This essay is the second in a series on having conversations about the legacy of oppression, confessing complicity, reducing the harm we cause others, assimilation racism, building emotional resilience, and the practice of knowing and telling the larger experiences of our lives. The authors founded a consulting group focused on identity in 2014. “We are going to split up.”
During an anti-racism training some years ago, we learned a lesson that deeply informed our work as educators, creators, passionate critical thinkers and specialists in the field of interracial relationship studies. We’d come to the point of the training where the conversation turned to an in-depth examination of how white people and Black people have internalized racial superiority and inferiority, respectively, and would split into racial affinity groups to safely have this conversation. White-identified people were instructed to go in one room, breaking down the lyrics of the Macklemore song “White Privilege.” People of color were instructed to break down the lyrics of “All Falls Down” by Kanye West.