Thanksgiving is no longer the most important Thursday in November. This year the Urban Media Maker, a group of content creators in different media, in Gwinnett County, Ga. will host the “Come Meet a Black Person” event on November 16 at Cornerstone in Lawrenceville, Ga. Before you read on, let me just say: It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Digital content creator and the founder/producer of UMM Cheryle Moses (who is black) was inspired to throw the event by a study she read that found 75 percent of whites do not have black friends or friends of any race other than white. The study also found that if a white person has 100 friends, 91 are white, three are of unknown race, and of the rest, one is black, one Latino, one Asian, and one is mixed race or “other.” Among an average black person’s 100 friends, 83 are black, eight are white, two Latino, no Asians, and three are mixed race friends, while the last one classifies as “other” and four friends of unknown race.
Moses, 58, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I know everything about white people, but a lot of white people don’t know much about our culture or our community. Not real stuff anyway…My goal is really to start conversations. Here in Gwinnett, everybody operates separately. Everything seems to be really segregated. If we do something like this that is lighthearted and fun, then it won’t be so serious,”
The night’s events include a human scavenger hunt in which participants will search for elements of different cultures. There will also be a chili bar and other comfort foods to get everyone in a laid back mood.
This event is, admittedly, very odd, but in light of all of the other things going on in the world, this attempt at uniting people doesn’t seem too terrible. I want to be optimistic about this, but considering the fact that Gwinnett County is right next to Decatur and Atlanta, if people don’t have any black friends, it sounds like a conscious decision that no event will be able to fix, no matter how good the chili is.