Conversations Everywhere – We’re Ready to Talk About Race

Let’s examine some recent discussions about race.

The Smithsonian Museum, according to an ABCNews article published this August, was hoping to acquire Treyvon Martin’s hoodie for a race-related exhibit. Although Smithsonian later said they are not currently seeking to add Trayvon Martin’s hoodie to their collection due to the trickiness to obtain it, they recognize its real value—

Not its value due to the stir of media and public caused by the shooting. But the value in the hoodie’s undeniable ability to, now and in the future, spur even more talk than it already has about race.

“We recognize that certain items related to the Trayvon Martin trial could one day have historical value and provide a way to study and discuss race in America,” a spokeswoman for The Smithsonian told Orlando Sentinel reporters. 

Locally, during the last week of September, the Northwest African American Museum provided a space for people to gather to discuss the case. According to The Stranger’s “Slog”, a mixed group of all ages attended the event. Two individuals were in charge of moderating the discussion, but the open dialogue was considered a success.

An article of clothing from a recent event is already considered to have “historical value”— this is new to me.

And an effective, public discussion concerning racism in my city. People want to talk. Whether it’s due to the widespread reach of the chattering media, or the transparent nature of this relatively-new internet— there are conversations happening like never before. Trayvon Martin’s case provides only one example.

Conversations: a powerful tool to aid in the changing of mindsets. Our generation will be known for its ability to shape the opinions of a nation not by force, but by word.