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Racism is more than a 'black problem'

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 28, 2012 - Just as sexism isn’t a strictly a female issue and anti-Semitism isn’t only a Jewish concern, racism is a challenge all people must address, according to a panel at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

In connection with its current showing of David Mamet’s “Race,” a play about attorneys defending a wealthy, white man accused of raping a black woman, The Rep hosted “Conversations ... Racism” on Monday night.

The event began with scenes from three plays addressing issues of race: “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Blood Knot” and “Spinning into Butter.” Afterward, a panel moderated by Beacon general manager Nicole Hudson Hollway discussed the topic and responded to questions from the mostly white audience.

The panel consisted of YWCA director of racial justice Amy Hunter, Webster University arts and science dean David Carl Wilson and psychologist and educator Kira Hudson Banks, who also is a regular contributor to the Beacon's Voices section.

In her closing remarks, Banks explained why pretending that race doesn’t exist actually hinders efforts to combat racism.

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.