White Supremacy and Privilege

Lesson 1

In this lesson students will learn about how the category of “White” has changed over time. They will also evaluate the structures of White supremacy and White privilege.


The History of White Supremacy in America

Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture

What Is Whiteness?





White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh


The Whiteness Project

This website has interviews with White people and their views on race. There are two series on the site, one with white collar workers in Buffalo, NY, and the other with Millenials in Dallas, TX. Click on the photos to hear the interviews (listen to at least two). 

Optional: Below is an interview with the creator of the project, Whitney Dow.


Discussion Questions:

  1. How has the category of “White” evolved over time? Make a timeline
  2. What does it mean to be White? Is it just about race? Or is it also about power? If so, how does that power show up? How is that power maintained?
  3. Why do you think that conversations about race and racism can be difficult for White people?
  4. How accurate do you think the White Privilege Knapsack is from Peggy McIntosh? What would you change? Why?
  5. What do you think it will take for the system of White supremacy to be dismantled?