The Louisville Courier-Journal, the newspaper in the town where Breonna Taylor was killed by area police in a botched raid, launched a four-week anti-racism challenge on July 1 as a call to action in the ongoing fight against sectarianism and xenophobia.
The post says she is “committed to learning from the black community, speaking out against racism and ending white silence.” To do this, according to their report, “we have partnered with the Earth and Spirit Center and the Reverend Joe Phelps, a longtime justice warrior, to co-host anti-racism classes.”
As part of its month-long anti-racism challenge, The Courier-Journal has published a list of 10-12 anti-racism activities each week since July 1. They encourage participants to do at least three of the following activities each week: a film made by black artists, support a black-owned business or black-led nonprofit by making a purchase or donation, or document personal experiences or observations of racism in a journal.
Participants are not required to report their progress to anyone. The goal is to educate, raise awareness and create more allies and advocates for the black community.
During the first week of the challenge, from July 1 to July 7, participants were encouraged to watch the biopic “Get On Up,” starring the late actor Chadwick Boseman as James Brown. The ARC list also recommended reading the National Association of Independent Schools’ 2014 article “What White Kids Need to Know About Race,” as well as visiting and donating to the African American Museum. Roots 101 in Louisville, where a virtual Breonna Taylor exhibit is on display.
From July 8-14, its second week, people were invited to watch the speech that Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the “1619 Project,” gave to the United Nations General Assembly during the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The list also urges attendees to write about their own neighborhood’s history and demographics, as well as learn about and act on the never-issued 1955 arrest warrant for Carolyn Bryant Donham who accuses her of having participated in the murder of Emmett Till.
For the following week, July 15-21, the publication recommends the films “Citizen Ashe” and “Greenbook,” and calls for donations for Black Market KY, a Black-owned grocery store and community garden in West Louisville that has was vandalized last month. Additionally, the list asks residents to support the Louisville Story program and the Muhammad Ali Center.
The Anti-Racism Challenge appears on the Opinion page of the Courier-Journal website and under the Opinion tab of the newspaper app. An ARC tracking tool is available to track participants’ progress.
The newspaper hopes to involve the entire city in the challenge through social justice courts and other events made possible through its partnership with the Lean Into Louisville initiative.
“We have learned that our knowledge of history and culture is woefully incomplete,” the outlet wrote when announcing the initiative. “We’ve come to see that racism is deep-rooted and systemic and that bringing about change will take many committed advocates working for a long time.”
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