In his most recent blog, Rob Corcoran asks: “Is it possible that the biggest obstacle to racial equity is white liberals who resist risking these privileges and who focus more on performative anti-racism and cultural battles?” He then investigates how structural racism in the US, such as unequal public education finances, and unconscious white supremacist ideologies are at root of challenges to true racial equity.
In this A Narrative of Love conversation, the UNESCO Slave Route Project Advisor, Dr Joy DeGruy, explores what it feels for black African Americans to negotiate the multiple challenges of living in a racist society, including internalised racism, the learned helplessness, and structural dehumanisation. Dr DeGruy also highlights key elements that can move the society towards healing, at both personal and collective levels.
More importantly, Dr DeGruy offers pathways that individuals, organisations, and governments can embark on to repair, rebuild and restructure our common habitat through partaking in the mutuality of shared humanness. Thus we can all Be the Healing.
In this Emmy-nominated documentary, filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her Rhode Island forefathers were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine relatives decide to retrace the Triangle Trade: from a port town in Rhode Island, to slave forts in Ghana, to the ruins of one of their family’s sugar plantations in Cuba. Step by step they uncover the vast extent of Northern complicity in slavery, and thus come to see that slavery built the nation, not just the South. They meet with people of African descent abroad and at home and grapple with questions of white privilege, healing and repair in the present day.
While still in rough-cut form, the film contributed to the Episcopal Church’s 2006 decision to issue an apology for its role in slavery and embark upon research, repentance, dialogue and repair processes in dioceses around the country that are still on-going.
Ms. Browne specializes in bringing attention to “racialized emotions” and particularly the psychological legacies of slavery for white Americans and how those hinder restorative justice. She contributed a book chapter on how these legacies manifest in the classroom to: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery: New Directions in Teaching and Learning. She is currently developing a multi-session film-based race dialogue series curriculum for the Episcopal Church and other interested denominations.