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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Timing Is Everything

"Here is what I've learned about race: You can't go over it. You can't go under it. You can't go around it. You have to go through it." - Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, author of "In The Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History"

Next week, at the invitation of a good friend, - the former Deputy Attorney General of the NJ Office Of Bias Crime - I'm travelling to Grand Rapids, Michigan to participate in what my friend is calling an advanced workshop being held at the annual White Privilege Conference. Although still uncertain of the role my friend envisions me taking in the workshop - and that makes me a little nervous - I've been recently noticing some signs telling me the time is right to make this leap.

* "The Known World" (2003), the Pulitzer Prize Winner by Edward P. Jones. Though planning to re-read this powerhouse for several years, one of my book clubs recently selected it, forcing my hand. The timing of this book being selected and this upcoming workshop didn't strike me as a coincidence.

* Several intense conversations about race over the past few months pointed me toward some kind of intervention. My friend's invitation seemed timely. Also, my daughter has been coaching me for quite some time to return to this work; she sees how much I miss it.

* The April 2 edition of Time magazine arrived last Saturday. The chills I got a few days ago while reading Mitch Landrieu's feature article entitled "Repairing The Story Of Race In The South" were my last sign. The quote opening this post came from that article.

I'm very interested to know what you've most recently learned about race. And, where did you learn it?

https://www.whiteprivilegeconference.com/

5 comments:

  1. I would very much like to hear about your experiences at this workshop upon your return. National Geographic is also publishing an entire issue on this topic. I saw the editor being interviewed on the PBS Newshour earlier this week.

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    1. Ines; Thanks for being interested; I will indeed tell you about it when I see you next.

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  2. It sounds like a fascinating workshop.

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    1. Peter; Thanks for reading; I'll let you know how it goes.

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  3. Indeed, timing is everything. Hard to believe that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr will be gone 50 years on April 4, 2018. “I AM a man.” That about sums things up, doesn’t it?
    How very fitting that New Orleans mayor, Mitch Landrieu, won the 2018 JFK Profile in Courage Award. His speech of May 19, 2017 was one I will never forget. Find it on You Tube. Landrieu explains in this moving speech why the city took down four Confederate monuments. I intend to read “In the Shadow Of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History” as soon as I can get my hands on it.

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