What Is Race,

and How Did I Catch It?

a solo performance by Aaron Jafferis

commissioned by your ancestors

​Do you want a show for your [school/organization/national government] that teaches everyone how to be anti-racist in under an hour, without having to take like fifty diversity workshops?* This show is for you! Especially if you have a lot of white people in your [school/organization/national government]!


In a series of hip-hop poems exploring his own misadventures growing up white, Aaron attempts to liberate his people – as soon as he can figure out who they are. What Is Race is a solo tour-de-farce that asks how race is constructed in each of us – our selves and our institutions – and shares the recently discovered, top-secret formula for becoming ant-racist.**

In a series of (mostly) true personal stories, Aaron answers urgent questions such as:

  • Am I racist?

  • Can I vaccinate my [students/teacher/pets] against racism?

  • How did white people become white?

  • Why is it “white” and not “pink”?

  • If I make out with someone of a different race, are we undoing racism?

  • Okay, but what can I do, like, tomorrow, about racial issues in my [school/organization/national government]?


What Is Race is a site-responsive show: content shifts according to the demographics and needs of each venue; every show includes interactive audience-storytelling prompts that make each person’s experience unique; the show’s impact quintuples when coupled with an identity reclamation spoken word workshop.

*JK. This show should not be taken as a replacement for awesome anti-racist workshops like BD 101 or Undoing Racism. But it should make your [school/organization/national government] more excited about taking them. Side effects may include dizziness, increased urination, skin irritation, and euphoric liberation.

**There is no top-secret formula. See *.

“Jafferis is a lanky Caucasian with a voice and talent that make you laugh and think… a comic philosopher whose raps are sophisticated yet easily understood. Jafferis hits home with his message that…there should be a concerted effort to end racism… by making everyone conscious of each other’s feelings and experiences.”
                                                      -The Talent Report