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CRT - Wokism Explained

By Richard Myers
Posted: 12/02/2023
Tags: racism, crt, wokism, critical race theory

On December 1st, 2023 Sharon Kyle and Dick Price of the LA Progressive provided a very clear comprehensive and consice definition of the terms Wokism and Critical Race Theory.

Their presentation my be viewed on our YouTube Channel above. 

The slides used in the presentation can be viewed and downloded here. 

 “Wokism,” or “woke,” traces back to usage to childhood memories in the group as simply meaning to be aware of the reality of the world that we live in. The current media discussion of the term attributes many other characteristics to the concept of Wokism, nearly all of which has no basis in fact. 


Critical Race Theory originated at Harvard as an approach for legal scholars to examine and understand the impact that racism has had on our law and culture. It is currently taught in law schools where scholarly work is being done but is no where a part of any public school curriculums as is frequently alleged in the media. The presentation goes into moer depth in elaborating in these simple definitions. 


In the discussion that took place during the meeting, many interesting anecdotes were brought up that helped to provide a fuller understanding of how these concepts of Wokism and CRT play out in our current environment:


  • ·       Sharon pointed out that the Statue of Liberty includes ankle manacles and broken chains referring to breaking the chains of slavery and explains how that came to be represented in this way. Few, if any, of the people in the group, were aware of this detail in this famous statue.
  • ·       Thomas Jefferson was a complicated person, very important in the history of this country but with many of the facts about his life deeply shadowed in the history taught in our schools.
  • ·       Mention of the complications in Jefferson’s life led to a discussion of public monuments of which might be appropriate to maintain and others to remove. This is a currently appropriate topic as the removal of confederate monuments around the country is ongoing and raising much public comment. 
  • This is only a very brief selection of the extended and engaging discussion that took place in this session. 

Our next meeting on December 15th at 12 noon Pacific may be a continuation of this discussion but will also have room for other events that may be occurring between now and then that may be of interest to the group. We invite you all to join us for that. 


Beginning in January and February of next year, we have some very interesting presentations scheduled. On January 5th at 10am Pacific, Brian Biery will provide another of his historical looks at local history with a discussion of the Tongva experience in this area. 


In February, which is Black History Month, we will have Larry Duplechan on February 2nd at 10am Pacific discussing his new book “Movies That Made Me Gay.” On February 16th at noon, Ricky Pickens will talk to us about his work in reducing gang violence in Pasadena. 


In March, Helane Rheingold will return on the first Friday, March 1st, at 10am Pacific with another of her very engaging conversations with art where she will talk about "Blacks Portrayed by European ArtistsThrough the Centuries."


This looks to be an exciting series of presentations and we are looking forward to a very interesting year in 2024 and hope that you will join us.


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