For the vast majority of human existence we did without the idea of race. Since its inception a mere few hundred years ago, and despite the voluminous documentation of the problems associated with living within the racial worldview, we have come to act as if race is something we cannot live without. The Arc of a Bad Idea: Understanding and Transcending Race presents a penetrating, provocative, and promising analysis of and alternative to the hegemonic racial worldview. How race came about, how it evolved into a natural-seeming aspect of human identity, and how racialization, as a habit of the mind, can be broken is presented through the unique and corrective framing of race as a time-bound (versus eternal) concept, the lifespan of which is traceable and the demise of which is predictable. The narratives of individuals who do not subscribe to racial identity despite be ascribed to the black/African American racial category are presented as clear and compelling illustrations of how a non-racial identity and worldview is possible and arguably preferable to the status quo. Our view of and approach to race (in theory, pedagogy, and policy) is so firmly ensconced in a sense of it as inescapable and indispensible that we are in effect shackled to the lethal absurdity we seek to escape. Theorist, teachers, policy-makers and anyone who seeks a transformative perspective on race and racial identity will be challenged, enriched, and empowered by this refreshing treatment of one of our most confounding and consequential dilemmas.
About the Author
Carlos Hoyt explores race, racial identity and related issues as a scholar, teacher, psychotherapist, parent, and racialized member of our society, interrogating master narratives and the dominant discourse on race with the goal of illuminating and virtuously disrupting the racial worldview. An adversely racialized nominally black male, Carlos eschews race as a useful aspect of identity, and, based on his study of nominally black individuals who do not subscribe to racial identity, he presents the non-racial worldview as an alternative and antidote to our societies centuries-old inability to move beyond the puzzles and perils inherent in a racialized perspective on human differences. Carlos holds teaching positions at Wheelock College, Simmons College, and Boston University in Boston Massachusetts, and has authored peer-reviewed articles on spirituality in social work practice and the pedagogy of the definition of racism.