Race & Identity: ‘The Whiteness Project’

Race and identity are provocative topics.

Whether Black or White, the scrutiny revolving around race and cultural identity continues to stir the pot and raise eyebrows. From Raven-Symoné not wanting to be classified as an African-American to the ideologies of White privilege and Black oppression, race, in a sense, shapes the way in which people move about the world.

But have you ever wondered what White Americans really think when it comes to race?

Well, that idea has come to the forefront in the form of a 22-episode docu-series entitled, The Whiteness Project, which made its debut on PBS last week. Curated by documentary filmmaker Whitney Dow, each installment delves into facets of “whiteness.” Dow spoke with 1,000 White people throughout Buffalo, New York which resulted in one-minute unfiltered interviews about their views on race.

As you can imagine, some statements are certain to cause controversy while others may come as complete shock.

In Dow’s artistic statement, he expresses:

The Whiteness Project hopes to bring everyday white Americans, especially those who would not normally engage in a project about race, into the racial discussion—to help them understand the active role their race plays in every facet of their lives, to remove some of the confusion and guilt that many white people feel around the subject of race and to help white Americans learn to own their whiteness—and everything positive and negative it represents—in the same way that every other ethnicity owns its ethnic identity.

The series has struck chords with Twitter ranging from intrigue to embarrassment, but the question is, will this project cause more harm than understanding?

Check out the clip below and share your thoughts in the comments. Will you be tuning in?