Marblehead Racial Justice Team talks Lynn history

The Marblehead Racial Justice Team (MRJT), in conjunction with the Marblehead Museum, will be hosting a discussion on racial justice and representation with Lynn Museum/Lynn Arts on Jan. 23 as a part of the MRJT’s monthly forum “Conversations on Race.” 

Lynn Museum/Lynn Arts Executive Director Doneeca Thurston, Board Member Iris Kimber and Lynn resident Tara Agaba will lead a discussion about the exhibition “Untold Stories: A History of Black People in Lynn” at the Marblehead Museum. The speakers will talk through their thought processes and the curation of the exhibition, which delved into the history of Black people in Lynn through topics of freedom, leadership, identity and culture. 

Join the speakers from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to learn about the exhibit and the history of Black Lynners. 

According to the MRJT, “The goal … is to [dismantle] racism in Marblehead and in the larger world.” As a step toward achieving this goal, the panel’s discussion will focus on the history of Black people in the surrounding areas of Marblehead. 

The MJRT explained the importance of learning about this often forgotten history. “Everyone needs to understand the history of our nation.

The “Untold Stories” exhibition provides an opportunity for people of Marblehead to learn about our complete history. There are many stories of people of color who have contributed to the wealth and prosperity of our nation that many are unaware [of]. However, this history is important to understanding who we are today.”

The group highlighted the importance of having this discussion in Marblehead, saying, “People of color need people of privilege to stand with them and work to overcome the imbalance of systemic racism.”

The MRJT continued, “The importance of Black culture cannot be underestimated, due to its numerous contributions to our current society —from entertainment to beauty, to business, to leadership, and politics. In the past, our history books primarily shared the ‘single story’ of Europeans colonizing America. Black culture is American culture, and Black stories are essential to the ongoing story of America — faults, struggles, progress and aspirations which in the past, may have gone unnoticed.”

With this discussion, the MRJT hopes not only to bring awareness to the past but also to help people work toward a more just future.

“We hope that individuals come to understand that people of all races have contributed greatly to the building of our communities. … It is important that we showcase these contributions to help us all better understand and to be more accepting of others and of differences.  In this way we can achieve equality for all individuals and continue to build a bright future for us all.”

“We need to acknowledge the truth about who we are so that we can try to build the country that we believe that we are.”

There will be an open discussion following the panel discussion.