Understood; Racial Stereotypes in Kenosha

Understood; Racial Stereotypes in Kenosha

Khari Bell

May 2014

Each year Seniors complete a project of their choice that is linked to previous studies at Harborside Academy. Below is  description of Khari’s project.

“My Documentary Understood: Racial Stereotypes in Kenosha, is a documentary following four Harborside students through their perspectives about racial stereotypes. My junior year in high school saw national events such as the Trayvon Martin case and the re-election of our nation’s first black president not only create tensions and divisions in the media, but also among my peers. Students had opinions about the topics. However, fear of being accused and targeted often stifled conversations about race. My senior project attempted to open an opportunity for discussion on how to move the community forward. The four Harborside Seniors featured in the film come from diverse backgrounds, with different angles of how they see the world. I shadowed each of them on a day in February 2014, to experience race from their eyes. They rejoined me at the Kenosha Community Media studio in March to talk more broadly about stereotypes that we all face. The students were complemented by community leaders and their viewpoints on how to build racially aware Kenosha. The experience was hard for the participants and myself. It’s not easy talking about controversial issues that lie so closely to the hearts of many. However, I learned the students and the community leaders have ideas that could bring to rest the tensions we often try to hide. These conversations help us understand each other and ultimately these conversation will unite communities.”

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