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June 21, 2007


Karen Burke

Dear Ms. Bethel,

I am following your essays on race with keen interest. I heartily welcome this long awaited debate on race and history and encourage you to persist whether the weather be receptive or not; for this is a crucial discussion that we must have as a maturing nation.

Keeping our heads in the proverbial sand,disregarding our history and the legacy of slavery that governs our present existence, will not erase the necessity to come to grips with who we are and from whence we have come as a nation. Especially those of us of African descent. Without such debate we will forever remain in this psychosocial kindergarten, accepting our equality, not because of our common humanity, but because we have been “allowed” this following emancipation.

Sitting in denial, as you so aptly said, psychologically we remain the slaves of our old masters. Consulting the gradations of skin shades before we make any decision.

Yes, this is painful to hear and even more painful to accept, but just as birth is not painless neither is rebirth. And it is just this excruciating rebirth that we so need.

Please don't stop sharing.

Karen Burke


Thank you, Karen.

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