In an evening of engaging music and conversation with the audience, two descendants of a Confederate enslaver, one Black and one white, share their story and discuss what it was like to discover each other’s deeply held feelings, pain, and hope. Presenting are folk singer and social activist Reggie Harris and longtime educator Wallis Wickham Raemer. To underscore their messages and experience, Harris, a prominent interpreter of the use of music in historical movements for social change, sings his stirring, original songs accompanied by guitar. The event will include ASL interpretation.
Their story: Ms. Raemer, who grew up in Richmond, Virginia, thought it was cool to have a statue of her great-great-great-grandfather, Willams Carter Wickham, in the center of town. But as she grew older she changed her mind–especially after meeting Reggie Harris, who also is a descendant of the same Confederate general but by way of Bibanna Hewlett, one of the 275 people that he enslaved. For Mr. Harris, a wonderfully gifted folksinger and educator, the statue was a painful reminder of the abuse his family suffered and the refusal of America to fully acknowledge its past.
After the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017 Wallis and some members of her family wrote a letter to the city requesting that the statue be removed. But it remained until protesters dragged it down with a rope. This is real history and it’s complicated. But Reggie and Wallis are facing it by talking it out and through music. They’ve shared their journey on CNN, in a recent film, in schools, and in an article in The New York Times.
This Discovery Museum Speaker Series event is free; advance registration is required. It will be live and in-person, there will be no virtual component. The event will include ASL interpretation. Certificate of attendance available upon request to email@example.com.