"It's 2020 and a reckoning with racism, both past and present, is long overdue," San Antonio Poet Laureate and event host Andrea Vocab Sanderson said during the two-part series' first installment.
Following the usual structure of Worth Repeating, up to seven local residents have seven minutes to share their stories. The speakers are made up of everyday San Antonians exploring personal experiences that illuminate all aspects of the event's theme.
The series opener featured four speakers discussing racial issues, including profiling, workplace discrimination, systemic racism and colorism.
San Antonio resident Larnzell Harper said the reality of racial profiling means having to put on a "superhero costume" every day.
"I want you to imagine, every time before you go out, picking clothing that doesn't make others feel threatened, that doesn't make them fear you, that doesn't make them feel intimidated by you," Harper said.
"The superhero costume is to make you feel safe and less intimidating," he continued.
"Safe" clothing, according to Harper, is a polo-style shirt, khaki shorts and boat shoes. Backwards baseball caps, athletic clothing and basketball slip-on shoes carry a high threat level, he added.
Even while wearing his superhero costume, Harper described a situation in which a white woman clutched her purse as he crossed her path on the way to a restaurant bathroom.
For the second event, Worth Repeating invited contributors to submit narratives highlighting their experiences with systemic, structural and institutional racism, realizations of inner-biases and entitlement and also their efforts taken to deconstruct racist structures and ideologies.
"This country's legacy of racism has come into sharp focus since the killing of George Floyd," Sanderson said in the first "Reckoning with Racism" event.
"We hope that this series, in tandem with other efforts to confront issues of racism, will help inspire real change in individual attitudes and actions," she continued. "We hope it will move us closer towards the long overdue eradication of white supremacy, oppression and injustice for Black people and communities of color in America."
"Reckoning with Racism — Part Two," will stream live on Facebook and tpr.org at 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 1. The event is free.
Worth Repeating: Reckoning With Racism
Join us for a virtual Worth Repeating that explores racism in our city. Hosted by San Antonio's Poet Laureate Andrea Vocab Sanderson. 4 San Antonians share their personal stories of profiling, workplace discrimination, colorism and systemic racism. Worth Repeating is made possible, in part, by sponsorship from 80/20 Foundation, Hayward Gaude Photography, and Mind Science FoundationPosted by Texas Public Radio on Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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