Osagie K. Obasogie conducted hundreds of interviews with blind people in order to better understand how race works.
—Osagie K. Obasogie
When puzzling out the social significance of race and how it’s constituted in American society, Osagie K. Obasogie took a decidedly novel approach. Given that visual input plays a crucial, it not central, role to how we perceive race and attach meaning to it, Obasogie decided to investigate how the racial calculus changes when sight is removed from the equation.
Conducting over a hundred interviews, Obasogie took a sweeping survey of people who had been blind since birth. In his interviews he probed their concepts of race, trying to suss out how racial understanding is learned, internalized, and acted upon by those who don’t have access to the same (seemingly) self-evident visual input as sighted people.
Obasogie sat down with The Society Pages to discuss his findings and what it means for Critical Race Theory: