Let's Take it to the Next Level

This week, Jews all over the world will celebrate Passover. The Passover Seder recounts the story of a time when Jews were slaves in Egypt, and of their redemption from slavery. Jews retell the story each year as if they themselves had been slaves, and are now free. The mark of slavery is so indelible that the wounds have not been forgotten, even 3,500 years later.

How fresh and present, then, are the injuries of African-American enslavement? How traumatized the community that endured it, and how scarred the society that produced and supported it?     

Through our One Book, One Watertown community read of Homegoing, we have tried to foster conversation around such questions. For some in our community, perhaps we went too far in even broaching the questions. For others, it will appear that we barely took baby steps in confronting our collective past. We recognize that everyone in our community comes to our programs and events from a different starting place; we welcome those differences, and seek to find ways to help bridge the gaps to ensure the conversations more forward.

If you participated in One Book, One Watertown 2017, and have comments, suggestions, or feedback for us, please email watref@watertown-ma.gov. And most especially, if you were at our Panel Discussion on Race, and you have thoughts about how we can "take it to the next level," as one audience member put it, please reach out to us. We're listening.



The panel guests have talked about racism that some students experience at the Watertown Middle School. It might be an important next step to hear directly from Watertown's students ( Middle and High school). This would help engage younger residents as well as more parents who are invested in making WPS equitable for all.

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