Unlearning Racism through Transformative Interracial Dialogue
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionStokke, C. (2021). Unlearning racism through transformative interracial dialogue. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2021.1930245
Presenting an empirical study of critical public pedagogy, this paper analyzes interracial dialogues on an internet forum run by conscious Black people who set the terms and challenge White participants who reflect a colorblind ideology. Drawing on Freire’s education for critical consciousness and bell hooks’ work on unlearning racism – understood as structural and interpersonal dominance relations – the paper shows how transformative interracial dialogues are possible despite difficulties. It proposes that epistemological change is required from White participants to cross the perception gap. Analysis of empirical examples shows how Blacks; who follow Patricia Hill Collins’ Black feminist epistemology, and show emotions, speak from experience, and demand rhetoric to be translated into action; challenge White people’s detached, Eurocentric perspectives, and dominating communicative behavior. Honest confrontation and critical dialogue lead several White participants to acknowledge their subjectivity, become aware of White privilege, and examine and change dominating communicative behavior towards Blacks.