Race & Ethnicity

The redemption narrative

How does a person achieve redemption after a series of serious offenses? At what point is the process deemed to be complete? What does a person have to do to be judged appropriately sorry and allowed to stop atoning? What should we feel about a person while they’re pursuing the process? What does it say about us when we can’t or won’t let it go?

(Short answer: Don’t care.)

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North Carolina will offer some amount of compensation to victims of its eugenics program

The state of North Carolina has passed a $10 million compensation plan for victims of its eugenics program, which ran from 1929 to 1974. It’s estimated that 7,600 people were forcibly sterilized under the program; 177 have since been identified.

[Strong content note for ableism and racism]

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Marches Less Remembered

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington got me thinking about an earlier march. It was May 17th, 1957. I was 15 and although I’d been doing activist work, it had all been near my home in NYC. My friend Pat and I had heard about the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. Her father, an activist, was editor of the UAW magazine Ammunition. He made the connections so that we could go down on the night bus with the Jamaica (Queens) NAACP. I don’t remember sleeping much. The crowd was by far the largest I’d ever been in. We were asked to wave handkerchiefs instead of applauding the speakers because it was a religious event. The intensity of the suppressed energy of the silent applause is still with me.

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