Whites in America have a complicated history: the more famous narrative is that of a race of people who view themselves superior than others, and who relish in their privileges at the expense of their fellow man and woman, and the lesser known narrative – stories which exposes the greatness of humanity – is that of the white ally in the fight for racial and economic justice.
There’s a rich history of white allyship in America, a history – which includes the name of people like Philadelphia’s Mr. Benjamin Rush, New York City’s Mr. Andrew Goodman and Connecticut’s Mr. John Brown – that both preceded and succeeded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a civil rights leader for whom some white people sacrificed their life in the pursuit of justice. Yet, despite the aforementioned names, and even those Whites who marched and labored with Dr. King, it was he who warned that White moderates and the White church – those who understand and empathize with oppression but who urge patience over provocation when Blacks seek liberation – could pose a greater threat to the community than the oppressors and those who favor them.
“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice,” read a portion of Dr. King’s letter from a Birmingham jail.
It was this lengthy letter that served as the inspiration for the topic of discussion – effective white allyship – on a special podcast presented by Philadelphia Magazine and 900am-WURD, Pennsylvania’s only black talk radio station. The conversation spans three interviews – including one with Leslie Mac, co-creator of The Safety Pin Box, a monthly subscription service that offers measurable task for white people to complete in order to be an ally in the fight for black liberation – and was moderated by Philadelphia Magazine Associate Editor Mr. Malcolm Burnley and I, the CEO of Techbook Online.
Below is the special podcast presentation for your listening pleasure.
Podcast courtesy of WURD Radio and Philadelphia Magazine