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Celebrate Black History MonthBlack history and culture is major a part of the American fabric -- and the school curriculum -- that it's difficult to imagine a time when that wasn't so. Established as Negro History Week in the 1920s by Carter G. Woodson, February was chosen for the celebration because Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were born in this month. Black History month was extended to a month-long celebration in 1976. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history. During the month of February, 89.1 WEMU will feature programs and activities to commemorate, celebrate, and take opportunity to emphasize the history and achievements of African Americans.

Local Community Conversation To Focus On Changing Our Stories To End Racism

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Washtenaw Faces Race
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washtenawfacesrace.weebly.com/

February is Black History Month, and coming up this week in Ypsilanti is a virtual community conversation being called “America Without Racism...Making the Vision a Reality."  Organized by several local organizations, including “Washtenaw Faces Race” and the Ypsilanti District Library, the two-day, online event is intended to be a conversation about imagining a world without racism and exploring what needs to be done to make that a reality.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with La'Ron Williams, a local storyteller and racial justice educator, who helped come up with the idea for the community event.

La'Ron Williams
Credit Ypsilanti District Library / ypsilibrary.org
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ypsilibrary.org
La'Ron Williams

As a storyteller, La'Ron Williams says he believes it's possible to change the world by changing your story.  He says there are so many areas to address, including the destruction of the environment, racial inequality. and the move away from democracy. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically exposed inequities caused by long-standing racism in the United States, revealing that the need for change is more urgent than ever.  There will be a virtual, two-day community conversation imagining a world free of racism and exploring what must be done to create the future.  Experts will talk about the fundamental changes needed in the institutions of policing, work, healthcare, and the commons, with interludes by local musicians, poets, and artists.

The event will take place Feburary 5th and 6th, and you can register online through the Ypsilanti Library or through Eventbrite.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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