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A Freedom Rider Remembers
Experience the Civil Rights Movement through a first-hand account.
The Life and Work of Andrew Wyeth
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The Lasting Impact of Child Maltreatment
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Writers of the Lost Generation
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The Sex-Wise Parent
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The “T” Community
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America’s Role in the World
Learn about the relationship between foreign policy and nuclear weapons.
Discover what’s being done to stop the spread of infectious diseases.
- 13 Indigenous Grandmothers
- Activism/Civil Rights Movement
- American Indian Identity
- Art & Design, Publishing
- Art, Caregiving
- Art, Filmmaking
- Black Middle Class
- Child Abuse
- Chinese Culture
- Climate Change
DISCUSSIONBlack and White
In his 1999 autobiography, Randall Robinson said, “Blacks and whites understand almost nothing of each other in America.”
Do you agree? And to what extent have things changed?
03/22 at 02:06 PM from Buckinghamshire, England
Having grown up in South Africa, what becomes apparent is that the gulf between black and white is so often down to class rather than colour. The rise of a black middle class in South Africa and the opening up of schools, restaurants, cinemas, bars, nightclubs etc since democratic elections in 1994 has certainly enabled colour-blind friendships and relationships of all kind to emerge.
In the US these barriers have been down for many years - and never really existed some states. Yet still there exists alienation and anomie between the races. I suspect that’s down to spending power, access to jobs, living in different areas which force black and white to lead very different lives.
I think things improve all the time, led by sport and music rather than business or church, with race-free relationships more likely to emerge between people with common goals and raw talents.
One look at the modern South Africa shows the miraculous changes which have taken place. I suspect some states in the US have changed beyond recognition in terms of race too.
But we are a long way short of harmony. I would argue that, in parts of Britain now, race is less important than culture. There is more “fear” from the the average Briton towards those of Eastern European descent Romanians in particular, often Poles too) than there is towards the older immigrants from Asia and the Caribbean.
I cannot speak for the US, but the change in popular television programmes, pioneered by the BBC’s use of black newsreaders and reporters, has helped promote a colour-blind attitude from the younger generation.
I have watched it work far quicker in South Africa, where black role models were once non-existent.
My answer Mr Robinson? Sport. Kids who play sport together from an early age learn to achieve as a team. Colour, culture, language counts for nothing.
ABOUT THE EPISODE
Randall Robinson is an internationally recognized activist and acclaimed author. Listen to him discuss his advocacy on behalf of Africa and the Caribbean. Learn about his contributions to such pivotal events as the end of apartheid in South Africa and the restoration of Haiti’s first democratically elected government.
For a captioned version of this interview, go to YouTube.
ABOUT THE GUEST
Penn State Law Professor Randall Robinson is an internationally acclaimed author whose interests focus on the use of foreign policy to achieve social goals and racial equity.
Robinson founded TransAfrica, which seeks to influence U.S. foreign policy towards Africa and the Caribbean. He also established the Free South Africa Movement, which pushed successfully for the imposition of U.S. sanctions against South Africa and was instrumental in ending apartheid.
Robinson’s public advocacy on behalf of the people of Haiti spurred a multinational operation that restored Haiti’s first democratically elected government to power. He is the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards.
More about Robinson
- Visit his Website
- Read an excerpt from his book, Unbroken Agony
- Watch Democracy Now: Robinson taps Clinton and Bush to co-chair U.S. relief efforts in Haiti
PENN STATE CONNECTION
WHERE TO WATCH
Big Ten Network
Monday, March 1 at 3pm
Tuesday, March 2 at 3am
Thursday, March 25 at 9pm
ABOUT THE HOST
Veteran interviewer Patty Satalia hosts in-depth conversations with a broad range of remarkable people.