My Mom Did A TED Talk

Jonah Hodo '20, Staff Writer

On October 19, TEDxJacksonville held its annual conference at the Florida Theatre, and my mother was a speaker. Yes, my mom gave a Ted Talk. Her Ted Talk was about the social implications of race, and it was absolutely amazing. She explains how race is a social construct, not a biological one. She quantifies this by explaining how there is no “racial” chromosome or gene that is shared by people of the same ethnicity. She explains that there are different ethnicities, which are determined by your national origin, customs, culture and language, and how everybody has an ethnicity. 

She takes the audience on a journey throughout American history and highlights how racial labels for certain ethnic groups have changed. One amazing fact she mentioned is someone didn’t have the choice to select what race they were until the 1960s; up until that point the government decided what race you they thought you were and marked you down as such.  She uses a personal example of how when her parents got married in 1962, her father was labeled a “negro”, but in the late 60s he was labeled as “black” due to the black power movement and was then relabeled again in the mid-80s to “African American.”

My mother, Doctor Tammy Hodo, diligently prepared for this talk for many months and executed it flawlessly. She was able to explain race as a social construct and give multiple examples and personal anecdotes and even takes the audience on a journey throughout her life as being a biracial woman. Every reader should take time out of their day to watch this video as it might truly shed light on a different perspective of life.

Link to TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4jPGhN5TCM

Image courtesy of TEDxJacksonville’s Instagram (@tedxjacksonville).