White Privilege

By: Cienna Slattery



The idea behind this graphic was an interactive graphic that could be used to help someone quickly gain a basic understanding of white privilege. I chose to use a burnt orange color because I connect orange with blackness. I think that burnt orange tends to be complementary of people with darker skin. The color is also bland, and not necessarily warm or cold. It also evokes a serious tone for me. I chose to put a

person in the middle because it makes the graphic resonate more directly with human experience. Furthermore, I chose to make the person black to symbolize someone who is of color. I placed this person in the center of the graphic with the branches stemming from this person to symbolize how people of color are plagued by and surrounded by these factors in their social environment everyday. Additionally, I chose to make the person in the center darker than the rest of the graphic to emphasize how relevant this topic is to the lives of people of color. Finally, I chose to make the words, boxes, and lines white because the contrast makes them easy to read, but also so not to disrupt the somber and serious theme.


Though white privilege had many facets and is an incredibly large and complex

topic, I chose to only use six branches. I made this decision to try to keep the graphic

looking simple and organized. As this graphic would be intended to educate people

who are not too familiar with the topic of white privilege, I did not want to overwhelm

my audience or present the information in a way that was too complex for the general

public to understand. The idea behind this graphic is that it would be on a website and

the audience can click on each box to gain further information about each facet. I also

had some trouble picking what to include in each box. White privilege is incredibly

interconnected, and one facet of it will lead to another. Additionally, many reinforce

each other. Because of this, it was difficult to know which were big enough to

encompass others. Since I only included six boxes, there were many facets that I could not include. Another issue I ran into was not being able to make broad statements because I am not an expert in the topic, but rather an observer and someone who is

deeply affected by it. To account for me not being an expert, I used the words “more”

and “less” in many of the boxes.


The six facets I chose to include of white privilege were: more representation,

can express frustration more freely, less generational poverty, less generational

trauma, eurocentric features are the standard, and whiteness gives credibility and

authority. I chose these because I felt like they were not only the most relevant to my

life, but also because the explanation of them can easily be linked to facets of white

privilege not included on the main graphic. In thinking about representation, I have

had a severe lack of representation of people of color in my life. I grew up surrounded

by white people, and in shows the main characters were almost always white. Most of

the people I saw idolized in the media were also white. In expressing frustrations,

people of color have to worry about getting a long-standing stereotype for their

behavior, and thus no longer being taken seriously for their frustration, In a much

more serious sense, people of color also have to worry about being killed, especially by

police for expressing their frustrations, and also about people using their frustration

as an excuse for their death.


I included the bit about white people having less generational poverty because

people of color in America were barred from wealth for a long time due to slavery, then

Jim Crow. Additionally, there has been lots of destruction of black communities. The

bit about less generational trauma also relates to a deep history of black people being

subjected to violence by hate groups and enraged white people, slavery, Jim Crow, and

overall poverty. This creates trauma for future generations because of epigenetics.

Throughout my life, I have also been deeply affected by eurocentric beauty standards.

This connects deeply to the lack of role models of color. Finally, I included the box

about credibility and authority because whiteness is associated with many credible

professions and positions of power.





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