Confronting Racism in Chatom Open Access

Morales, Holly (Spring 2018)

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Confronting Racism in Chatom, examines the possibility of bringing African-Americans and whites with shared history and life-long acquaintance together to address issues of race. The participants in the initial discussion came from two local churches, one white and the other African-American. All participants indicated they were Christians and faithful followers of Christ. The initial dialogue between the two races failed. The white participants were uninformed and uneducated regarding the challenges that face their African-American brothers and sisters in our society.  The white participants completely rejected the concepts of White Privilege and the lack of opportunities and education for African-Americans.

          To prevent further harm to the African-American participants, the original diverse group was suspended, and a new white only focus group was formed. The plan was to educate the new white participants about racism, White Privilege, and discrimination imposed on African-Americans. Several local leaders of the white community were chosen to participate in the new study. Following a six-week study of the impact of racism on African-Americans and our society, a change was noted in the thinking of the white participants. The inference of this project is, that until whites are educated about the effects of racism, there cannot be any productive dialogue between the two races. 

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