National Geographic Releases June Magazine Issue, ‘Reckoning with The Past,’ Examining Race Relations in The United States
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Further expanding our understanding of mutual compassion on the topic of race, the issue also includes The Race Card Project, a feature by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist and National Geographic Explorer, Michele L. Norris. For more than a decade, Norris has been working on The Race Card Project, a project that captures peoples thoughts about race in just six words. Already, more than 500,000 people from every state and 96 countries have submitted Race Cards. Norris is building on this work under a year-long fellowship from the National Geographic Society.
With the goal of cultivating conversations around these important topics, the June issue also includes a meaningful essay by Elizabeth Alexander, a poet, educator and president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her essay Envisioning Black Freedom asks the fundamental question: What does it mean to be Black and free in a country that undermines Black freedom? Throughout the essay, Alexander reflects on the significance of monuments and memorials as sites of activation in our countrys past and present, particularly with regard to Black freedom, and asserts the centrality of the act of memorializing our countrys ability to move forward from its current moment of race and reckoning.
National Geographic has been covering the human journey since our founding in 1888, and directly tackling stories about race in the last several years, said Susan Goldberg, Editor in Chief of National Geographic. This has led to some of the most forthright and difficult conversations we have had among ourselves and with our readers. But I am hopeful that our coverage will help illuminate the lives of Black Americans and people of all backgrounds, providing insight into the experiences that have helped shape the current moment.
To better understand where we are as a country, its important to examine how weve arrived at this place, said Debra Adams Simmons, executive editor for history and culture at National Geographic. This body of work from Elizabeth Alexanders powerful essay about the importance of embracing our full history and telling the whole truth, to Michele L. Norriss exploration of how people experience race, to DeNeen L. Browns coverage of the horrific racial violence African Americans have endured provides context for the racial reckoning now underway.
National Geographics June Issue is available in the Race in America hub at natgeo.com/race.
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