When Discussing Hard Truths of Racism, the Past Speaks to the Present
Alex Elvin

Last Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered for this year’s forum hosted by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. The subject was Black and Blue: Policing the Color Line and featured two panel discussions.

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The Ferguson Report Reveals Hard Truths of Nationwide Abuses
Alex Floyd

Nearly a year to the day of Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson, Mo., the New Press organized a panel discussion at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in honor of the publication of The Ferguson Report.

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Keeping Conversation About Race Alive Involves Past and Future
Alex Elvin

The Vineyard may seem far removed from racial violence, but it has not been a silent observer in the struggle for equality. Every summer people from around the country gather here to continue the civil rights discussion.

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Overcoming the Demons of Racism

Most of us have been plagued by the “origin sin” of racism, which has been a burden on our conscience since before our nation was formed. Throughout our history this disease of racial prejudice has cursed our nation and prevented us from reaching the lofty ideals of human equality on which America was founded. This sin compromised the Declaration of Independence and almost divided the nation in 1776.

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An Island Too Small to Be Too Segregated
Sam Bungey

Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr. uses the quiet entrance, through the corridors of the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School to a backstage area of the performing arts center, no doubt the sort of precaution he regularly takes since his arrest and high profile beer with the President last month.

But as he enters, he bellows with a theatrical gesture of his walking cane in the direction of his friend and legal counsel, Charles J. Ogletree Jr., the man he calls Tree.

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Teachable Moments on Race and Class
Mike Seccombe

Just a year ago, we had what President Obama called a “teachable moment” in race relations. That was in the wake of the arrest of Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr., a well known Vineyard summer resident.

You remember it, of course. Professor Gates, probably the nation’s foremost black academic, was arrested in his own home after Cambridge police responded to a suspected break-in.

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Let’s Talk About Race: Panel Argues Racial Divide Persists
Peter Brannen

It’s past time for Americans to have a conversation about race, a panel of cultural and academic luminaries agreed at a crowded Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center on Wednesday. What the rules of that conversation are, who the participants are and where the conversation will take place is less certain.

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