Screening & Discussion: PBS Series “The House We Live In”

February 15, 2017 

Film screening and discussion of “The House We Live In” 

Location: Memorial Hall Library – 2 North Main Street, Andover MA

Time: 7pm

Registration: Free, register online or by calling 978-623-8400.

This event is sponsored by Memorial Hall Library in collaboration with SURJ Merrimack Valley and Courageous Conversations, a program of  Andover ABC.


Join us for our first public event!

We are co-hosting the screening of The House We Live In, the third episode of the 2003 PBS series, Race – The Power of an Illusion. A facilitated discussion led by Dr. Damany Fisher, History teacher at Phillips Academy, and Rev. Lee Bluemel of North Parish UU, will follow. This event is sponsored by Memorial Hall Library in collaboration with a local group, Courageous Conversations

In this third and final installment of the series, we focus not on individual attitudes and behavior but on the ways our institutions and policies advantage some groups at the expense of others. Its subject is the “unmarked” race: white people. We see how benefits quietly and often invisibly accrue to white people, not necessarily because of merit or hard work, but because of the racialized nature of our laws, courts, customs, and perhaps most pertinently, housing.

More about the 2003 series, Race – The Power of an Illusion from Larry Adelman, Executive Producer

Race is one topic where we all think we’re experts. Yet ask 10 people to define race or name “the races,” and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Few issues are characterized by more contradictory assumptions and myths, each voiced with absolute certainty. In producing this series, we felt it was important to go back to first principles and ask, What is this thing called “race?” – a question so basic it is rarely raised. What we discovered is that most of our common assumptions about race – for instance, that the world’s people can be divided biologically along racial lines – are wrong. Yet the consequences of racism are very real. How do we make sense of these two seeming contradictions? This series helps us navigate through our myths and misconceptions, and scrutinize some of the assumptions we take for granted.

RACE -THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION was produced by California Newsreel, in association with the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Major funding was provided by the Ford Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Diversity Fund. Additional funding was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Lida and Alejandro Zaffaroni, Akonadi Foundation, the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, and Nu Lambda Trust.

Please register in advance for the event online at or by calling 978-623-8400.

Links to additional readings:

Race: The Power of An Illusion discussion guide (pdf)

Race: The Power of An Illusion – Did You Know? (pdf)

On how our beliefs about race provide economic benefits and real social and political advantages to white people:

On the history of slavery, the concept of race and development of racism:

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