Why is my curriculum white?

This film from the UK examines Eurocentric bias in curriculum design, content and delivery from the perspective of university students in London. It offers an intelligent exposure and critique of whiteness in academia. Whiteness, however, is explained primarily through the lens of colonialism, imperialism, and empire. {The word slavery is never uttered, nor is it referred to in other ways.} CORRECTION: I somehow missed the reference to “slavery” in the film. Nevertheless, I maintain the point I made below that slavery is central to the social construction of whiteness.

Whiteness emerges through the process of racializing slavery. Europeans became “white” by “blackening” Africans and consigning them by law to permanent and hereditary servitude. For the sake of context, I thought I should add that point. But I sincerely don’t want it to detract from this fine film and the brilliant people it features.




The Invasion of America

Genocide and slavery provided the means for the establishment of the white racial state that is benignly referred to as the United States of America. When Columbus arrived in the so-called New World in 1492, an estimated 8 million Indians lived in the area that currently comprises the U.S. By 1900 their population had been reduced to a mere 237,000. Mass murder and forced removal were the social policies and practices that made westward expansion possible. Today, according to U.S. Census data, Native Americans and Alaska Natives number about 5 million. Approximately 22% live on federally-recognized reservations or off-reservation trust lands.

The video below by ehistory.org maps every treaty and executive order that facilitated the conquest and theft of over 1.5 billion acres of native lands. It concludes by showing the location of present-day reservations.

Jan Carew on Native and Black Resistance in the Americas

In this excerpt from a 1992 lecture, Professor Jan Carew discusses the little-known history of the Seminole Wars and the heroic struggles of Amerindians, Africans, and Black Indians for freedom. He situates his comments within the broader history of the Columbian era and the Spanish discovery and colonization of the so-called New World.