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“I think it’s a false concept to be colorblind,” says Tavoria Kellam, a Baha’i living in New York City. As a Black woman, Tavoria understands how much race and color affect how she is seen and treated.

In this short clip from the project “The Race Unity Project,” Tavoria explains how she feels like a part of her reality is dismissed when people tell her that they don’t see color. The effort is produced by Journalism for Change, Inc, a nonprofit media organization founded by filmmaker and human rights activist Maziar Bahari. The project tells “the century-long story of the American Baha’i community and its efforts — as well as its tests and challenges — in promoting race unity.”

In 1938, Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, wrote that racism has “attacked the whole social structure of American society” and “should be regarded as constituting the most vital and challenging issue” confronting our nation.

Tavoria shares that your skin color will always be “pushed in your face even though you’re not consciously thinking about it every minute of every day.” Watch as she explains what her true identity is, despite what the world sees.

3 Comments

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  • Wakinyjan Tabart
    Jul 23, 2020
    humans are programmed to react to difference or strangeness with some fear, probably kept us alive over the past hundreds of thousands of years. It's built into us. However when I get to know someone well from another ethnic group I forget about their ethnicity. I just see them as a person. I like the way Abdu'l Baha described that we are all like different coloured flowers in a garden - if I see a beautiful flower I like to know what variety it is.
  • Camilla Chance
    Jul 23, 2020
    Today I said "If today's article is presented by Radiance, no matter how busy I MUST tell her how much I love ALL her articles." A white woman in Australia who wrote down "Wisdom Man by Banjo Clarke" and "Melissa and Kasho," in 1989 I wrote in a published article "Aboriginal despair is, in part, caused by daily disrespect of their culture ... Kindly white people frequently say to Aboriginals 'I don't care whether a person is Black, white or brindle - we're all the same.' It makes the Aboriginal person spoken to feel as if he or she doesn't ...exist. In thought, this sentence threatens the extinction of a whole race ..." Much love to you, Camilla
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  • Bob LeBlanc
    Jul 22, 2020
    Very interesting video. I was always one who would say 'I'm colourblind, I don't see colour, all people are equal before God etc.' Well now for the first time (I'm 72) I'm realizing another perspective after listening (twice) to dear Tavoria. I need to be sensitive to how others feel they are being perceived and should never say I'm colourblind as it can be as offensive.