With all of the focus on the Birmingham Museum of Art’s successful Art on the Rocks series, some folks would forget that there are other venues and events for people to get together and mingle. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute provides an opportunity for stimulating dialogue in our community and around the world throughout the year. Tomorrow evening (July 13), the Institute encourages young professionals to look at civil rights issues from the past and present with the start of its second season of Sixteenth & Sixth. The event’s name not only represents the location of the Institute, but the location of one of the sites normally considered as a birthplace for the Civil Rights movement in America, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
During a recent interview on a local television station, a member of BCRI speaking on behalf of the institute about the event stated that the Institute is not just a Black thing. It isn’t, and possibly making more people aware of events and discussions similar to what will most likely happen tomorrow evening will allow us to work towards removing some of those crazier stereotypes in our society. It is a difficult task, but one that must be accomplished in order for this city to move forward.
Running away from one’s past is not the best solution. It appears as though recently we have been trying to do that often in the area. Wade recently posted about some current examples. Real conversation is needed. So maybe we should do as the logo says for the series: speak. drink. mix. Bydoing that, we’ll start CHANGING some perspectives and EXPLORING ways to make our society better.