John Hope Franklin speaker Barbara J. Love says healing needed to quell racism
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Friday, November 16, 2012
11/16/12 at 4:55 AM
Violence ripples through generations and across oceans, often as the result of unresolved pain, Barbara J. Love told about 250 people Thursday night at the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Dinner at the Greenwood Cultural Center.
Jumping from the Trail of Tears to the Thirty Years' War to Idi Amin, Love, professor emerita of social justice education in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, described the interconnectedness of human suffering and cruelty.
"People do not act out and hate just to act out" for no reason, she said.
"They act out because something has been done to them already and they didn't get a chance to heal."
Love used as an example the history of the Irish, who suffered under harsh English rule for generations and were treated as little more than slaves, then acquired a reputation for violent racism against black people in the United States.
Love said that although some Irish immigrants sympathized with black slaves, they ultimately surrendered that sympathy to "become white" themselves.
"That does not heal hurt," she said.
Love reviewed the event of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot and connected it with the area's history, going back to the 18th century, before the arrival of the Creek and Cherokee Indians from the southeastern United States, through the national racial unrest of the World War I era and afterward.
Love said information and knowledge is important but "is not enough to heal."
She cited the U.S. surgeon general's warning on cigarette packs, saying the knowledge that smoking kills does not prevent some people from smoking.
The two-hour-plus program included poetry readings, singing and a video presentation.
The John Hope Franklin Center of Reconciliation is named in honor of one of Tulsa's most distinguished native sons, a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School who became one of the foremost scholars on the history of race relations in the United States.
Original Print Headline: Speaker says healing needed
Randy Krehbiel 918-581-8365
Featured speaker Barbara J. Love (right) chats with Joyce Smith-Williams (left) of Tulsa and Vanessa Adams-Harris before the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Dinner at the Greenwood Cultural Center on Thursday. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World