Eighteen people — Not in Our Town members and guests — gathered on March 1 at the Princeton Public Library for our “first Monday” Continuing Conversation series, a safe space to discuss difficult topics. We focused on the movie “Precious” as well as Jennifer Baszile’s “The Black Girl Next Door.” We heard personal observations that will stay in that room.

We each came away with different insights, but we pretty much agreed with the following ideas. These ideas may seem obvious when stated as generalities, but they were backed up with the specific examples that we told to each other. To request a summary, email niotprinceton@gmail.com

Thanks go to the Princeton Public Library for co-sponsoring these opportunities. Other announcements:

Here is a link to the New York Times article “Race in the South in the Age of Obama,” discussed at the meeting.

We just learned that Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. will speak at the Carl A. Fields Center on “Genealogy, Genetics, and African American History” on Friday, March 5, at 2 p.m., co-sponsored by the Center for African American Studies, though the program is not yet on that center’s website nor the Fields website.

Please remember Shirley Tilghman’s James Baldwin lecture on “the Meaning of Race in the Post Genome Era” on Tuesday, March 9, at 5:30 p.m. in Alexander Hall.

And the “Traces of the Trade” documentary to be shown on Thursday, March 11, at 7 p.m. at the library will be the focus of our next Continuing Conversation on Monday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Just announced, on Wednesday, March 17, at 7 p.m., the Princeton Public Library will screen “Standing on My Sister’s Shoulders,”, about the grassroots leaders of the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi in the ’50s and ’60s. Joan Sadoff, the producer, will be on hand for discussion afterwards. http://www.sisters-shoulders.org/film.html

We welcome any dialogue, either with emails or in writing for the blog, or commenting on it. Here is the link to our blog.