On the evening of June 17th, a young white man opened fire on a group of black churchgoers after bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, killing nine people. In the weeks since, there has been a spate of fires at predominantly black churches across the south, which some suspect to be the result of racially motivated arson. Set against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter campaign and the raging debate over police treatment of people and communities of color, these events have further reinforced that racism is still alive and well in the 21st century. In this special episode of The Big Something, we invited two scholars of race who live and teach in Colorado Springs to discuss the ongoing issues of racism and violence against African American communities, nationally and locally.
Dr. Heidi Lewis is assistant professor of feminist and gender studies at Colorado College, where she teaches courses on Critical Race Theory, African American Literature and Culture, Critical Whiteness Studies, Feminism, Gender and Sexuality, and more.
Rev. Dr. Stephany Rose is Associate Professor of Women's and Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She writes and teaches on the subjects of global masculinity, black women writers, hip hop, performance of identity, and more. She is also a pastor at Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Colorado Springs.