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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

CoastLine: Racial healing activists of all races need to interrogate themselves first, says Dr. Catherine Meeks

Dr. Catherine Meeks is Executive Director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta. She comes to Wilmington, NC for a September 16, 2012 Jazz and Race Symposium on Racial Healing at St. James Episcopal Church.
Dr. Catherine Meeks is Executive Director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta. She comes to Wilmington, NC for a September 16, 2012 Jazz and Race Symposium on Racial Healing at St. James Episcopal Church.

“A fundamental question that each of us must answer is: Who are the victims of racism? Upon careful investigation, it seems quite clear that the answer is ‘everyone’.”
Dr. Catherine Meeks, Exec. Director, Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing

What part of the privilege of living in white skin are you willing to give up so that people in Black and Brown skin can just live? How does white supremacy serve you? What parts of it are you willing to let go? What will that mean for you?

These are some of the questions Dr. Catherine Meeks asks White people to consider. But she also asks Black and Brown people to approach racial healing inside themselves first.

“A fundamental question that each of us must answer is: Who are the victims of racism? Upon careful investigation, it seems quite clear that the answer is ‘everyone’.”

~Catherine Meeks, PhD, and author of the book, The Night is Long but Light Comes in the Morning. 

The Night is Long but Light Comes in the Morning, by Catherine Meeks, PhD
The Night is Long but Light Comes in the Morning, by Catherine Meeks, PhD

On this edition of CoastLine, she explains why racial healing is a part of overall healing and why she believes it’s about becoming a better human being. It’s about knowing more about yourself, she says. You’re less concerned with what happens externally because you’ve faced and dealt with the shadows inside yourself.

In her collection of essays, what Dr. Meeks calls “meditations on racial healing”, she raises questions for the reader to explore. Until each person is willing to engage in an inner inquiry, racial healing on a broader scale, she says, is difficult if not impossible.

In this episode, we explore what Dr. Meeks believes real healing requires, and why racial wounding can be especially difficult for white people to see and acknowledge. We also find out why Dr. Meeks considers the idea of racial reconciliation a misnomer at best, and misguided idea.

Dr. Catherine Meeks, Executive Director, Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta; retired Distinguished Professor of Socio-Cultural Studies, Wesleyan College; author of six books

Links & Resources:

1st Annual Jazz and Race Symposium, St. James Episcopal Church, Wilmington, NC

Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing

Brave Space Book Club

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.