What is Metaracism?

Dr. Tricia Rose

Have you ever heard of the term "Metaracism"? Maybe you have, but you probably have not.

Metaracism is a complex concept that describes a form of systemic racism characterized by its subtlety and pervasiveness. It goes beyond individual prejudice and focuses on the interconnected systems and policies that create and maintain racial inequalities. Here are some key points to understand about metaracism:


The term was first coined by Joel Kovel in the 1970s, but has gained wider recognition through the work of Dr.Tricia Rose in her book "Metaracism: How Systemic Racism Devastates Black Lives—and How We Break Free."

Key Features:

Metaracism exists within the structures and institutions of society, such as housing, education, criminal justice, and the economy. It is not solely dependent on individual biases.

Unlike blatant racism, metaracism is often hidden and operates through seemingly neutral policies and practices. This makes it challenging to identify and dismantle.

Different systems of oppression work together to reinforce each other and create cumulative disadvantages for marginalized groups.

Metaracism is also shaped by cultural narratives and stereotypes that perpetuate negative associations with certain racial groups.


- Mass incarceration disproportionately impacting Black communities.

- Redlining practices historically denying mortgages to Black families, leading to wealth disparities.

- Implicit bias within the education system leading to lower academic outcomes for students of color.


Understanding metaracism is crucial to addressing racial inequalities effectively. It helps us move beyond individual narratives of "good" and "bad" actors and focus on dismantling the systems that perpetuate disadvantage.

Here at OBSV Group, it is our mission as an agency to give “Agency” to individuals and communities by amplifying their voices and ideas around the world.

"Metaracism: How Systemic Racism Devastates Black Lives—and How We Break Free" is available now.

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