Prejudice: It’s the Little Things

Not in Out Town opens the fall season for “Continuing Conversations on Race and White Prejudice” on Monday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library. The discussion will focus on a Lena Williams article that turned into a video and a book. Barbara Figge Fox and LeRhonda Greats will lead the discussion. The 10-minute video is available for viewing online from the Princeton Public Library website, but everyone is welcome, whether or not they have seen the video or read anything from the book.

Little Things: When Prejudice Is Unintentional was an ABC News program that explored the kinds of incidents and behavior that prompted The New York Times reporter Lena Williams to write an article entitled, “The Everyday Interactions that Get under the Skin of Blacks and Whites.” Focus groups polled and interviewed on the subject reveal how statements, gestures, and even body language can be interpreted—rightly or wrongly—as racial prejudice.

Williams expanded her New York Times article into a paperback book. For an excerpt from the book, click here

Here’s another excerpt.

Those with a Princeton Public Library can access the video here via Films on Demand.

It’s a powerful video and an intriguing book, sure to elicit valuable discussion.


One Comment on “Prejudice: It’s the Little Things

  1. Hello everyone,

    I wanted to add my thanks to you all for being such a great group last night. Since I normally teach young people between the ages of 10 and 19, I am not used to having such an audience of active and engaged participants. It was refreshing and enlightening for me to join you all.

    One thing that has been rattling around in my mind involved the reviews of the “Little Things” book. I enjoy reading reviews because people who would not normally speak up can do so without being attacked directly. There were many people who thought the book was unbalanced and I can say that after our discussion last night I too was guilty of that.

    Our charge was to have a discussion about the things that irritate both blacks and whites and I fear that we delved quite a bit into the irritants of blacks where as I did not hear so many of the things that may irritate you about us.

    Here is one that I read that stuck with me because I have heard it before. I think we don't say it out loud in mixed company because it can be perceived as rude but the statement was about how white people feel that blacks are still making excuses and blaming white people for their present circumstances.
    Does the fact that black people talk about black vs. white or mention race when as Bob said last night he never even thought about his race keep us from understanding each other?

    One other thing I wondered, do white people think that they know black people and the black experience? If so, where did this information come from, mainstream media or firsthand accounts, from close actual relationships with black people?

    Someone mentioned white guilt last night and I think that is another thing that slows our dialogue across racial lines. As you can see, I have many other thoughts and would enjoy keeping the discussion going.


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