Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
Some stories worth sharing this week:
- Charlotte’s Latino community banded together as part of a nationwide movement Tuesday to deliver a message to the local Democratic Party headquarters: Tell President Obama to end the Secure Communities, or SCOMM, program, which has led to massive deportations.
- Seems like everybody is going out of their way to see “The Help,” the film about a pair of African American maids in 1960s Mississippi who manage to bring about change and cross social boundaries just by being who they are. Charlotteans who lived through those days certainly related to the film’s depiction of life in a segregated South. Do you plan to see the movie--or have you already? What did you think?
- Some encouraging news for Charlotteans who value recycling: city Solid Waste Services reports that city residents recycled 30 percent more paper, glass, plastic and metal in the first year of the so-called “single-stream” system.
- The C.D. Spangler Foundation has donated $100,000 to MeckEd, the nonprofit that helped Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools campaign this year for additional tax money.
- On a lighter note, Creative Loafing has come out with its annual Best of Charlotte selections. Take a look at the picks and see if you agree.
The stories spanned the globe: the Carolinas coast, Vietnam, Central America and America. Their messages were universal--love, individuality and respect.
In the last month, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte presented Brother Rabbit Spinning Free in collaboration with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library. The two organizations presented the play at libraries throughout the region for free. Children's Theatre commissioned award-winning playwright Marco Ramirez to create Brother Rabbit, and their Tarradiddle Players performed the works.
Brother opens with the clever Rabbit being captured by Slippy Fox. In an effort to distract Fox and escape, Rabbit tells Fox a series of folktales: Martin the Magnificent, from Central American culture, The Fisherman Prince, from Vietnamese culture, The Very First Fire, from Cherokee culture and Lookout Mountain, from Gullah culture.
On the afternoon of Aug. 13, the day after the release of the much anticipated movie The Help, W.I.L.D. (Women's Institute of Leadership Development) Women hosted a discussion for nearly 100 women of faith. From various backgrounds and members of several Charlotte-area churches, the women gathered at Forest Hill Church on Park Road for a discussion about the movie, a film that explores relationships between black maids and their white employers in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement.
For about an hour, the women, who were separated into groups of eight at tables throughout the room, explored the many themes presented in the movie.The discussion required them to make connections to the movie using their own experiences, examine the barriers that divide the women in the movie and determine how fear united the women in the movie.
On July 21, The Common Market (CM) hosted a karaoke party at its Plaza Midwood location. One of the sponsors was Blast By Colt 45, the malt liquor endorsed by the rapper Snoop Dogg. CM owner Blake Barnes thought it’d be goofy and fun to have a Snoop Dogg “impersonator” at the party, preferably someone who looks nothing like Snoop Dogg, such as a young white friend of his, who attended the party in rapper’s regalia--and black makeup. As Barnes does after every such event, he posted photos to Facebook. And then all hell broke loose.
Longtime patrons, regardless of race, were livid. Barnes initially replied on Facebook with a tepid half-apology that urged people, essentially, to calm down. That made things worse. It put Crossroads in an uncomfortable spot, too, since CM’s South End location had hosted the previous four installations of Art In the A.M., the monthly Friday morning performing arts showcase, and planned to host more.
So what to do? After a longer, more sincere apology from Barnes, Crossroads decided to use the incident as a springboard for a civil, frank, open discussion about racial and cultural sensitivity and what we can do when someone, without meaning to, violates those boundaries.
Crossroads called it “AboutFace: AboutBlackFace” and held it Tuesday evening on the patio behind The Common Market in South End. The discussion drew more than 60 people and, under consultant Brandi Williams’ direction, accomplished what it set out to do: get people of different races, classes and cultures communicating openly.
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