Moving Beyond Racism: Memories, Transformations, and the Start of New Conversations
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During the spring of 2008, one of the media’s feeding frenzies involved a United Church of Christ congregation in Chicago, pastored by the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright. For days and weeks, all one could see on every news channel were a few very short clips, absent of context, of Reverend Wright’s sermons preached some time ago. What followed outraged many on both sides of the political fence. The sound bites lent themselves to commentators’ easy, negative analysis of the sermons. In the traditional media, commentators offered an interpretation, couched in the language of patriotism, that Wright was too angry, that he overstated the problem of racism in America today.
While some were extremely frustrated at this nearly universal take on Wright’s sermons and felt it served to mask the continuing reality of racial oppression, others saw a positive side, in that racism had resurfaced as a topic of conversation in homes across America. Nearly forty years after the Civil Rights Movement had “fixed everything,” people started talking, discussing, and even arguing about racism in the United States. Was racism still with us? If so, how could that be after such a long period of time? Or had racism just changed from blatant, in-your-face discrimination to a new, post-affirmative action, “color-blind” racism. ―from the introduction to Moving Beyond Racism
Meet the twenty-one authors of Moving Beyond Racism who were moved to share their compelling personal memories and the events that inspired their reassessment of the complexities of race relations in 21st century America. You’ll nod in recognition, shake your head in disbelief, and bear witness to the courage and self-knowledge that comes from bravely facing the place that racial attitudes play in our everyday lives. Make no mistake, the people you are about to meet are your neighbors, your co-workers, and your friends. Moving Beyond Racism is about all of us.
Make no mistake, the people you are about to meet are your neighbors, your co-workers, and your friends. Moving Beyond Racism is about all of us.
Heather Powers Albanesi is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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