This course is about Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History. And, I haven't taught this course for several years and I've learned that it's a very difficult subject to teach. If it was just about theories of race or race as a concept, I think it would be a lot easier to teach. But race and cultural diversity are always interwoven into issues of discrimination, a history of oppression, a legacy of the continuing effects of past discrimination. As a consequence, it's a subject that becomes hotly debated, contested many times it's denied. In many cases, many people including scholars will deny the existence of a history of racism and oppression. We have seen everything from the denial of the Holocaust to the denial of slavery, or least a denial that it was very brutal and horrific institution, denial of genocide against Native American populations. Whenever we enter into discussions of the history of race and cultural diversity they're always contested segments, always people questioning as to what is really important. Often people end up saying that it was the distant past and we should move on. And the move on scenario sort of presupposes that somehow we have ended issues of discrimination. That we have resolved problems of racial conflict and thus, we're ready to move onto the next stage. We have seen across the globe as well as in our own country, particularly, in the latest political campaigns, that race and ethnicity are things that will continue to make and remake our society. We see that in attitudes toward Muslims. We see that with concerns and fears about massive immigration from Latin America, especially from Mexico. We've also seen race emerges as political motivations for voting populations as well as efforts by, many times state governments and state officials, to disenfranchise populations and to target them because of their race. So, race is not just a thing of the past. It's something of the present that continues to make and remake the society. What we want to do is actually get a good firm grasp of the role that race has played historically from its origins and from its beginning. Its genesis so to speak within our society, its development over time. And then, you get a good sense of what is its impact today? How does it manifest itself in today's environment? And what are some of the concerns and challenges going forward? So, I would like to begin by outlining some of the things that we will do over the course of this course on race and cultural diversity. I want to review topics for class lectures and also to look at key points that we should start thinking about definitions of race, and racial identity, and American identity, as well as to consider what are the continuing effects of race and the key challenges to our society going forward? We will have a historical view but that historical view will be in constant dialogue with the present as we ask about the ways in which the historical legacy of race continue to impact our society today. This particular course is focus less on interpersonal relationships or race as in a therapeutic way it looks more at the institutional effects of race, the legal effects of race. And so, we will begin by defining races and ethnicity and the ways in which it has impacted our society right from the beginning. We will look at the mythology of race as a biological discussion, or people who believed that race is a product of biology and that's a very important video that we look at called, "Race the Power of an Illusion." And part one actually focuses on the state of the science and what science actually tells us about the concept of race. I think in general, we look at people and we can see obvious differences in skin color and hair texture, other kinds of phenotypic traits facial and related traits. And we think that we actually have self-evident proof that the human population is divided into different races—Asians, Black, White, Native American, and so forth. But the video documentary which is really persuasive, showing us the latest and the most advanced scientific understanding of the concept of race, actually demonstrates convincingly that race is not a product of biology that's a mythology. And that it is merely something that we believe in, that we have constructed socially over time, and we continue to believe in the notion that human population is discretely divided into different racial categories. We will consider that and pay close attention to that in the beginning. As we move through the course, we will look at the impact of racial and ethnic perceptions on employment opportunities. Again, reasserting the notion that we will focus on the institutional effects, the structural effects, of race and ethnic perceptions. Also, how do racial beliefs enter into and affect ordinary day to day relationships in American life? How has race lived in America as people go through their daily life? What do they encounter? How are they perceived? How are they defined? How are they categorized? And how does all of this have an impact on life chances? We will also look at how racial ideology has impacted issues of citizenship and democratic political participation. This has been an important question historically and it's also a very important question today as we consider the undocumented. And we look at proposed bans on people because of their religion, as to who can immigrate to America and what are the standards for citizenship and democratic participation, including the right to vote. Those issues have surfaced again and again, and they're very hotly contested in our society today. We also will look at how historically condition and racial attitudes shape national opinions and identity about religious diversity. Especially, as we look at attitudes toward Islam and Muslim Americans. And these are particularly hotly debated topics in our society today. We will look at race and color in the Americas. One thing that we will consider and discuss is – whether race is defined the same way as we move from different spaces and different national and historical context? Is race defined the same way in Brazil? As it is in Haiti or is it is in Cuba? As it is in the United States of America or as it is in South Africa? in other places around the world. Does race actually take on a different definition and different meaning as we move across time and space?