Noliwe Rooks, the associate director of Princeton’s newly rejuvenated Center for African American Studies: “There are still too few places where someone is taking responsibility for sharing accurate information about America and race. Someone needs to tell people about the America that has gotten us to this point, so that we know enough to move forward. That’s what we’re doing here (at the center).”
Yes, there is a gap between what people know about race and the reality. Princeton’s center, new director Eddie Glaude Jr. at the helm, aims to lead the way to close that gap. Not in Our Town and the Princeton Public Library are trying to fill that gap on a local level with “Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege,” held on first Mondays.
The dialogue on race and white privilege begun earlier this spring at Not In Our Town’s series “Engaging Together to Explore White Privilege.” There is no need to have attended any of the series’ sessions to participate. This will be a “drop-in” format, facilitated by members of the Princeton-based interracial and interfaith social action group. Topics will include how we feel about the term “white privilege,” and issues relevant to our community and nation.
The next NIOT sessions are Jan. 4 and Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m.
The library hosts Jennifer Baszile, author of “The Black Girl Next Door,” on Sunday, February 7, at 2 p.m. From the program: “Baszile’s memoir is about her childhood in an affluent Southern California suburb as a post-segregation child in a not-quite-integrated world. In trips to her parents’ childhood homes in Louisiana and Detroit, she sees their very different American pasts. Baszile followed the path her parents set out to become the first black female professor at Yale University, in its history department.”
The next dates for Princeton’s African American Study Center are January 18, March 9, and April 13.
Elsewhere on the campus, the Office of Population Research in Wallace Hall hosts Thomas Espenshade for a noon lecture on “Race, Class, and the Selective College Experience,” on Tuesday, December 15. Wallace Hall is located on the diagonal line between the Woodrow Wilson School’s Robertson Hall on Washington Road and the Friend Center on Olden Street.
Too few places to talk? In Princeton we seem to have plenty of talking opportunities. All we need are the talkers.