Wednesday, July 26, 2006

City in Denial

Vivian Paige posted “Racism and one solution” on Friday, in which she documented a project that is dealing with racism in a practical way. Rather than slogans, it depends on honesty and determination. The spirit of the post reminded me of something I wrote four years ago for STYLE Weekly for their Back Page during Black History Month. The piece was called “City in Denial.” Here's a preview:

“...In the late ’50s and early ’60s, when honest people of the Deep South saw the stark pictures -- in national magazines and on television -- of the shocking violence associated with desegregation, the hideous truth hit them in the face. For those who could manage it, change must have seemed vastly preferable to posing for more pictures of hell on earth. Apprehensive white people who had been brought up as bigots had to agree with their restless black neighbors that change was inevitable and necessary. They might not have become pals overnight but they, blacks and whites, must have seen that they just couldn’t keep having riots in their streets.

"However, in Richmond more restraint was evidenced. While that surely seemed like a blessing at the time, it may have come with a price.

To read the entire piece click here.


Vivian J. Paige said...

Very nice piece.

F.T. Rea said...


This piece drew some comment when it came out. As you might guess it was both positive and negative. I have a story that stems from the feedback I'll tell you sometime.