Bones, Skin, Clothes

Submitted By:
Stephanie Lipkowitz, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM

America's Caste System with Isabel Wilkerson by Preet Bharara
August 13, 2020 Podcast

It's More Than Racism: Isabel Wilkerson Explains America's 'Caste' System with Terry Gross
August 4, 2020 Podcast

Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson, reviewed in the September 2020 Klingbrief, is an extraordinarily valuable resource for any anti-racist educator. Wilkerson, like Ibram X. Kendi, offers powerful analogies and language to enable discussions among students about race and systems of oppression, while avoiding the traps of guilt, shame, and paralysis that can sometimes occur. Many educators, due to the constraints of time and its level of difficulty, cannot use Caste in its entirety with high school students. Two powerful interviews with Professor Wilkerson, one with Terry Gross on Fresh Air and the other with Preet Bhahara on his podcast, Stay Tuned, are excellent educational onramps to bring younger students to the ideas in Caste. Wilkerson's conversations with these expert interviewers will outline for students the central arguments she makes in the book about the responsibility each of us has to face the past, though we did not create it, and to do our part to heal, fix, and dismantle systemic injustice. Wilkerson is an engaging, clear voice and her talent as a teacher is underscored as she describes the central argument that, in American society, caste is the bones, race is the skin, and class is the clothes.