Wednesday, September 30, 2009



True Grit in The Community

The place to be recently was certainly at the people's landmark Brooklyn Antioch Baptist Church at the historic Racism Quotient Test Forum for '100 Blacks In Education Who Care,' held - open and Free Admission - by the Institute For "Interracial" Harmony, Inc.

In the spirit of Margaret Mead's ever-current observation: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has," a group of multi-colored concerned committed citizens from near and far gathered together for the express purpose of determining how each of them had been the unwitting recipients of a subliminal pervasively racist/colorist conditioning by an institutionally color-biased education system, and, as the attractive Flyer for the event stated, " a part of what is being called a major solution to police killings of Black males - including a needed healing of epicemic & untreated racism/colorism in the wider society."

As the worthy goals of the conference were laid out to the rapt audience, it became increasingly clear that this was no watered-down coming together of folk from disparate walks of life. It was an extraordinary exchange of thoughtfully-crafted, insightful ideas and experiences, based on valid concerns for a society which is riven and divided, unfortunately, by the artificial barriers of color bias.

What emerged early into the too-short one and a half hours was an intense, caring jewel of an event, highlighted by unexpected 'Aha!' interjections by the excited participants.

The sheer number of responses to the 20 questions in the Racism Quotient Test (Concept by Carol Taylor R.N.; questions composed by Ethnotherapy Psychologist Dr. Mari Saunders, Ph.D.) nearly encroached on the time allocated, by the neat Forum Agenda, for enjoying the delicious cuisine catered by Venes, (assisted by Rev. Bert Whitney) wife of the I"I"H Forum Convener, Vice President Laurence William Legall.

As the tripoded camera, manned by the professional Videographer - all the way up from Washington, D.C. - faithfully-recorded questions from ministers, educators, concerned parents and published authors, it became patently obvious that the individuals who'd taken the Racism /Colorism Quotient Test had been mentally-stimulated into examining their thoughts, ideas and possibly preconceived mistaken notions about themselves and others, thereby delightfully fulfilling the role that Harvard Law Professor Lani Guinier proposed: (paraphrased) " put the issue of racism (colorism) on the front burner so as to be able to deal with it in a non-threatening public arena in a forthright manner."

Antioch's ministers including Pastor of Antioch, Rev. Waterman, the author of "Pawned Sovereignty, Ezrah Aharone (from New Jersey), peripatetic Videographer Glynn Behmen (from D.C.), Poetess/Author Jewell Allison, Radio Pacifica WBAI Radio Talk Show Host, Blactivist Ian Forest, '100 Blacks In Education Who Care' President, Dr. Jackie Cody, boss Photographer Stephen Kelly (whose late Father was killed by an NYPD cop; coincidentally the Dad's name is in The Little Black Book's list of Black males murdered by cops in the U.S.A.), Editor/Publisher/Journalist Marie Shear, Rev. Minister Bert Whitney, Liberation Photographer Rose Maldonado, Forum Able-Aids Brother & Sister Cochran and ten year old 'Honesty,' among too many others to herein list, took the [posted on] bought bias-bustin' T-Shirts("If You're Not Playin' The Race Card - You're Not Playin' With A Full Deck - Racism/Colorism Must Be Dealt With") and 'The Little Black Book: Black Male Survival in America.'

The success of the Forum was reflected by the reluctance of the participants to stop talking with each other about the vital issue of racism/colorism - its effects and solutions; - 'True Grit' indeed!
(Informative anti-Prejudice Packets from the I"I"H Forum can be obtained by calling 718-856-1271)

(Photo Credit: Stephen Kelly)
Institute for "Interracial" Harmony, Inc. President Carol Taylor,
Vice President Laurence Legall
Rose Maldonado, Marie Shear, George Washington
and Rev. 'Minister' at the recent Racism Quotient Test Forum for
the '100 Blacks In Education Who Care'

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