Racism: The Conversation that is No Longer Optional

This entry is part 11 of 19 in the series: What's Buzzing with Bea

This past February was Black History Month and a lot of specials and events were held to commemorate it. As part of the 50+ generation, we have all witnessed changes. Some were sweeping others far more subtle, but there were changes.

How do we actually have THIS discussion of race with the younger generation? I was told once that there is a valid reason why so many children of color do not have the “fire in the belly” regarding racial issues and equality. While their parents fought tooth and nail to become a part of the middle class, their children were BORN INTO the middle class.

I was told once that there is a valid reason why so many children of color do not have the “fire in the belly” regarding racial issues and equality. While their parents fought tooth and nail to become a part of the middle class, their children were BORN INTO the middle class.

How far do you go back into history to start this discussion? Do you cover the racism in the United States which is normally seen as a Black and White issue or racism in the rest of the world? Do your reveal your own personal feelings (we all have them) about race?

There are many great movies and books out that can offer an excellent segway to this much-needed conversation. “The Help”, is a good move to start with. While “12 Years as a Slave,” although very accurate, maybe too graphic as a primer. “Dancing with the Wolves” is an excellent movie that traces the relationship between our government and the Native Americans who sadly walked the Trail of Tears. This story is particularly close to me because my grandmother’s side of the family was part of this tribe.

The key is to start SOMEWHERE to open up a positive INFORMED dialogue with each other, and particularly our children and grandchildren. This is no longer an “optional” conversation.

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Beatrice Bailey

Beatrice Bailey was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa to a Baptist minister father and a mother who was a gospel recording artist. She has three sisters and one brother. She attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a BA in Psychology from California State University, Sacramento. Retired since 2004 from management positions with both the Xerox Corporation and the State of California, Bea now conducts customized seminars on “Budgeting for the Not So Rich and Famous”, “Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together…The Ultimate Balancing Act,” as well as interview techniques entitled, “Selling the Sizzle and Not the Steak.” In addition, she is an active member of St. Paul Baptist Church in Sacramento, CA, where she is an Adult Sunday School teacher. Bea has been a Head Feature Writer for Senior Magazine of Northern California. She also writes a monthly newspaper column entitled, “Uniquely Bea” Currently, she has authored a best-selling book, entitled, "Farewell, My Friend” and is conducting presentations and book signings throughout the United States and Mexico. "Radio Luz,” a Spanish Speaking Christian Radio Station, has interviewed her multiple times. Bea also was selected to be included in a book by The Author’s Show, as one of the "50 Outstanding Writers You Should Be Reading”. Bea has produced and hosted a new innovative television show, “A-Z with Bea”, which aired in November 2009 on RCCTV, Sacramento, CA. Bea is active at St. Paul Baptist Church and is an Adult Sunday school Teacher, and a Small Accountability Group Leader. She is a member of Kaiser’s Bio-Ethics Committee and on the Board of Advisors for the East Lawn Corporation. Recently, she has been asked to participate as a speaker with the Black Health Today national organization. To relax, Bea likes to work out at the gym, walk, knit, paint, sew, cook, garden, and read. Traveling within the United States, Mexico, Asia, the Caribbean, South America and Europe is one of Bea’s true passions. She has two adult children, one “bonus son”, five wonderful grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She resides in Northern California.

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