If some of the information presented in this website is new to you, it might seem overwhelming. The wrongs that have been perpetrated are so great, it is hard to imagine what we can possibly do to repair them.
For the two of us who have initiated this website and its companion slide presentation, the journey began with unlearning, relearning, acknowledgement, and a determination to share a more accurate history of segregation in Lexington with others.
Now we are thinking about how we, and others, can best address this newly retrieved and collated information.
According to Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law, the starting point for all useful work has to be challenging the myth of de facto or accidental segregation:
“Remedies are inconceivable as long as citizens, whatever their political views, continue to accept the myth of de facto segregation."
Effective repairs need to be built on recognizing and acknowledging the intentional forces that strengthen and sustain segregation. How to do that, and move forward, feels to us like a community question, not one just for us. It is a question that may need its own investigation and consideration. We think it may need to begin with opportunities for individuals, businesses and other groups to acknowledge this past history formally. Even that, though, needs investigation. We believe that this investigation, and actions to follow, can best be best addressed by Black and White people together.
In the meantime, what we each do next probably depends on where we are now.
For those who want to focus on learning more, the "References" page of this website can lead to further reading. Some of the books that especially influenced us are:
• From Here to Equality, by Dr. William Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen
• The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
• The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee
• White Space, Black Hood by Sheryll Cashin
Those who are moved to take action might consider these options:
• Offer time or money to ongoing projects.
Many people in Lexington are engaged in programs and projects that seek to repair racial injustices. Others are engaged in efforts to celebrate the successes and contributions of African Americans. Most would probably welcome sincere offerings of money or volunteer time
• Take on issues no one in Lexington is working on right now.
The "What We Don't Know" page of this website suggests some segregation-related issues that, to our knowledge, no one in Lexington is working on right now. All are challenging and would require time, effort and commitment.
• Do further research.
There is much more to be learned about all of this. The “What We Don’t Know” page of this website suggests possibilities.
As Nelson Mandela said: "It always seems impossible until it's done."