In June of 2020, the Tangletown Neighborhood Association established an Equity Task Force charged with responding to the racial inequities in Tangletown and our broader city along with developing ways we can support neighborhoods affected by the civic unrest following George Floyd’s murder. A group of 10 residents began meeting in July and has formed five smaller groups focused on vision/mission, education, fundraising, advocacy, and partnerships & programs. You can view their vision, values, and strategies document here.
Racial Equity Community Book Read
You’re invited to our Community Book read! We’ve selected the book Caste, The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. Read with us and then join in two facilitated conversations by Macalester College Professor Harry Waters Jr on January 27 and February 10 both at 7:00pm online. Registration is required and a suggested donation of $20 is encouraged but not required to help cover the costs of hiring our facilitator. You may make your donation here.
Please note, there is a long waitlist for this book at the library. We will do our best to connect people with available books in the community, so let us know if you hope to borrow a copy or are willing to lend your copy when you’re done.
Cozy up under a blanket and enjoy this fascinating book with us.
Racial Equity and Anti Racist Educational Resources
Our education group wanted to share some educational resources they have compiled, to help you explore the topic of racial equity and racism. In addition, each month we’ll be featuring a new highlight for your interest.
This month, Equity Task Force Member Pat Collins shares, “Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s in the white bubble of a small midwestern town, I was aware from a distance of the events and images presented in the film, “I Am Not Your Negro.” In the film, the writer James Baldwin discusses the history of race in America through the events surrounding the lives of three friends killed for their outspoken positions during the 60’s Civil Rights Movement, the stark reality of this history which is (now as then) a gaping wound in the body of the United States. There is footage of Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and the aftermaths of their assassinations. Baldwin calls himself a witness, not an actor, in the Movement. As a witness, he does not let white people off the hook for apathy displayed towards inequality in America or the demeaning and demoralizing treatment of blacks in order to create a white America of fantasy, as enacted by the 50’s film icons like Doris Day or Cary Grant.
A teenage neighbor of mine said after learning about the history, it made her hate white people. I know what she means and feel deeply ashamed. The film is moving and gut wrenching, but worth watching to relive history that is often tucked away in the past despite being mirrored in our most current events. In addressing the future of America, Baldwin leaves us with a challenge, ‘Why do white people need a n******?’ and says that facing this question is the only way America will begin to heal.”
-Pat Collins, a Tangletown resident for over two decades.
The film is streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Check out our complete list of educational resources below including books for youth and adults on issues like our criminal justice system, housing, and education.
We understand that people may have done some exploring of their own since the murder of George Floyd and this resource list is far from exhaustive. If you want to share a great resource with the Tangletown community, feel free to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in future updates.
Mapping Prejudice Virtual Workshop January 13, 7:00pm
Structural barriers stopped many people who were not white from buying property and building wealth for most of the last century. In Minneapolis, these restrictions served as powerful obstacles for people of color seeking safe and affordable housing. They also limited access to community resources like parks and schools. Racial covenants dovetailed with redlining and predatory lending practices to depress homeownership rates for African Americans. Contemporary white residents of Minneapolis like to think their city never had formal segregation. But racial covenants did the work of Jim Crow in northern cities like Minneapolis. Mapping Prejudice is an initiative created to shed new light on these historic practices in the Twin Cities. We cannot address the inequities of the present without an understanding of the past.
Join Director of Mapping Prejudice and Tangletown resident Kirsten Delegard as she narrates this history and describes the innovative methodologies used in Mapping Prejudice’s work. Together we will explore the question of next steps to address the damage wrought by these policies.
This free event will be hosted on Zoom, please register here so we can send you the virtual meeting link. You do not need to live in Tangletown to attend.