Whiteness, as an idea and as an identity, is not as fixed as many people believe. Over the centuries, Western societies have defined and redefined it. But always, it has served to delineate who gets access to rights and privileges, and who doesn't. In this episode, we meet an Italian American family as they reflect on a time when they weren't yet white in America, and consider how that changed. And we explore the role white identity politics have always played in American elections.
We hear from:
- Chris Arnade, author of Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America
- Nell Irvin Painter, author of The History of White People
- Joshua Freeman, Distinguished Professor of History at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies and author of Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World
- Fred Gardaphe, Distinguished Professor of Italian American Studies at Queens College
Hosted by Kai Wright. Produced by Joseph Capriglione.