An Atlanta-based professional group is encouraging White people to make Black friends at a “Come Meet A Black Person” event. Yes, this is the real title of the meeting.
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Urban Mediamakers, a consortium of content creators, is hosting this networking event Thursday in Lawrencesville, a suburb of Atlanta. The group created a Facebook event page for it.
Some revealing research about three-quarters of white people lacking Black friends or acquaintances compelled the group to host the meeting, said Cheryle Moses, president and founder of the organization who is African American, according to CNN.
A Public Religion Research Institute study from 2013 said that 75 percent of White people in America don’t have any nonwhite friends. The study also discovered that for most Whites, their circle of friends is about 91 percent White. About 65 percent of black people are without white friends, and the average social circle for a black American is nearly 83 percent Black, the study also revealed.
Instead of just grappling with these race-based statistics, Moses wanted to build relationships of trust between Blacks and White folks, she said.
“My question is why do a lot of White folks get offended when anyone brings up race or racism?” Moses explained to CBS News. “Let’s walk through it, talk about it. If we are friends, you can sit down with friends and agree to disagree.”
Upon hearing about the event, several Black people expectingly had an angry reaction.
The event’s name is offensive, according to Black social media users. Though Moses is seemingly coming from the right place, the event feels somewhat like a spectacle that puts Black people on display. The reactions made it clear that there are better ways to address strained race relations.
But Moses argues that people upset about the event’s theme “don’t understand what she’s trying to do.”