Carrie was a friend until she decided she needed to tell me what she thought I SHOULD KNOW....i.e. 'what was wrong with me.' I declined the opportunity

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 - A community event this week offers the perfect...
A community event this week offers the perfect opportunity for whites to learn what it means to be African-American and a chance for blacks to welcome the effort. v f ' ' - ' I V 'A V: N V- ;. .-.. V: . ' - a 1 E V 11 CHRIS HOLMESLanslng State Journal Why are they smiling? Carrie Owens (left) and Suzanne Elms-Barclay have shared their differences and continue to learn about each other. CHANGING PERSPECTIVE Juneteenth can help boost understanding among races By Christine Rook Lansing State Journal The workplace and the classroom are integrated, but at the end of the day, African-Americans and whites often go their separate ways. "We need to get together. We need to integrate," said Carrie Owens, a twice-retired educator, who as a black child in the South endured a culture of whites-only drinking fountains and whites-only parks. A community event this week offers the perfect opportunity a chance for whites to learn what it means to be African-American and a chance for blacks to welcome the effort. The celebration is called Juneteenth the commemoration of June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers showed up in Texas to enforce President Lincoln's 2-year-old Emancipation Proclamation. The three-day Juneteenth festival is the 10th annual in Lansing, and organizers hope mid-Michigan residents of all races will attend. There's a tendency to think of Juneteenth as a black holiday. It's really an American holiday, everything the Fourth of July could have been had the Founding Fathers not excluded hundreds of thousands of people when they declared all men equal. As a result, Juneteenth is an opportunity to reach out and learn about each other blacks and whites, whites and blacks and maybe even talk about differences and similarities. "We all have to make it our responsibility to learn about each other," said festival organizer Debra Plummer of Lansing. ROD SANFORDLansing State Journal Drumming along: Sankofa Shule drummer Marcel McFadden will perform with his group at 11 a.m. Saturday on the children's stage. It's human nature to find comfort in the familiar. Priscilla Wade, an East Lansing psychologist, grew up in an ethnically mixed household. As a result, she moves in a social circle that is just as mixed. "It's all very familiar," she said. That's not the case for many mid-Michigan families, however. Many white families have an inner circle of white friends and attend all-white or mostly white churches. Many black families socialize only with other African-Americans, gravitating to all-black or mostly black churches. "Historically, it's been ingrained in most of our heads that the races blacks and whites should be sepa rated," said psychologist Thomas Gunnings of East Lansing. "The more exposure, the more and more we feel at ease," he said. Juneteenth organizers say the event is open to all. "If you were to come to our softball games, you'd see Hispanic, black and white players," said Plummer, 46. "You would not know that, if you didn't come." Some whites feel uncomfortable, though, confronting racial issues. They wonder why they should be held accountable for what people did 140 years ago. "They feel bad about that slavery thing, but they don't know what to do about it," said Suzanne Elms-Barclay, 54, who is white and advocates that people learn about other cultures. For them, the struggle is figuring out not whether to reach out but how to reach out How to build a bridge Elms-Barclay of Lansing and Carrie Owens of Haslett are friends but could have grown up viewing the other as a stereotype. Elms-Barclay never had much exposure to African-Americans as a kid, and could have written off all of Black America to the myriad of modern stereotypes. Owens, who won't reveal her age but is old enough to have grown up in a segregated West Palm Beach, Fla., has a lot of reasons to hate. "We know white people existed because my mother used to wash and iron for white people," she said. At age 12, Owens worked 40 hours see Juneteenth Page 6D Join the party What: Lansing's 10th annual celebration of Juneteenth a commemoration of June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enforce the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. When: Three-day fest Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday from noon to dusk, Saturday from 10 a.m. to dusk l Where: Thursday on the east steps of the Capitol. Friday and Saturday events take place in Benjamin F. Davis Park at 5500 Pleasant Grove Road, south of Jolly Road in Lansing. I Cost: Free Events schedule Thursday 1 5:30 p.m.: Opening ceremony Friday Noon: Three-on-three basketball tournament at the courts near the parking lot; food vendors open for business 5 p.m.: Softball tournament in fields north of the parking lot Saturday 10 a.m.: Sports finals begin and vending booths open. Vendors will sell food, handmade jewelry and items such as African woodcarvings. Workshops such as wood carving scheduled throughout the day. 1 11 a.m.: Children's stage opens with performance by Sankofa Shule's drummers and dancers. Stage is located near the playground equipment. Other performances include Faith Fellowship Children's Choir. Additional youth activities cake walk, face painting and crafts. Health fair begins. Nine local health organizations offer blood pressure screenings and provide information on weight loss, asthma and breast cancer. 1 2 p.m.: Opening and invocation followed by these performances: National anthem sung by Pointe Blanc, an a cappella group from Lansing; songs of praise by Lansing Teen Challenge; II Hype Crew, the Dwight Rich Middle School step team; Vera Riley, Lansing gospel soloist; and Mallika Dancers, African dance group from Lansing 1 3 p.m.: Keynote address by Melvin Peters, professor of African-American studies at Eastern Michigan University; sports awards 1 4 p.m.: 1800s soldier re-enactment; African Masquerade Dancers of Lansing; gospel music by Bethlehem Temple Choir 1 5 p.m.: Rib cookoff winners announced; name that tune dance contest; Hustle Time with caller; Pointe Blanc; contemporary jazz by Harvey Pershay 1 8 p.m.: Performance by the Powerlight Band, offering Motown, jazz and rhythm and blues

Clipped from
  1. Lansing State Journal,
  2. 17 Jun 2003, Tue,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 25

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  • — Carrie was a friend until she decided she needed to tell me what she thought I SHOULD KNOW....i.e. 'what was wrong with me.' I declined the opportunity

    Clipped by richard0152 – 22 Sep 2017

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