Reflection paper/Reflection essay

SOCI 3422 – Racial & Ethnic Minorities

For this assignment, you should watch Race: The Power of an Illusion, Episode 2 – The Story We Tell.

To use the streaming service provided by The University of Memphis, go to You will need to create an account using your credentials. This is a FREE service provided by UofM. You do not need to pay for it! It is basically like Netflix for documentaries, but the university pays for our subscription. Find the University of Memphis from the list of subscribers. Use your email to create your account. Follow the steps promoted by to set up your account. Then, search for Race: The Power of an Illusion.


You should write your reflection after viewing Episode 2. Prompts to help you with your reflection are on the next page. Reflections should incorporate the knowledge and vocabulary about race you have gained from this class, as well as details from the film. That is, you should take the perspective of a sociologist and use sociological terms from the text in your reflection. Use the prompts on the following page to guide your reflection.

Your reflection should be at least 2 to 3 full pages of text, double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides. Write your reflection in paragraph format, not bullet points. Use a standard 12-point font like Arial or Times New Roman. Please be sure to proofread your essay before submitting.

Due by Sunday, September 19 by 11:59pm CST.

Upload your completed reflection using the dropbox on Courseware. Each reflection should be your own original work created specifically for the purposes of this assignment. Your essay will be submitted through the university’s plagiarism software. Reflections written for other classes may not be submitted for credit. Reflections found to be in violation of this policy will receive a zero.

It is your responsibility that the correct file is uploaded. I will only grade the file you upload to the dropbox. Double-check that you upload the correct file. Save your reflection on your computer as something specific to this class and assignment. Do not use any special characters (such as ? # ! $ &) in the file name.

Save your file as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf. Other file types will not be accepted.

Episode Description & Reflection Prompts: Race: The Power of an Illusion

Note: You do not have to answer each of these reflection prompts. Just use them to get you thinking. The questions are based on Race: The Power of an Illusion Discussion Guide (2003).

Episode 2 – The Story We Tell: The Story We Tell uncovers the roots of the race concept in North America, the 19th century science that legitimated it, and how it came to be held so fiercely in the western imagination. The episode is an eye-opening tale of how race served to rationalize, even justify, American social inequalities as “natural.”

Reflection Prompts:

  • What is the significance of the episode’s title, “The Story We Tell”? What function has that story played in the U.S.? What are the stories about race that you tell? What are the stories you have heard? Did the film change the way you think about those stories? If so, how?
  • What are some ways that race has been used to rationalize inequality?
  • How has race been used to shift attention (and responsibility) away from oppressors and toward the targets of oppression?
  • Contrast Thomas Jefferson’s policy to assimilate American Indians in the 1780s with Andrew Jackson’s policy of removing Cherokees to west of the Mississippi in the What is common to both policies? What differentiates them?
  • What role did beliefs about race play in the American colonization of Mexican territory, Cuba, the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico?

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