Race and racism have played a divisive and defining role throughout much of America's history. Slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, and Ku Klux Klan terrorism have inflicted deep psychic wounds, social disparities, and economic disadvantages that have diminished the promise of equal rights and opportunities for all. While much progress in race relations has been made in recent years—including the election of Barack Obama as President of the United State—it's clear that our journey to a post-racial era is far from complete. In virtually every measurable category, whether income levels, job opportunities, access to health care, life expectancy, high school diplomas, incarceration rates, do not fare well compared to their white counterparts. The dialogue entitled Race and Reconciliation in America was convened to provide a forum for a long overdue, open, honest, and constructive discussion among people of good will about the need for the American people to truly grasp the depth of past misdeeds, why the legacies of past oppression persist, and how we can achieve a more fair and just society embodied in the American Dream.
William S. Cohen is former Secretary of Defense. In 2001, Secretary Cohen ended a 28-year career in government service and entered the private sector as Chairman and CEO of The Cohen Group, an international strategic consulting company. In addition to his work at The Cohen Group, Secretary Cohen remains an active public voice on issues of foreign affairs, business, and defense. Janet Langhart Cohen is an Emmy-nominated journalist, author, playwright, and communications specialist. She has published her memoirs, From Rage to Reason, coauthored Love in Black and White with her husband, and most recently received acclaim for her groundbreaking one-act play on institutional racism, Anne and Emmett.
Chapter 1 Editors' Note Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Chapter 1. The Arc of History and How We Got Here Chapter 4 Chapter 2. Justice: Is it Color-Blind? Chapter 5 Chapter 3. Education: What Are We Teaching? What Are We Learning? Are We Failing? Chapter 6 Chapter 4. The Economics of Race Chapter 7 Chapter 5. The Media and Film Chapter 8 Chapter 6. Religion and Spirituality Chapter 9 Chapter 7. The Next Generation Speaks