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A Dialog on Race & Ethnicity in Camp Springs, Prince George’s Co., MD

April 4, 2011

We’re having our monthly discussion this coming Fri. It starts with a pot luck at 6:30 PM. Our intention is to wait until 7:30 to start the discussion, but sometimes it’s hard to wait.

Last month we discussed the cause and events leading up to the Civil War. I didn’t have high expectations as I know a lot about the Civil War, but we had a rousing discussion. One thing I learned was that the underground railroad to Canada was developed by the British during the Revolutionary War. A Canadian, who was present and of African decent, said they weren’t exactly welcome there either. There were also feelings expressed about the relevancy of the talk – is it more or less relevant than the Holocaust? And the idea that most whites in the north weren’t fighting for freedom for slaves, but instead for the Union (keeping the states together) & economic reasons, was insulting to a descendant of a white, northern abolitionist. Though feelings were expressed, we all listened respectfully and conversed openly.

So this month we’re talking about our feelings about the Civil War. I thought I’d find out what our children are learning in our public schools about it, though Chris Bell has some other ideas for conversation. Bringing “your own agenda” is welcome.

I’ve also invited an author of a book about race discussion and she said she’d bring some friends.

Please invite yours, too. Here are the directions.

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