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In the 1940s, the nation was captivated by an electrifying experiment by legendary sociologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark. They asked black children about two dolls, one white and one black.The majority -- 63 percent of them -- said they'd rather play with the white doll. Most said the white doll was nicer than the black doll and in the most poignant answer of all, 44 percent of the black children said the white doll looked most like them. The sad fact is that here we are years later and 44% still identified more with the White doll. I truly feel that the way society still portrays African Americans is playing an impact on how our kids view themselves.
While I applaud what GMA is doing by revisiting race in America I do hope that you will do a bit more than what I typically see on this topic. General, the "conversation" about race only involves African Americans. I think that it would be far more interesting to know what doll white kids would pick and why. For whatever reason, race conversations always seem to have African American folks doing all the talking. What about White Americans? What do they REALLY think. And, why is it that Native Americans, Asians and Hispanics are not included in the conversation?
The other thing that I will say is that racism is unconscious. Most people (of all races) do not know that they are racist. I once heard a white man on Bill Mahr say that to be called a racist is the worst thing you could be called in the world. So, to begin to pick at people's unconscious racism is challenging. Still, because President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are in the White House, I think that the image of seeing them just about every day will go a long way to healing and addressing the unconsciousness of it all.
High school student Kiri Davis explores the self-image of black children in the US by repeating the historic "doll test" of Dr. Kenneth Clark that led to school desegregation.