Allegories on race and racism - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Allegories on race and racism

Camara Jones via TEDx Talks

Allegories on race and racism (20:31, video autoplays) uses storytelling to discuss race and racism in the United States, and to empower people to take action to reduce racism.

In this 20-minute TEDx event video, Dr. Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, shares four allegories on race and racism. The goal is that these stories empower people to take action to reduce racism and its impact on health.

The four allegories are:

  1. Japanese lanterns: Racial constructs color our imaginations of who we are; race is a social classification not a biological descriptor.
  2. Dual reality—a restaurant saga: Racism structures "Open/Closed" signs in our society. This allegory defines racism and briefly describes the impact.
  3. Levels of racism—a gardeners tale: The relationship between three levels of racism and may guide thinking about how to intervene to mitigate the impacts of racism on health. Read more: Jones, CP. (2000). Levels of Racism: A Theoretic Framework and a Gardener's Tale. Am J Public Health 90, 1212-1215. (PDF).
  4. Life on a conveyor belt—moving to actions: Three possible actions that can be taken to be actively anti-racist.


When to use

This video can help build awareness about race and racism, and develop a shared understanding of the impact of race and racism on health. It could be viewed individually or as part of a group discussion.


Use this resource

Watch on YouTube: Allegories on race and racism


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