A Renewed Conversation-
Cincinnati is talking about Race in a conversation that began in 2001 after the shooting of Timothy Thomas, a young unarmed black man. That conversation continues; inspired by the American Anthropological Association’s exhibit, “Race: Are We So Different.” With companion workshops and discussion groups, newspaper articles even a Reconciliation Ceremony, the exhibit has generated another “Race” buzz in the city.
A Harsh Beginning to the Conversation-
The April 7, 2001 shooting had been the 15th in a series of Black male shootings by Cincinnati Police in less than 6 years. It inflamed the city, giving rise to civil disobedience, a downtown shut down and a citywide curfew. Cincinnati became the point by which the Chinese government tried to turn the Human Rights question back against America, pointing to what happened to black men on the Cincinnati streets and elsewhere.
Lawsuits were filed. The Department of Justice conducted an investigation. The Attorney General came to the city to sign a Collaborative Agreement with the Cincinnati Police Department that forced its members to allow outside monitoring. It was rough going for a long time; but the shooting also spawned a network of public forums, church groups, and social organizations discussing Cincinnati’s ignored racial issues.
The Discussion Continues-
In conjunction with the “Race” exhibit now at the Cincinnati Museum Center, organizations have once again formed discussion groups and talking circles to encourage open dialogue. The Museum Center, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and The Cincinnati Art Museum are hosting a discussion series of interactive “Fish Bowl” roundtables, beginning with “Talking With Our Children About Race.” Xavier University professors and facilitators will host small group dialogues for children and adults.
Growing Up Jim Crow-
Discussion events will continue throughout the next two months; and on March 12 at 7:30, Jennifer Ritterhouse of Utah State University will discuss her book, “Growing Up Jim Crow.” The book reviews the South’s learned racial “etiquette,” which reinforced its Jim Crow legacy. The lecture will be held at the Museum Center and is free to attend.
The evening will begin with a dinner and an opportunity to meet Ms. Rittenhouse. The cost for the dinner is 35 dollars.
For information on remaining discussions and workshops inspired by “Race: Are We So Different” call 513 287-7093.
“Race, Are We So Different” information brochure