Felicia Lane Savage, 54, (center) speaks with students Jaiya Correll-Greene (right) and Josie (left) during a small group discussion at a Youth Undoing Institutional Racism event in the Homewood-Brushton YMCA Saturday. (Photo by John Hamilton/PublicSource)

After a recent family gathering, Jaiya Correll-Greene sat down to watch the Disney Channel with her younger cousin. The characters in the show were planning a party and one asked: “What will the theme of the party be?”
“Brown,” one of the other characters replied. “Because no one looks good in brown.”

Correll-Greene was struck. When she was a kid at camp, other kids had made fun of her dark skin. Why would anyone say that brown was ugly — clothes, skin or otherwise? Who would approve that dialogue for a children’s show? She teared up and quickly changed the channel, explaining to her cousin that they didn’t need to watch things like that. For her, that moment was a clear example of how widespread — and institutional — racism and racist ideas have seeped into every aspect of culture in America.

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