In an interview after receiving the American Library Association’s Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction, Bryan Stevenson, executive director for the Equal Justice Initiative, stated, “I don’t believe the great evil of American slavery was involuntary servitude, or forced labor. I think the great evil of American slavery was this narrative—this ideology of white supremacy. . . . we’re not going to make progress until we talk about this. Until we commit ourselves to a process of truth and reconciliation.”
“My white son could breeze through the rest of his life without ever having any meaningful conversation about race and racism.” Mandy Hitchcock faces her white privilege as a parent and describes what she will do about it.
Kristen Howerton provides “Resources for Talking to Kids about Race and Racism,” including a list of books.
The Teaching for Change website has “Teaching Young Children about Race;A Guide for Parents and Teachers.”
On July 5, 1852, abolitionist Frederick Douglass was invited to speak in commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence
“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, how mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.”
Continuing Conversations typically goes on hiatus during the summer months, but in the wake of the tragic shooting deaths of nine members of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, we have organized a special meeting on July 6th as a gathering to mourn the terrible racist act.
We want to offer all those affected an opportunity to openly express our sorrow, pain, anger and fear. Our plan is create an environment that supports deep and serious listening.
(Donation opportunities are also available here.)
Anyone whose heart is heavy in the wake of this terrible tragedy is welcome to join us in a spirit of deep listening and reflection on Monday, July 6th.
Bree Newsome’s statement explaining her motivation to scale the South Carolina statehouse flagpole and take down the Confederate flag.