Racial Identity Essay

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1. Take a walk on IWU campus and observe the Nativity scenes (Mary, Joseph, etc.) displayed by the Bookstore and Baldwin cafeteria. Describe the characters’ racial identity. Explain what is communicated through this and why it is a problem (you can use what Dr. Bob Priest talked about to explain it). What might be a solution?

The Nativity scene that I observed had one African American. The African American man was one of the Wisemen. The holy family is usually depicted with porcelain white skin and other Anglo-Saxon features, which consists of blue eyes and rosy cheeks. The Bible is unclear about the complexion of Jesus, the holy family, the magi, and the shepherds. Having a Nativity scene with mainly light-skinned characters sends the message
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We learned about the history of African Americans in Marion, IN. What were the resources we used to better understand that story? (List them in bullet point form and don’t forget field trips!)

• Weaver Cemetery
• Hills Chapel AME
• Quilters Hall of Fame
• The Geography of Resistance: Free Black Communities & the Underground Railroad by Cheryl Janifer LaRoche
• Flossie Baily article
• An Oral History of African Americans in Grant County
• Lines of Color- Marion Lynching
• Allen Temple AME & Reverend Gladden

10. Churches tend to be racially segregated because of America’s history of slavery, which also allowed very distinct African American cultural worship styles. List what some of those styles are referring to Dr. Priest’s chapter in “This Side of Heaven”. When Pastor Drew Morrell (great-great grandson of black abolitionists) preached at IWU- how did African Americans in chapel respond? What about his preaching might have felt uncomfortable to many white students?

Fellowship Worship Style
• Communal; interactive community
• Begins with slow, somber hymns
• Moves toward high volume, loud praise
• Improvisational
• Syncopated rhythm
• Synchronized stepping
• Textured “gravelly” voice
• Percussive use of

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