Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our Brains on Race

Recently I read Are We Born Racist? New Insights from Neuroscience and Positive Psychology, a collection of short essays originally published in Greater Good Magazine. It's a highly accessible overview of recent findings documenting the prevalence of implicit, or unconscious, bias, and offering concrete steps to ameliorate the prejudices our brains form.

There are so many juicy ideas packed into this slim volume, divided into three sections: The New Psychology of Racism, Overcoming Prejudice, and Strengthening Our Multiracial Society.

The book has inspired a series of posts sharing some of the information I gleaned from the essays and adding my thoughts to the conclusions reached by the authors and editors.

Here's what I'm planning to post over the next month or so:

1. The Research on Bias

2. We Can Change Our Minds

3. Noticing Race: Conversations and Strategies

4. Reviewing Picture Books About Race (6 titles)

5. Trying Too Hard

6. Smile

7. Getting to Know You: What Groups Can Do

Please join in the conversation.


Rachel Stark said...

Looking forward to it!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

So glad you are doing this! I am going to look for the book and read along with you.

Anne Sibley O'Brien said...

I welcome your input and observations, Rachel and Andromeda.

I'm won't actually be following the book, but riffing off of the ideas in it that struck me. I'd love to hear from anyone else who's read the book, other related material or just what I have to say about it, about what you take from it.

The puzzle of race, and the knots we've gotten ourselves into, can use all the brains and creativity we have.


Michelle Cusolito said...

Thanks for sharing this book. I plan to read it.

On a related topic, have you seen the exhibit, "RACE-Are we so different?" It's currently at the Museum of Science in Boston.
I blogged about it here:

Please check it out on-line if you can't go in person (links are on my blog). It's fantastic.

Mama C said...

What a helpful, rich series of posts A! Really looking forward to all of it.

Anne Sibley O'Brien said...

Thanks, Michelle, I'll check out the Museum of Science exhibit.

And thanks, Mama C, for being there.

Please chime in on the content, both of you.