How do you come to trust a person you perceive to be your enemy? Such challenges face communities grappling with troubled racial histories. This paper introduces how two sites of historic conflict have begun to address their complicated and painful pasts in order to heal history’s wounds and create a more just and inclusive future. Ordinary residents in Philadelphia, MS, and Birmingham, AL, are making their communities better at building trust in order to tell the truth about their pasts. Both communities are notorious for their racist histories and especially for the collusion of law enforcement in imposing White supremacy through violence. But through a facilitated process of storytelling and historical dialogue, a group in each community cultivated a space of trust and healing that are expanding the possibilities for belonging and equity. Drawing on a first-hand account of my role in community building and race relations as well as placing that work within a larger framework of social movement organizing, I show that telling the truth about the past through stories can transform and uplift distressed and inequitable communities.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.
Usage data cannot currently be displayed