Black & White in Kentuckiana: WHAS11 talks to teens about race


Posted on November 23, 2009 at 7:24 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 23 at 7:48 PM

How many friends do you have of another race?

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - WHAS11 News is looking at the current issue of race relations in a series called Black and White in Kentuckiana.

As part of this series, WHAS11’s Rachel Platt was part of a frank discussion that took place in a local classroom.

Ballard high school students were ready to accept WHAS11’s invitation to talk about race.

So Rachel went to Edward Fossett’s sociology class and asked if there is more mingling of the races among young people in a school as diverse as Ballard.

Students in Mr. Fossett's class say yes to that.

WHAS11 asked adults how many friends they have of a different race:

27% said many
37% said some
30% a few
6% said none.

A closer look at Ballard High School reveals some divides.

According to the students, one side of the cafeteria seems to have more white students while the other side has more African American students.

WHAS11 News took cameras into the lunchroom and found that the students were right.

But students say that friendships at the school are based on shared interests, sports or who lives around you, not race but sometimes labels get in the way.

“It’s socially acceptable to say African American and Caucasian but among friends you say black and white; it's politically correct,” says one student.

Honest discussion may help these students look past labels, talk more and maybe even sit next to each other in the lunchroom.