Who you callin' white?! A critical counter-story on colouring white identity

Cheryl E. Matias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This action research, which utilizes critical race theory's counter-storytelling, analyses a process of debunking White students' epistemology of ignorance in a history course at an urban public high school. After piloting a raced curriculum that deliberately re-centers marginalized counter-stories of students of colour, I document its impacts on White students' understanding of history. Ultimately, such a process problematizes White students' sense of identity. I employ the analytic tools of Whiteness as power to understand how White students responded to curriculum on race and racism. The analysis silences White dominant Discourse while activating counter-stories by modelling critical consciousness and colourscence for my students of colour. Further, I detail two specific responses made by White students in this study: (1) symbiotic transformation; and (2) active resistance. Regardless of the differences in responses, both are processes in debunking White epistemology of ignorance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-315
Number of pages25
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • action research
  • counter-storytelling
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Critical Social Theory
  • racial identity
  • resistance
  • Whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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