Message from the President.
June 1, 2020
Dear Levine Museum Family,
What is it going to take?
What happened to George Floyd is what has happened to countless men and women of color at the hands of law enforcement –or white people who positioned themselves as law enforcement - for centuries in this country. A hundred years ago, it was simply the way things were.
Today, we imagine that this isn’t really the way things are – certainly not the way things should be. And we find ways to blame the victim or blame the single perpetrator, as if the system that enabled any single atrocity wasn’t rooted deeply into our history, our culture, and our psyche. So, elected officials plead for peaceful protests. They appoint task forces or launch investigations. Perhaps there are community dialogues.
All of which are followed by another unspeakable, unjustifiable murder of a person of color at the hands of law enforcement. What is it going to take before we commit to real change?
None of us at Levine Museum pretends to have the answer, but what we do know is that healing begins with history. If you do not understand the history that got us to this place, then you will not make a difference. If you don’t know the history, then you are not talking about the right things or addressing the right questions.
Levine Museum of the New South connects the past with the present to realize the promises of a New South – a place of justice and equity and opportunity for all. We use history to build community.
Beginning Thursday, we will hold a series of programs that ask the question, ‘what is it going to take?’ (You can find the program details here). And we are going to challenge each of us and all of us to find answers to that question. For white people, this is an excruciating journey. I know, because I am on it. But it is a journey we have to take, because real lives are at stake right here, right now.
We can’t wait another minute.