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The Second Tuesday Race Forum is a place to learn about Race in our lives through monthly conversations about Race. Look at the pictures from our meetings and have a look around the site; at About Us, at the Blog and the Resources Pages.

We are always open to new members. Go to our Contact page to see how you can join us by trying out a meeting or by signing up for our email list.

Talking about Race can be a scary thing. We can't promise you will always be comfortable, but we can say that you will be safe from harm.

Applying Critical Lessons Learned from the Reconstruction Era

During our time together next week, we welcome Facing History and Ourselves’ Senior Program Associate, Heather Frazier, who will guide us through an examination of the progress made during the Reconstruction Era and the patterns of retrenchment that occurred following this time of social, political, and economic change. We will consider questions such as, “Is backlash inevitable in a time of great change? What are the roles of hatred, fear, and the loss of power in inspiring actions that thwart change?”

As historian David Blight argues: “Every revolution we have causes a counter-revolution.” Indeed, the unprecedented period of interracial democracy that occurred after the passage of Radical Reconstruction policies also touched off a determined, violent backlash in the South. He likewise suggests that the ways in which white Northerners imagined African Americans had a profound impact on public support for Reconstruction in the South. Did white Northerners imagine freedpeople as diligent workers and students, responsible voters and lawmakers? Or did they imagine freedpeople as inherently lazy, dependent, childlike, violent, and dangerous? In the enormous number of Reconstruction-era images, black Americans were depicted in all of these contradictory ways. Therefore, similar to today, the conflict over the meaning of freedom and equality for African Americans was fought not only in voting booths and statehouses; it was also fought in the pages of newspapers, other media and the “court of public opinion”.

Few would deny that this history has been poorly and insufficiently understood. And yet, perspectives on the past implicitly and explicitly impact how we understand the present. Re-examining the era of Reconstruction is a perfect entry into understanding the growing political and social backlash as we near the end of the Obama Administration.

In addition, we want to invite Second Tuesday folk who recently attended the White Privilege Conference in Philadelphia to share some insights they gained from the weekend with us.

 

Our next meeting is next week on Tuesday April 12th at 7 PM at the Park Hill United Methodist Church at Montview Blvd and Glencoe St. in Denver. We will be meeting upstairs in the Sanctuary Parlour.

Won't you please join us!.

Finding a Language to Talk about Race

It can be very difficult to discuss a topic when you do not know the terms and a vocabulary associated with it. Many Americans are missing a robust vocabulary about race and equity. This leads to extreme discomfort in talking about race, an avoidance of such conversations, and a very limited ability to understand and recognize its relevance and impact. It has been said that Eskimos have over 50 words to describe snow. But if you grow up in a warm climate your snow vocabulary will be quite limited by comparison, as will your ability to see variations.

The American culture has its roots in using race and separation to maintain power and make political decisions. Our April discussion will explore a wide variety of terms that will help us be “on the same page” and be more informed when we have discussions about racial equity

The Second Tuesday Race Forum meets on the second Tuesday of most months at the Park Hill United Methodist Church at Montview Blvd and Glencoe St. in Denver. Here is a link to a map on Google: http://goo.gl/maps/sSc86

If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be, please email us and we will add you to our list.

Our March meeting is on the 8th at  7 PM as usual, downstairs in the Youth Lounge this month again.

This will be a powerful and emotinal meeting, so we hope many of you can come.

A Legacy of Lynching

Our guest for March is Karen Branan, author of the new book The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth. She has spent nearly 20 years researching the lynching in 1912 of a black woman and three black men, all of them innocent, sanctioned by the county sheriff, her great-grandfather. Her research revealed that she was also related to one of the four who were murdered that day.

Branan will share her family story and her own journey to understanding how this form of terrorism, designed to reinforce and protect the system of white supremacy, set the stage for many of the problems that persist to this day.

Karen Branan is a veteran journalist who has written for newspapers, magazines, stage and television for almost 50 years. Her work has appeared in Life, Mother Jones, Ms., Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Today’s Health, Learning, Parents, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and on PBS, CBS, ABC, CBC, BBC, and CNN.

 

Our next meeting is next week on Tuesday February 9th at 7 PM at the Park Hill United Methodist Church at Montview Blvd and Glencoe St. in Denver. We will be meeting downstairs in the Youth Lounge this month.

Won't you please join us!.

Political Decision Making in the Future

This month we will cycle back to the visioning process we started in November and focus on making political decisions in the context of emerging norms. One of the themes that came out of our discussions in November was a desire to improve the way decisions are made in groups, at local levels, and even nationally.

Most people will observe that the current process is not working for the vast majority of citizens regardless of their political persuasions. This process is a consequence of and supportive of values that revolve around separation, hierarchy, and achieving dominant power.

We will explore your ideas of what decision making could look like in the future as the norms shift to an awareness of interdependence and a celebration of a diverse population. An important task we have is to identify concrete steps that we can take to start or continue this kind of shift.

The Second Tuesday Race Forum meets on the second Tuesday of most months at the Park Hill United Methodist Church at Montview Blvd and Glencoe St. in Denver. Here is a link to a map on Google: http://goo.gl/maps/sSc86

 

Our next meeting is next week on Tuesday January 12th at 7 PM at the Park Hill United Methodist Church at Montview Blvd and Glencoe St. in Denver. We will be meeting downstairs in the Youth Lounge this month.

Won't you please join us!.

 What is the Potential for an American Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

Several countries have used a truth and reconciliation process as a tool in promoting healing and achieving justice for state-sanctioned violence committed on its citizens. The January meeting will explore whether a TRC can work in the United States. A report from Human Rights Watch on the need for truth and reconciliation said this about South Africa:

“If a country is to come to terms with its past and successfully turn its attention to the future, it is essential that the truth of the past be officially established. It is impossible to expect ‘reconciliation’ if part of the population refuses to accept that anything was ever wrong, and the other part has never received any acknowledgment of the suffering it has undergone or of the ultimate responsibility for that suffering.”

So there are many issues to consider. Is America ready for such a movement? What are the preconditions necessary for it to be effective? What model would particularly fit this culture? How can it make a difference to the financial and emotional lives of those who have been oppressed?

We will open the meeting with several panelists who will address critical components of a truth and reconciliation process. Then engage everyone with your thoughts on how to move forward. To stimulate your thinking, please take a look at this article by Fania Davis (sister of Angela Davis) that was originally published in Yes! Magazine:

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/27806-the-us-needs-a-truth-and-reconciliation-process-on-violence-against-african-americans

Note: this posting did not go up until after the event.

Regrets!