In Their Own Words: What It’s Like….

At times I ask myself:  Why would I be attempting to convey the experience of many Black people when there are so many visceral testimonies already in existence?  I imagine others have had the same question about these posts!

So I offer you two examples, and encourage you to take the time to watch, reflect, learn and act:

“How to Deconstruct Racism One Headline at a Time” – 16-minute TED talk.

“Message from Black America”  5-minute lesson by BK Irons.

(Note:  both titles are available on Youtube in case this link doesn’t work for you.)


For your reflection:

  • How did you respond to each of these accounts?
  • What most surprised you in these testimonies?
  • What differences did you notice in your response between the two?  And to what do you attribute that difference?
  • How do these inform your own involvement in a racist society?  What changes do they evoke in you – toward action, toward changes in your own complicity?

And please “Leave a Reply” below with what you’ve uncovered.



“Let’s Get to the Root of Racial Injustice” – 19-minute TED talk.

“Black Self/White World”  9-minute TED talk.  website mentioned in first video, including Living While Black references

Slavery by Another Name:  The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II  by Douglas A. Blackmon.

When Affirmative Action Was White:  An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America  by Ira Katznelson.

The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness  by Michelle Alexander.


Racial Equity Advocacy Leadership (REAL) Team meeting, Monday October 21, 6:00 – 8:00. Open to the public. Rochester City School District, 131 W. Broad St..

On Wednesday October 23, 7:00 p.m. a lecture on the impact of police violence in the Black communities of Chicago:  “Black Cargo:  An Ethnographic exploration of linked fate”.  Details:   3229_2019MorganLecturePoster_v4(1).

Upcoming workshops – See details at:  National Coalition Building Institute.

  • Wednesday November 6, 9:00am – 4:00pm:  Privilege
  • Tuesday November 19, 9:00am – Noon:  Controversial Issues
  • Friday December 6, 9:00am – 4:00pm:  Welcoming Diversity

United Christian Leadership Ministries and the Grater Rochester Police Community Partnership will host a Police Summit on November 9, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.:  “Exploring NYS Diversion Programs and how they impact communities of color – arrests and mass incarceration.”  Details:   Forum Flyer November 9 2019 updated 10 3.

On Monday November 18, Ibram X. Kendi, author of the best-seller Stamped from the Beginning:  The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America will present on his new book:  How to be an Anti-Racist.  Details here.

On Thursday November 21:  “Why Do We Hate:  A Community Conversation”  Sponsored by the Levine Center to End Hate.  Lyric Theatre.  Details here.

Assumption Parish in Fairport is conducting a series focused on the US Catholic Bishops’ Letter on Racism, six Wednesdays beginning October 2.  Details: COTA Program and COTA, COTA, COR Racism Program — Speaker Bios.

Check out the array of events including workshops offered by 540WMain.

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