The Education of Racial Perception

Michael Monahan, Marquette University

Originally published in Philosophy and Social Criticism, Volume 36, No. 2 (February 2010), DOI: 10.1177/0191453709351848.


This article argues for the practice of the ‘education of racial perception’ as a critical component of any struggle against racial oppression (and for a liberated humanity generally). Taking the phenomenological ontology suggested by Linda Alcoff’s recent book Visible Identities, I argue that the project of educating our racial perception is a way to critically assess the way in which our perception of race both conditions and is conditioned by a racialized social world. By learning more about and ultimately challenging this relation we affirm our responsibility and agency in the face of an oppressive status quo.