Tiffany B. Brown

On internalized racism, II

Internalized racism is defined as acceptance by members of the stigmatized races of negative messages about their own abilities and intrinsic worth. It is characterized by their not believing in others who look like them, and not believing in themselves. It involves accepting limitations to one’s own full humanity, including one’s spectrum of dreams, one’s right to self-determination, and one’s range of allowable self-expression.

Yep. That’s from Levels of Racism: A Theoretic Framework and a Gardener’s Tale by Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD. In 2000, it appeared in American Journal of Public Health. Jones’ goal was to help doctors and public health officials understand how race tinges policy and health outcomes. Despite it’s health-centric focus, the piece provides an excellent framework and vocabulary that we can use to discuss racism.

In it, Jones describes and explains three levels of racism: institutionalized, personally mediated, and internalized, and offers a parable illustrating how these levels of racism can play out.

(Via “Facepainting” on Floating World)

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