De Anza College America Divided Activity Movie Analysis

Question Description


This collection pulls together 11 scenes from three AMERICA DIVIDED (Links to an external site.) stories to examine the intersection of race and class through the lenses of criminal justice, housing and education. Review the information, watch the senses, and answer the questions provided.


Intersectionality refers to the idea that the overlap of various social identities, such as race, gender, sexual orientation and class, contributes to the speciic type of systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual.

The term itself is attributed to legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, though the idea goes back to the 19th century. Crenshaw coined the term in the 1980s as a way to talk about how diferent kinds of discrimination interact. In particular, she applied the theory to a problem in anti-discrimination law. She argued that because the law treated race and gender separately, it did not adequately protect Black women who experience the compound or overlapping efects of discrimination. Today, the theory is applied to popular feminism and in social justice contexts in general.


  1. What is the relationship between race and class?
  2. How do race and class work together to privilege or disadvantage certain communities?
  3. Can race and class be understood in isolation?
  4. What similarities do you see in the scenes about housing, criminal justice and education? What about differences?
  5. How do identities such as gender, sexual orientation and ability impact people’s experiences of race and class?
  6. How do the experiences of people of color vary based on their socioeconomic class?
  7. How do the experiences of people living in poverty vary based on their race?
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