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Town and Village

Towns to fight racism with film

JAMAICA—The Windham County town of Jamaica and village of West Townshend are neighbors on the map — and, increasingly, in the fight against racism.

The Jamaica Community Arts Council held a “Reading Frederick Douglass” program last summer that drew 50 people. West Townshend’s Community Project, for its part, reports equally strong attendance at its annual winter Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance.

This January the two communities came together to co-sponsor a King event. And this Sunday, June 10, they’ll join again for a screening of a new film about former slave and abolitionist activist Josiah Henson.

“When we heard about this documentary,” West Townshend resident Jay Warren says, “it sounded like an opportunity for the community to keep the conversation going.”

Henson was the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 abolitionist novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” The documentary details his harrowing journey from slavery in the South to fleeing to freedom in Canada, where he purchased land to build what became one of the final stops on the Underground Railroad.

The free screening is set for Sunday, June 10, at 11:30 a.m., at Jamaica Town Hall, with a potluck lunch to follow.

“We hope to raise consciousness about racism,” Warren says, “how it impacts us and how we can combat it.”

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Amelia Stone
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Amelia Stone (E Dummerston, Vermont, US) says...

Kudos to the Boston Globe for encouraging newspapers across the country to remind us all of the value of a free press, and to the Commons for hearing that call. The NYTimes article, A Free Press Needs You, concludes with the following: \"If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers. Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.\" Today I plan to subscribe.

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Bev Matias
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Bev Matias (Connecticut, US) says...

Thank you for your efforts to disseminate the news of the day and resist the hate-filled and deceitful rhetoric of this administration. I cannot believe, still, in this country that it is necessary for the press and regular citizens to defend themselves. Only one quarter or less of the citizens believe a word he says yet you are forced to defend yourselves because his speech is so incediary. The press is now officially our last line of defense.

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Janet
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Janet (Venice, Florida, US) says...

You nailed it perfectly.

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banar Singleton
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banar Singleton (Michigan, US) says...

Spot on...thank you for challenging those who would blanketly dismiss your opinion/facts to do their own \"facts checking\". Unfortunately I fear many if not most of these sheep will be lead to slaughter thinking that they are going to the trough.

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Scott
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Scott says...

Foreign hand on the scale isn’t an unbiased conclusion. You argument might be more forceful without highlighting this issue.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #462 (Wednesday, June 6, 2018). This story appeared on page A4.

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