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1619 Project Discussion

Linda Pope, MD, Special Guest Speaker
By Blog Master
Posted on 5/24/2021 3:58 PM

------Notes thanks to Sharon Jarrett---------

The topic for the meeting was voter suppression. Before the topic could be explored the group began discussing the recently released video from Monroe, Louisiana.  Many expressed being shocked at what they saw and finding the police actions unbelievable.  Others reported finding the video as "normal", or "what else is new".  The fact that the police reports were untrue and no investigation has been started was noted as deeply disturbing to the participants.

 

The conversation then turned to the June edition of The Atlantic, which has multiple articles exploring the evolution of The Lost Cause and slavery in Spanish territories. Other articles of interest in The Atlantic include: Black America’s Neglected Origin Stories and The Story Behind Stacey Abrams’s Fiction Career.

The book "Robert E. Lee and Me"  was mentioned as a worthwhile read.  The book helps to understand the origin of institutional racism and the "cult" of Robert E. Lee. The book is available through Vromans Bookstore.

 

A History.com article (The Black Businessman Who Built an Empire Despite Jim Crow Oppression) was referenced as containing an article about the uncle of one of the participants.  This individual became one of the wealthiest Black men in his community by partnering with a white front man in a real estate development business.

 

CC Spaulding was mentioned as the founder of North Carolina Mutual Insurance.  The purchase of insurance was a mechanism by which Black families could build inter-generational wealth.  The company was very important to the community.

 

The group then returned to voter suppression as a discussion topic.  The blatant actions being taken by state legislatures were a surprise to some participants.  Working locally was discussed as a way to limit the impact of these new or proposed voter mandates.  The influence of the League of Women Voters in helping at the local level was noted.  The need to review the actions of local state legislators and hold them accountable was noted.  Various mechanisms to lessen the impact of voter suppression were discussed.

 

The influence of zero sum thinking on decision making was noted as one elements influencing voter suppression thinking. 

 

At the conclusion of the meeting one of the participants noted that while the group may not come to conclusions about the topics discussed, it was good to have a venue to have these discussions.


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Another article of current interest is a reminiscence by Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, who is the oldest surivor of The Tulsa Massacre of 1921. This is of current interest because it occurred 100 years ago this month.  This terrible event has been receiving some long overdue recognition and is something that we should all be more aware of.

Our first meeting in June will be at 10am  on June 4th, where our featured speaker will be Linda Pope.

Linda Pope is a Black female Ophthalmologist in Houston, Texas. Linda grew up as the daughter of a professional baseball player who dealt with issues of racism in his experience in the Homestead Grays in the Negro Leagues and in the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles in the Major Leagues. Linda attended Oberlin College and Ohio State, and completed her residency in Houston where she subsequently entered private practice for her career. She has presented professional papers in Europe and participated in a medical trip to Central Africa, adding to her wide range of perspective and knowledge. She can relate her experience with race in America from diverse perspectives.

This will be another informative presentation adding to our awareness of conditions that we face in our present day environment.  Follow us on our 1619 Project Discussion blog to stay up to date on other events and to learn more about our past. Village Members may register for the event on our website. Non-members who are interested may call us (626) 765-6037 or write to us at BlogMaster@PasadenaVillage.org for the Zoom link.



Addendum:


                                                                                                                                                                                    


A new article of interest has just been brought to my attention, which I cite below.

Reparations Virginia Theological Seminary has initiated a Reparations Program  . I think that this kind of thing is a very important step that should be applauded. There are two aspects to this that strike me as really significant and constructive. First, there is the acknowledgement of the moral debt and acceptance of the moral obligation to do something about it and the decision to take action.  Second, this kind of action provides a  model of how one group or institution has dealt with the multiple complexities of structuring a reparations program. These are the things that will enable us as a nation to move forward at a  slow but positive rate to deal with large, and very difficult and very important issues.