Are You Honest about Your Attitudes toward Race? Third Haven Friends to Offer Series to Help with That

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Third Haven Friends Meeting invites the community to join a series of discussions that many of us might rather avoid.

The Quakers are planning four Discussions on Race that will delve into the important subject of race relations while challenging each of us to examine his or her own attitudes about race, and particularly people of other races. Each meeting will take place in Third Haven’s Commons Room (the “new” building behind the brick meeting house) on their campus at 405 South Washington Street. Complimentary beverages, soup and bread will be served; and each gathering will feature a race relations documentary, followed by a discussion of what it tells us about ourselves and about race relations in America – and Talbot County – today.

The first meeting will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28. On the marquee: Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity (2008). This film asks America to talk about the causes and consequences of systemic inequity. Designed for dialogue, the film works to disentangle internal beliefs, attitudes and pre-judgments within, and it builds skills to address the structural drivers of social and economic inequities. It also features moving stories from 24 racial justice leaders.

The discussion following the film will be led by Rusty Vaughn and Lynda Davis of Coming to the Table, a national nonprofit whose mission is to create a model of healing to guide individuals and groups that continue to struggle with racism in the United States and throughout the world.

At 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, Third Haven will present Whose Streets? (2017, 90 minutes, rated R for language), which chronicles the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., in the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown. Full of cell phone videos and news footage, this film has an immediacy that puts the viewer right in the middle of the action. It was nominated for the Best Documentary Award at Sundance in 2017, and won it at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.

Next up, at 6 p.m. Friday, March 2, is I Am Not Your Negro (2016, 93 minutes, rated PG-13 for disturb-ing, violent images, thematic material, language and brief nudity), which was nominated for both the Academy Award and the NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary in 2017. Legendary writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel,

Remember This House, based on the assassin-nations in the 1960s of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. It is narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, and everything he says is from Baldwin’s writings. There is also archival footage of Baldwin himself. New York Times film critic A.O. Scott said, “I Am Not Your Negro will make you rethink race.”

The final documentary in the series, Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. is the Answer (2017, 94 minutes), will be screened at 6 p.m. Friday, March 23. Directed by A.J. Ali and produced by Academy Award winner Errol Webber, Jr., it is about the black perception that cops are the face of bias and oppression. It captures the mistrust that blacks feel toward the police, as well as the frustration of law enforcement personnel. “After all, asks one, aren’t we supposed to be the good guys?”

The Discussions on Race are not intended to advocate a viewpoint or change anyone’s mind. Rather, their purpose is to provide a safe, judgment-free space where people can approach a deeper understanding of other people’s views – as well as their own.

Attendance will be limited to 50 at each gathering. To reserve a seat, or for more information, contact Pete Howell at 410-924-5752, piratepete@goeaston.net or P.O. Box 222, Easton, MD 21601.

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