The common refrain, “race is a social construction” can obscure the fact that race is a ultimately results from racism itself. “We see race not as a physical fact, but as a product of racism,” Barbara says in the interview with her sister Karen, the co-author of Racecraft and Jacobin’s Jason Farbman.
What we don’t talk about when we talk about race: racecraft, or the dark magic of racism itself creating and maintaining the illusion of race.
Next Thursday, Barbara Fields will discuss Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life with Atlantic senior editor Ta-Nehisi Coates at the CUNY Graduate Center. The book, which Fields co-wrote with her sister, Karen Fields, is dense with ideas and there will be lots to cover in the conversation.
In advance of the event, we recommend the Academic & the Artist podcast, which Karen Fields has appeared on three times now. The programs provide a great opportunity to explore some of the challenging debates circulating around the book's central themes of race, inequality and the mythical belief in a "post-racial" America.
In the first interview, which was released shortly after Racecraft was published in the fall of last year, Fields talked to the podcast hosts José F. Moreno and Sergio Muñoz about racial identity, the racializing of inequality, and the problems inherent in fighting inequality with social policy that has been constructed on racial terms. Music by Stevie Wonder—Fields is a fan—was played during musical interludes. Click here to listen to the first show.