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Critical Race Theory: What is it?

The study of critical race theory is to expand upon how race and identity interact with our systems and institutions…anything that is critical is an opportunity to pull things apart just a little bit further. And when we start to pull the threads of whiteness or race at large, there is a lot at stake…it's an evolution of history… we're looking at history and contemporary cultural context and then we're looking for more narratives in order to go further…further expanding upon what is being told is what critical race theory is. It doesn't take anything away. It doesn't have to erase any of the stories. Instead, it adds more context.
Magie Baumgartner

"Critical Race Theory" is all over the news these days. Magie Baumgartner majored in Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity (Critical Race Theory) at St. Kate’s in St. Paul. She joined the morning show to help us better understand Critical Race Theory, how it broadens our concept of history and why it’s critical to understanding the nuances of society.

Including the work of critical race theorists in understanding our history is something that I think gives kids an opportunity to understand difference and develop discernment about moral attitudes of what is right and wrong…So instead of history being told by the victors, because we live in an age of information, we can know history from both those who won, those who fought, those who lost, and we can say what feels right and what feels wrong. – Magie Baumgartner

Edit: In the interview Magie mentions 1691 as the year of Bacon's Rebellion. She clarified 1676-1677 as the correct year after our interview.

Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.