Self-Reflection –Culture, Race, Ethnicity

1. Why does the author start out the story with Twyla and Roberta as children?

2. What is the narrative effect of the reader never being outright told which character is black and which character is white?

3. With Twyla and Roberta we have one Afro-American character and one Caucasian-American character. (There are references to them being from two different races on pages 2253 and 2254.) But which character is which? And, how did you arrive at your decision? What is your evidence?

4. How does the story use examples of culture?

5. Think back to when you were younger. What lessons did you learn about race growing up?

6. What was the racial and ethnic makeup of your neighborhood/school?

7. Think of the three most important influences (e.g., your family, schooling, the media) on your racial beliefs, that is, your beliefs about who belongs to which groups and what it means to be one race (or ethnicity) or another. What were they and what did they teach you to believe about race (or ethnicity)?

8. Consider your racial beliefs now. Have they changed from what you were taught?
9. How so, or why not? What do you believe: how consequential is racial categorization in the United States? Is racial inequality a problem? If so, how or in what ways? If not, why not?

10. Do you believe you have racial biases? If so, what? If not, why not?

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