How to talk about racism

Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when the life of America’s most influential and cherished civil rights leader is honored.

Dr. King’s dream of a nation where blacks and whites lived, worked and played together in harmony has never been fully realized. Racism is still alive and well in this country – maybe not in the same form as when King was campaigning for equal rights and justice, but minorities and white Americans often don’t look at things the same way. In fact, racism itself is one of the most difficult topics to discuss in this country.

On Monday’s Smart Talk, we’re joined by Dr. Amanda Kemp, Ph.D., a Lancaster activist, performer and author of Stop Being Afraid – 5 Steps to Transforming Your Conversations about Racism, along with Erika Fitz, editor of the book and Senior Trainer for the Racial Justice from the Heart workshops.

Also on Monday’s Smart Talk is a discussion of local African-American history — Harrisburg’s “Old Eighth Ward” was the center of the African-American community at the turn of the 20th Century. By mid-century it had shifted north in the city influenced by the expansion of the Capitol Complex.

Kristian Carter, 24, is researching the history of Harrisburg’s mid-20th-century African American business community, the remnants of which, the “Old Jackson House” and the Curtis Funeral Home, are well-known landmarks, long vacant, and now undergoing renovation, under the new brand “Jackson Square.”

Carter will appear on Smart Talk.

They will be giving a presentation at Historic Harrisburg on Monday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m.