Please join me at my new blog, “Inheritance: Race, Responsibility, and Paying Attention in the Generations After Jim Crow,” for a conversation about race in America. Black History Month is an appropriate time to talk about race, but so are the other 11 months of the year. Race relations in this country are constantly in flux, sometimes up, sometimes down, sometimes neutral. Sometimes we take one step forward, only to take one or two steps back again. “Inheritance” is a place to discuss news, books, movies, and significant events in the history of how the various colors of American skin have profoundly affected individual lives.
White generations born after or toward the demise of Jim Crow laws can’t ignore the history just because we didn’t live through it or can’t remember it. No one is giving any such pass to younger generations of Germans; the world expects them to pay attention, to never let such a Holocaust happen again in their country.
If American race relations are ever to take steps forward, and more steps, and more steps — all moving in the same direction — then all of us have to step up, too. We all must acknowledge what happened and the effect it has had to this day. And we all must acknowledge collective responsibility to see that we keep moving forward.
(c) 2012 Stephanie Harp. All rights reserved.