Reconciliation Center Holds Fifth Annual Symposium

Jun 2, 2014

George C. Wright speaks during the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation's fifth annual symposium.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

The John Hope Franklin Center’s fifth annual symposium on reconciliation in America focused on education for reconciliation.

Noted African-American scholar George C. Wright spoke Friday. He said 50 years after the passing of the Civil Rights Act, forgetting the events around that time is an obstacle to equality now.

"The selective memory of some whites is one of the pressing problems that black people still face to full equality in American society today," Wright said.

Wright pointed to demonstrators against the Civil Rights Act now denying their actions as a problem. He said the acknowledgement of past problems, such as those by Australia and South Africa’s governments, help attempts at reconciliation.

"To me, personally, what happened in Australia with the apology, what happened in South Africa with their actions, is something that we in the United States need to think seriously about," Wright said.

Australia's government apologized for the treatment of aboriginal children, and South Africa formed committees for issues stemming from apartheid to be resolved.