Delaware Public Media

Georgetown Library, ACLU to host presentation about racial injustice

Apr 25, 2018

The Georgetown Public Library is hosting a presentation Thursday about racial injustice in Delaware.

The event, organized mainly by the ACLU of Delaware, will focus on history of the issue in the First State, as well as present day racial justice campaigns.

Dr. Angela Winand, head of the Mitchell Center for African American Heritage and Diversity Programs at the Delaware Historical Society, is the keynote speaker. She says looking to the past is important, because it provides context to present day conditions.

“The lack of resources that African Americans were able to accumulate, acquire or control in the 19th Century and the fact that they don’t have, as a group, good resources or access in the present day,” Winand said. “There is a direct relationship.”

Kathleen MacRae, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Delaware, adds that the history of slavery is echoed in today’s prison system.

"Delaware incarcerates at a higher rate than the surrounding states,” said MacRae. “African Americans represent about 22% of the Delaware population, yet they represent 51% of the prison population.”

Presenters will elaborate on what MacRae calls this “continuum of oppression” of African Americans, and will showcase the ACLU of Delaware's current campaign for criminal justice reform in Delaware. Attendees will learn how they can get involved in this campaign.

Other sponsors include the Progressive Democrats of Sussex County, NAACP Delaware State Conference and the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice.

The event starts at 5:30 and is free and open to the public.