Videos capturing everyday indignities and injury toward Black or Brown consumers have become media staples, showing the complexity, risk, and traumas many shoppers encounter in retail, restaurants, and other marketplaces. But each one quickly fades in the media spotlight.
Join Rev. Dr. TLC as she talks with Dr. Michelle Dunlap, author of Retail Racism: Shopping While Black and Brown in America. Dr. Dunlap shares with our audience the experience of Black and Brown people as they navigate this reality.
Based on 19 in-depth interviews with consumers across the country, Dr. Dunlap’s goal is to empower us to interrupt, disrupt, and ameliorate the inappropriate and racialized handling of consumers in America today. Retail Racism is about not only shopping, but also humane living in America, including surviving and making sense of inequitable experiences, what to do about them, and the larger issues and contexts that surround the marketplace for Black and Brown people.
The first segment opens with Rev Dr Terrlyn reintroducing the show and introducing today's guest. On this week's show we welcome Dr. Michelle Dunlap, author of Retail Racism: Shopping While Black and Brown in America. Dr. Dunlap shares with our audience the experience of black and brown people as they navigate this reality. Today Dr. Dunlap will share what she has found in her research with 19 in-depth interviews with consumers across the country. Dr. Dunlap says that her goal is to empower, interrupt, disrupt, and ameliorate the inappropriate and racialized handling of consumers in America today. Dr. Dunlap says that a struggle of hers is encouraging people to talk about race in a positive, productive way despite racism being one of the most dirty, demoralizing experiences black and brown have. Rev Dr Terrlyn turns the conversation to staying grounded in this work of dismantling racism. Dr. Dunlap says that patience and pacing yourself has helped her work through the frustration of this work.
The second segment starts with the show coming back from break. This leads the conversation to Dr. Dunlap explaining the deeper meaning behind her statement “retail racism is not only about shopping”. Dr. Dunlap explains that it's also about humane living in America, including surviving and making sense of inequitable experiences, what to do about them, and the larger issues and contexts that surround the marketplace for black and brown people. Dr. Dunlap then gives an anecdote about how her initial interest in consumer behavior led her to understanding the real plight of black and brown people in America's marketplace and she shifted her focus to dismantle racism through her love of consumer behavior.
The third segment opens with Rev Dr Terrlyn continuing the anecdote Dr. Dunlap was sharing before the break. Dr. Dunlap was discussing the level of authenticity that was very important to her when writing her book. She explained that publishers were trying to change the narrative of her stories and interviews and that keeping them fully intact was a top priority for her when writing her book Retail Racism. Dr. Dunlap then brings up general themes she discovered when completing her book. She explains that the feeling of being watched is a common theme amongst the people she interviewed. Dr. Dunlap says that the most common theme is trauma. The people she interviewed expressed a feeling of lasting trauma and anxiety from their experiences.
The final segment starts with the show coming back from break. Rev Dr Terrlyn then asks Dr. Dunlap to share a story from her book. Dr. Dunlap then shares a story from one of the people she interviewed for her book Retail Racism. The story describes a time where this person was in a discount department store being followed by another customer in the store quite aggressively.
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