Houston Matters

How Different Generations Talk About Race

Each generation approaches conversations about race differently. Baby Boomers who lived through the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s see the world differently from Gen Xers, who grew up in a desegregated — but still in some ways disconnected and often unequal — society. Millennials live in a digital age in which seemingly everything is […]

Conversations About Race BannerEach generation approaches conversations about race differently. Baby Boomers who lived through the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s see the world differently from Gen Xers, who grew up in a desegregated — but still in some ways disconnected and often unequal — society. Millennials live in a digital age in which seemingly everything is recorded and pushed out to the world, including incidents some perceive as evidence of institutional racial injustice, which have given rise to movements like Black Lives Matter.

Those incidents include the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and more recently — and closer to home — the death of Sandra Bland in a Waller County jail. There were reverberations to those incidents in the news this week. On Tuesday, a Ferguson judge announced he’ll withdraw thousands of arrest warrants for minor offenses, due in part to a Justice Department report last spring, prompted by the Michael Brown shooting, which indicated a pattern of civil rights violations by the Ferguson Police Department. Also Tuesday, the Prairie View City Council voted to rename University Drive as the Sandra Bland Parkway, in memory of the Prairie View alum who was arrested while returning to her alma mater to start a new job, and who officials say hung herself in her Waller County cell three days later.

Today, we hear what three Houstonians think about how we talk about race, in light of these incidents and the movements they’ve spurred.

We hear the views of Marlon Smith and Aundrea Matthews from the Black Greeks Speak Social Justice and Human Rights Council, and Texas Southern University student Caleb Taylor, the co-founder of the Southern Student Leadership Association. They discuss a number of issues surrounding race, and how we talk about it, including how different generations perceive the conversation.

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