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TiBA Engagement Resources

October 2022

TIBA’s Mission: To foster knowledge and engagement that will break through our resistance to confronting our shared legacy of slavery. The resources listed here are aligned with our mission to discuss and address race among multi-cultural and multi-racial groups. If you are aware of related organizations, articles, or events that can further TIBA’s mission, please email:, attn: Sydney Chayes.

Who Invented Race?
TED Talk: The Lie That Invented Racism
Presented by John Biewen
November 1, 2020

This enlightening 18 minute TED Talk succinctly captures how race was invented, by who, and for what purpose. John Biewen’s talk draws on the work of Ibram X. Kendi and other scholars who uncover how the invention of race was used to justify the enslavement of Africans by Europeans. The talk draws a direct line from the invention of race 400 years ago to our current racial struggles in America. Mr. Biewen goes on to discuss how the consequences of this lie leaves a legacy of racism that it is now the responsibility of white people to overcome.

(John Biewen is a podcaster, teacher and audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University where he hosts and produces “Scene on Radio,” and a two-time Peabody-nominated podcast.)

Historical Foundations of Race
"Talking About Race" from the National Museum of African American History & Culture

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has an extensive section of scholarly writing on the unique history of race in the United States. Below are a few excerpts.

“The world got along without race for the overwhelming majority of its history. The U.S. has never been without it.”  DAVID R. ROEDIGER

The term “race,” used infrequently before the 1500s, was used to identify groups of people with a kinship or group connection. The modern-day use of the term “race” is a human invention.

The concept of “race,” as we understand it today, evolved alongside the formation of the United States and was deeply connected with the evolution of two other terms, “white” and “slave.” The words “race,” “white,” and “slave” were all used by Europeans in the 1500s, and they brought these words with them to North America. However, the words did not have the meanings that they have today. Instead, the needs of the developing American society would transform those words’ meanings into new ideas.

European colonists’ use of the word “white” to refer to people who looked like themselves, grew to become entangled with the word “race” and “slave” in the American colonies in the mid-1660s. These elites created “races” of “savage” Indians, “subhuman” Africans, and “white” men. The social inventions succeeded in uniting the white colonists, dispossessing and marginalizing native people, and permanently enslaving most African-descended people for generations. Tragically, American culture, from the very beginning, developed around the ideas of race and racism.

Race & the Doctrine of Discovery

Following the “discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Papal Bull "Inter Caetera," was issued by Pope Alexander VI on May 4, 1493.  The Papal Bull states that “any land not inhabited by Christians was available to be 'discovered,' claimed, and exploited by Christian rulers and declared that 'the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread.' Over time, this decree became entangled with international law giving authorization to explorers to claim terra nullius – i.e. said inhabited land – in the name of their sovereign when the land was not populated by Christians. In 1792, Thomas Jefferson asserted that the doctrine of discovery was international, and therefore was applicable to the U.S. government. In addition to taking indigenous people’s land, the Doctrine of Discovery was used as justification to enslave non-Europeans. This seven minute video of Mark Charles provides a concise background on the Doctrine of Discovery. (The sound starts a few moments into the video.)

(Mark R. Charles is a Native American activist, public speaker, consultant, and author on Native American issues.)

Looking for Volunteer Leaders: 
Social Media Management

TiBA is looking for help managing our Facebook operations. If you are social media savvy and would like to become more involved with our organization, please contact us. We would love for you to join our team of Volunteer Leaders!
For more information, visit our website or follow us on Facebook.
If you have any questions or would like to become more involved, send us an email!
Image by Rose Wong appears on article here.
Copyright © 2022 Together is Better Alliance, NFP, All rights reserved.

The TiBA Board of Directors is:
Pres. Sharon Hatchett, Esq., Vice-Pres. Xcylur Stoakley, Treas. Tom Denio, Sec. Bruce Bondy, June Furlan, Dr. Raquel Farmer-Hinton, Van Gilmer, & Mae Smith.

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