Newspaper in Breonna Taylor’s city starts ‘anti-racism’ challenge. Here are the activities

The Louisville Courier-Journal says it is “committed to learning from the Black community, speaking out against racism and ending white silence.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal, the newspaper in the town where Breonna Taylor was slain by area police in a botched raid, launched a four-week anti-racism challenge on July 1 as a call to action in the ongoing fight against bigotry and xenophobia.

The publication claims it is “committed to learning from the Black community, speaking out against racism and ending white silence.” To do so, per their report, “we partnered with the Earth and Spirit Center and longtime justice warrior Reverend Joe Phelps to co-facilitate anti-racism courses.” 

This undated file photo shows police shooting victim Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. The newspaper in her town, The Louisville Courier-Journal, has launched a four-week anti-racism challenge as a call to action in the ongoing fight against bigotry and xenophobia. (Photo: Courtesy of Taylor Family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP, File)

As part of its month-long Anti-Racism Challenge, The Courier-Journal has been publishing a list of 10 to 12 anti-racism activities each week since July 1. They encourage participants to complete at least three of the following every week: Watch a film made by Black artists, support a Black-owned business or a Black-led nonprofit by making a purchase or donation, or document personal experiences or observations of racism in a journal.

Participants are not required to report their progress to anyone. The goal is to educate, raise awareness and create more allies and advocates for the Black community.

For the first week of the challenge, from July 1 through July 7, participants were encouraged to watch the “Get On Up” biopic, starring the late actor Chadwick Boseman as James Brown. The ARC list also recommended reading the 2014 National Association of Independent Schools article “What White Children Need to Know About Race,” as well as visiting and donating to Roots 101 African-American Museum in Louisville, where a virtual exhibit of Breonna Taylor is on display. 

From July 8-14, its second week, people were asked to watch the speech that Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The 1619 Project,” made before the United Nations General Assembly during the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The list also urges participants to write about the history and demographics of their own neighborhood, plus learn about and act on the 1955 arrest warrant never served on Carolyn Bryant Donham that charges her for her participation in the murder of Emmett Till.

For the following week, July 15-21, the publication recommends the films “Citizen Ashe” and “Greenbook,” and calls for donations to Black Market KY, a Black-owned grocery and community garden in West Louisville that was vandalized last month.  Additionally, the list asks that locals support the Louisville Story Program and the Muhammad Ali Center

The Anti-Racism Challenge appears on The Courier-Journal website’s opinion page and under the Opinion tab on the newspaper’s app. An ARC tracking tool is available to monitor the progress of participants.

The newspaper hopes to get the entire city involved with the challenge via social justice classes and other events made possible through its partnership with the Lean Into Louisville initiative. 

“We’ve learned that our knowledge of history and culture is woefully incomplete,” the outlet wrote in announcing the initiative. “We’ve come to see that racism is deeply entrenched and systemic and that to bring about any change will take many committed advocates working for a long time.”

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