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In different contexts, the meaning of the term whiteness may vary. It can refer to the system of racial dominance that perpetuates the overvaluing of the persons and cultures of those considered White at the expense of the persons and cultures of those who are not considered White. This ideology is at the heart of the oppression of African people, as well as of attempts to devalue, appropriate, and destroy African culture and heritage. Whiteness can also refer to the state of being White. In this usage, whiteness as a dominant racial identity achieves its meaning by being defined in contrast to blackness/African-ness, which is seen as its opposite—often its abject opposite—in the White imagination.

Confusion between these two understandings of whiteness, as well ...

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