Against Racial Divisions: Three Tries This Week


Even in what is being hailed as the post civil rights era, racial divisions – particularly between blacks and whites – remain entrenched in American life. So says Thomas Sugrue, author of “Not Even Past,” an examination of the paradox of race in Barack Obama’s America.

Sugrue is the first of two who will discuss the topic this week. He will speak on Wednesday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m., at the Princeton Public Library. The event is free.

Racism in the 21st century is also the topic for Stephanie Jacobs who will speak at a Princeton United Methodist Church program on Sunday, June 13. Breakfast is served at 8 a.m. and the talk begins at 8:30 a.m. RSVP at 609-924-2613; a $5 donation for breakfast is requested. The church is located at Nassau & Vandeventer streets in downtown Princeton.

Sugrue is a leading historian of civil rights, race, and urban America, who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include “Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North” and “The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit.” His talk is part of the “Thinking Allowed” series at the library.

Jacobs is a relationship coach and consultant with more than 15 years experience as an educator, counselor and trainer. She is doctoral student in Drexel University’s Program in Couple and Family Therapy and also serves as an adjunct faculty at The College of New Jersey. Rooted as she is in the Christian faith, Jacobs is particularly interested in the issues relating to navigating diversity and racism in today’s world

A practical way to confront racial and economic forces that segregate communities is to attend the closing worship and prayer walk for the Justice Revival on Sunday, June 13, at 3 p.m. It begins and ends at Trinity Cathedral, 801 West State Street.

“We will leave the closing worship service and walk together through the neighborhood, meeting neighbors and joining with them in prayer and reflection at key locations,” say the organizers. “Our goal is to show that Suburban Mercer County cares about Urban Trenton and that we are committed to being neighbors to one another.” (www.revivejustice.org)

Full disclosure: I made a similar post on the blog for Not in Our Town, where I serve on the steering committee. I am a member of Princeton United Methodist Church.

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