by Latoya Peterson
Last week, Tricia Rose was invited on PBS’ Need To Know for a segment titled “Fixing America.” Amid discussions of federally funded campaign dollars and guaranteed employment, Rose explained that what America needs is a way to have a real conversation about race and campaigns to “end racial illiteracy.” She’s on at the 6:00 minute mark.
Professor Tricia Rose:
One way I would fix the country is to create a program that focuses on ending our racial illiteracy. I’m concerned that we’ve been asked to be afraid to talk about race, how talking about race is a racist thing to do, our educational system is driven by very significant differences on race. Our incarceration rate is extraordinary on this matter. Housing segregation, wealth accumulation, access to various resources, they way Obama is being handled – it has everything to do with race and yet we can’t figure out how to mention that word. We need to have a collective way of talking about race, that includes everyone talking together. Ask the artists, ask the historians, ask the teachers, ask the journalists. What do we need to know, in order to be literate?