots of the race concept, including the 19th-century science that legitimated it and the hold it has gained over our minds. It’s an eye-opening tale of how America’s need to defend slavery in the face of a radical new belief in freedom and equality led to a full-blown ideology of white supremacy. Noting the experience of Cherokee Indians, the U.S. war against Mexico and annexation of the Philippines, the film shows how definitions of race excluded from humanity not only Black people, but anyone who stood in the way of American expansion. The program traces the transformation of tentative suspicions about difference into a "common-sense" wisdom that people used to explain everything from individual behavior to the fate of whole societies, an idea of race that persists to this day.

Discussion Facilitator:

Yolibeth Rangel-FitzGibbon (Yoli) is the founder and Executive director of Mosaicos Cultural Enrichment Corporation and a member of the Stoughton Board of Education. Born and raised in Venezuela, she moved to the U.S. in 2000. Her international work and travel experiences instilled an appreciation for the assets people bring from diverse cultures. She established Mosaicos in order to make Stoughton a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

Mosaicos promotes understanding, appreciation, and inclusion through facilitated conversations about diversity throughout the community and fosters academic achievement among underrepresented students by providing them with academic support and mentoring.


Close up image of two faces pressed cheek to cheek, one with light skin and eyes, the other with dark skin and eyes.
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