AUDIO EXCERPTS: A CONVERSATION ON RACE Each year on Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts, The Du Bois Institute sponsors a conversation on race.  The 1997 conversation, held in Edgartown's Old Whaling Church in late August, received national attention because of President Clinton's initiative on race.
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Kathleen Cleaver

led off the panel by questioning the assumptions of white supremacy which she says lie behind any racial conversation.

 


Christopher Edley

pointed out that we have to "search for the kernel of truth in what the other side is saying." He advocated withholding judgment of one another's views until we reach the end of one conversation, and added that conversation for its own sake might be counterproductive.

 


Orlando Patterson

Harvard sociology professor Orlando Patterson, author of the book, The Ordeal of Integration, argued that the state of black America, like the state of racial relations in the country generally, has much improved since the sixties.

 


Patricia Williams

Columbia Law School professor Patricia Williams shared a touching story about the ordeal she experienced while arranging a mortgage for her summer home on Martha's Vineyard. Her story demonstrates that while the black middle class has advanced, race is still for many of them a double-edged sword.

 


Cornel West

wrapped up the major themes of the panel and posed a pointed question for the country.

These audioclips use RealAudio technology and require RealPlayer 4.0 or later to work. They also require a 28.8Kbps or faster modem.

 

 

 
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