The critically acclaimed feature film Twelve Years a Slave has renewed the long and unresolved debate about slavery and its legacy that today relegates African Americans to second-class status. If the film did one thing, it challenged the notion of a “free” black man. By accident or trickery, if he ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time he might find himself in shackles, transported into wretched bondage.

What Twelve Years fails to do is underscore that race—from slavery to now—is an artificial construct imposed to advance economic and social standing of some while plundering the human condition of others. Structures and systems have relied on racial categories to determine wealth, health and multigenerational life chances.

Truth is, skin color is a devious invention that divides and defines people as black, white or brown. Pigmentation notwithstanding, the DNA of the human race is biologically more similar than fruit flies are different.

The most exquisite exploration of these ideas is captured in the three-part film series Race —The Power of Illusion. The documentary unravels and debunks popular notions about genetics, societal standing and the history. It provides an education that anyone who cares about social justice and equality should absorb.  I challenge you to take this quiz to really test your race IQ. 

While you’re there, visit California Newsreel, the creator of the Race series, which also offers more films about race and social justice than any distributor in the world.