Intro to Anti-Racism & Bias

This learning block represents one week’s work. Aim to watch at least one video and choose at least one activity or project to complete. 

Welcome back to the anti-racism class. This session we’re asking an important question: Do the heroes look like you? 

We’ll be thinking about and defining stereotypes

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Now choose an Activity

Who are your favorite superheroes or heroes?

  • Name a hero or superhero you like
  • What do you like about this superhero
  • Think about superheroes in general on TV or in movies
  • What roles do different ethnicities play

Reflect & Write

Why do you think certain groups are well represented and others are not?

Do the Rep Test

Print out this PDF Checklist of the Rep Test.

Next, pick a film or TV episode and do the test to check how balanced representation is.

  • What score did your show get?
  • What did you learn?
  • Write a brief reflection

Take the Hero Quiz

  1. When I watch or read, there are heroic characters who look like me:
  • Always
  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Almost never 
  1. When I watch or read, there are villains who look like me:
  • Always
  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Almost never
  1. When I watch or read, there are heroic characters match my gender expression:
  • Always
  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Almost never

Reflect: What did you learn?

  • If white, most characters look like you 
  • If not, probably not, and many have negative qualities


Read & Reflect

Read the following quotes:

“In the entire sample, 101 characters were White, 17 were Black, 4 were Latino, and 4 were Asian.” 

“Although both genders frequently have special abilities and use weapons, male characters are more likely than female characters to have more than one special ability and use more than one weapon. Males more often had super strength and resistance to injury, while female characters more often were able to manipulate elements (e.g., fire). Males were significantly more likely to use fighting skills, fire/flame weapons, and guns than females.” 

(From: Gender Differences in Movie Superheroes’ Roles, Appearances, and Violence )

Reflect: does this match your experience of superhero portrayals?

Did you know?

Superheroes portray stereotypes but can also be used to fight injustice in real life. For example, a 1940 Superman radio program revealed the secrets of the KKK and helped turn sentiment against them.


Listen to this excerpt from The Battle for Representation STarts in Childhood