What I Hear When You Say
What’s the intent behind a simple question like, “What are you?”

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def • i • ni • tion
What Are You?

question

a common inquiry made in order to learn about a person's ethnic background or identity.

One question. Many interpretations.  

What’s the intent behind a simple question like, “What are you?”  Examine the legacy of this question throughout history and how we perceive (and count) who belongs to which race from three unique points of view. 

What I Hear When You Say

Think outside the box

Aired: 2017-03-13 0:46 Rating: NR

Journalist Soledad O’Brien discusses the limitations of racial classification.

What do you hear?

What do you hear when someone asks, "What are you?" How would you describe microaggressions? Use the hashtag #WhatIHearPBS to share your thoughts.

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Dig deeper into the conversation with a detailed Viewing Guide: What I Hear When You Say: What Are You.

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Choose from over 10 topics to explore common code words & phrases used in conversations about race & identity.