This is a reprint of my column from the March 2020 Carillon Notes. Read the whole newsletter here.
On the first non-travel day of our vacation last month, Mariah and I went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. The first three levels of that museum are a concentrated history of the Black experience in America, including slavery, abolitionism, the Civil War, reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and so on… right up to the success of African Americans in the arts and entertainment and the election of the United States’ first Black president.
I grew up in a time when (White) people emphasized the importance and value of being ‘color blind’. But the truth is that race plays a central role in American history, and continues to play that role in our society today… even—and maybe especially—when it’s working in the background, where (again, White) people don’t notice it. That’s not something that I learned at the Museum, but it is a lesson that was definitely reinforced.
This Lent, we’re going to talk about race—in America, right now—by reading So You Want to Talk About Race together. From what racism, privilege, and cultural appropriate are, to police brutality and the school-to-prison pipeline, this book presents an accessible look at the Black experience in America, why these difficult topics are important, and what we can do to make a better life for everyone.
So please join us on Wednesday evenings at 5:30, March 4th through April 8th!