An essential resource for anyone who wants to enter the next stage of their antiracist journey—recognizing, analyzing, and confronting the perpetuation of racism in our visual world.

Product Code: 5390
ISBN: 9781558969087
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Pages: 224
Size: 9 x 6
Published Date: 10/31/2023
Availability:In stock
Price: $24.00

The July 2024 Justice and Spirit: Unitarian Universalist Book Club selection.

An essential resource for anyone who wants to enter the next stage of their antiracist journey—recognizing, analyzing, and confronting the perpetuation of racism in our visual world.

Images in the news, social media, advertisements, memes, websites, and selfies shape how we understand ourselves, our society, and our world. Even the images we don’t see have an impact on our daily lives. But images are not innocent. And we don’t have to be passive consumers. Our racial identities, assumptions, histories, and biases filter the images we absorb and affect how we interpret them. Are they problematic? How can you tell? Why should you care?

Situated at the intersection of critical whiteness theory and visual culture, Through the Lens of Whiteness: Challenging Racialized Imagery in Pop Culture teaches readers visual literacy tools that expose racist messages, conventions, and symbols in images. Authors Diane S. Grimes and Liz Cooney help readers understand these patterns more deeply with detailed analysis of vivid image examples and personal stories to dismantle existing biases and develop an antiracist perspective. Grimes and Cooney are guided by the principle that white people bear the responsibility for dismantling racist structures and so primarily address white readers, but also offer this book in the hope that it will be a powerful tool of resistance for all readers.

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1. Beginning to Identify the White Lens
2. Through the Looking Glass: Reality, Culture, and the White Lens
3. Removing Our Rose-Tinted Glasses: Representation and Black Women’s Bodies
4. On a Pedestal: Masculinity, Race, and Threat
5. Your White Savior Self(ie): Social Media, Branding, and Humanitarianism
6. Continuing the Work

Appendix A. Glossary
Appendix B. For Reading Groups
Appendix C. Additional Resources

How Should You Use This Book?

Typically, no one needs instructions on what to do with a book—pick it up and read it! But because this book asks you to do more than a typical book, below are some suggestions. If you are reading it as part of a group, also see appendix B, “For Reading Groups.”

 Keep an open mind and reflect on yourself, not others. You can only control your own thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

 Be wary of white guilt. Accept that we’re constantly immersed in a racist, white supremacist culture, recognize that we have made and will continue to make mistakes, and push to educate yourself further. Do not ask people of color to absolve you of your past.

 Continue your education rather than bragging about it or asking for affirmation. People of color most likely don’t want to be assaulted by your newfound knowledge of how white supremacy shapes literally everything in our culture.

 Get a journal or dedicate a spot on your computer or phone for reflection. Use the questions within or at the end of each chapter to contemplate white ways of seeing in your everyday life.

 Realize you are doing this for a purpose: to work toward a more just world. A world with fewer images that add to or reinforce the racial trauma experienced by people of color. A world where white people’s biases are not reinforced but are questioned and challenged. Systemic racism requires systemic change; the changes you undergo as an individual do not achieve this, but they may motivate you to work toward it.

 Understand that this is a lifelong process. Your work is never done. Antiracism is a journey, not a destination.

 Familiarize yourself with the terms listed in appendix A, the glossary, and explore appendix C, “Additional Resources,” to further your education.

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