Part 1: Introductions to Critical Race Theory and Related Concepts

Read the following materials:

  1. “Intersectionality for Beginners,” by Peter Kaufman, April 23, 2018 at the Everyday Sociology Blog. Available here

  2. “Toward a Critical Race Theory of Education.” By Gloria Ladson-Billings and William F. Tate IV. Teachers College Record, 67(1). Fall 1995. Available here.

  3. “Trump calls critical race theory ‘un-American.’ Let’s review.” By Victor Ray, October 2, 2020. Op-ed in The Washington Post. Available here.

 Then write a 500-600 word summary about these together in which you do the following:

  • Answer the general source description questions above for each of the sources.

  • Explain how each of the sources relate to each other. Draw on these sources to define and explain the terms intersectionality, racism, and critical race theory (CRT). 

  • Discuss how these sources illustrate how these terms are used as scholarly concepts. Do they reflect shared understandings of these concepts, or not? Also discuss how a sociological perspective towards these concepts may differ from those that come from other fields, like law, or history, or from public policy practitioners.

Part 2: CRT in Practice and in Policy, with Local Perspectives. 

Read the following sources:

  1. Letter from Congressman Ralph Norman and other members of SC’s Congressional Delegation regarding CRT, June 21, 2021. Available here. Paired with the policy brief they reference, which is: “Policy Brief: A Comprehensive Overview of Critical Race Theory in America,” May 18, 2021, from the Center for Renewing America. Available here.

  2. “A Lesson on Critical Race Theory,” by Janel George. In the American Bar Association’s Human Rights magazine, January 11, 2021. Available here.

  3. One of the following two sources:

    1. “I’ve Been a Critical Race Theorist for 30 Years. Our Opponents Are Just Proving Our Point For Us,” by Gary Peller, Op-ed in Politico Magazine, June 30, 2021. Available here.


  1. T1J on “What Everyone Gets Wrong about ‘Critical Race Theory,’” YouTube video from June 25, 2021. Here.

  1. “SC will not give money to teach critical race theory. But we never taught it, say schools,” by Devyani Chhetri, July 1, 2021 in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Available here

Then write a 500-700 word summary, in which you:

  • Answer the general source description questions.

  • Discuss how each source defines or understands CRT and how these understandings do or do not align with how CRT and related concepts are defined and used by sociologists.

  • Describe how each source is or is not related to the others, and how they are or are not in conversation with each other.

Part 3: National Perspectives on CRT

Read or watch the following sources:

  1. NBC News report “Schools facing critical race theory battles are diversifying rapidly, analysis finds,” from June 22, 2021. Available here

  2. “Who is Afraid of CRT?” by Myron Strong at the Everyday Sociology Blog, July 19, 2021. Available here.

  3. “The Point of the Anti-CRT Fight Should be to Take Over the Schools,” by Rich Lowry in National Review, July 12, 2021. Available here

  4. “How to Manufacture a Moral Panic,” by Sarah Jones in New York Magazine, July 11, 2021. Available here.

Then, write a 500-600 word summary describing what you make of this video. 

  • Answer the general source description questions.

  • Explain what you make of what is going on here. To what extent does public understanding of CRT align with academic understanding of CRT? Where it does not align, what might be causing those misalignments? Do all participants in this conversation have shared understandings of the relevant concepts? Are they engaging good faith?

  • Reflect on how thinking about the Source Description Questions for each source can help you to make sense of the movements in the conversation and how thinking about these questions can improve information literacy. 

Part 4: A Sociological Look at Systemic Racism and Society

Either read or watch your choice of one the following sources:

  1. “What Makes Systemic Racism Systemic?,” by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva in Sociological Inquiry, March 30, 2021. Available here.


  1. “What Makes Systemic Racism Systemic?” by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, September 30, 2020, for the UNE Center for Global Humanities Talk available on Youtube, here.


  1. “Critical Race Theory, Comic Books, and the Power of Public Schools.” Eve Ewing interviewed on the Ezra Klein Show, July 9, 2021. Available here. Transcript here.

Then, write a 500-600 word essay in which you:

  • Bonilla-Silva explores the concept of systemic racism and Eve Ewing describes how racist inequalities are built into a variety of systems. Define and explain the concept of systemic racism.

  • Discuss how the concept of systemic racism relates to, but is not the same as, critical race theory and intersectionality. 

  • Explain how either sociologists work demonstrates that the concept of systemic racism can be useful in helping both sociologists and people outside of academia to make sense of social inequalities and our broader social world. 

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