Race Across America is the conversation that never was. Bill Clinton in the 90’s wanted a national conversation on race that ultimately went nowhere. And here we are in the age of Obama and it seems that America needs this conversation now more than ever. Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder put it this way in what has come to be known as his “Coward’s Speech:”
“Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we average Americans simply do not talk enough with each other about race. It is an issue we have never been at ease with, and given our nation’s history, this is in some ways understandable. And yet, if we are to make progress in this area, we must feel comfortable enough with one another and tolerant enough of each other to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us.”
Race Across America engages some of the brightest minds across the political, economic, cultural, and educational spectrum, as well as ordinary folks in conversations confronting America’s concept of race and “race-ism” head-on in an effort to achieve clarity, understanding and empathy.
Of all the cultural issues “race” is still the most vexing and goes to the heart of what it means to be an American.