Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Ethnic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Bianca Williams

Second Advisor

Dr. Arturo Aldama

Third Advisor

Dr. Joanne Belknap

Abstract

Coming to a white antiracist identity can often be a confusing, contradictory process. It can mean dealing with painful emotions, conflict, and alienation. White folks often struggle to come to a positive self-identity within the context of antiracist work. This project uses a Black feminist framework to examine how white folks can come to a positive white antiracist identity and imbed a love ethic into their practice of antiracist work. Black feminist epistemology relies on four dimensions: the validation of lived experiences, personal accountability, an ethic of care, and dialogue. This project draws on Black feminist literature, personal narratives, and my experiences with Twitter to demonstrate how these dimensions connect to the process of building a positive white antiracist identity. Doing antiracist work is most productive when it seeks to bring healing for both non-white folks and white folks, and focuses on closing the gaps between us. When we center Black women, hold one another and ourselves as white folks personally accountable, implement a love ethic, and properly engage tools like Twitter, white folks can come to a productive, healthy, positive white antiracist identity. The process of building a positive white antiracist identity is the first step towards building inclusive, healthy, loving communities.

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