The McKinley Foundation was thrilled to host more than 200 people at the Racial Taboo screening on Sunday, March 12. Local Champaign-Urbana residents were in full attendance as well as guests from Decatur, including Millikin University President, his wife and several faculty members; the Decatur police chief and a member of the Sheriff’s department; and other community members. Other guests came from as far away as Metropolis, Illinois; Paducah, Kentucky; and Huntley, Illinois.
One special guest was the film producer and maker, Brian Grimm, from Wilmington, North Carolina. He introduced Racial Taboo as the story of his multi-year journey to discover the origins of his own white privilege and ingrained racism. He spoke again after the showing and small group discussions that followed, answering questions, adding details about his experiences, and encouraging people to put aside their own fears to reach out to become friends with people across the black-white spectrum of skin color. He spoke of the benefits of recognizing our common humanity and overcoming centuries of racism. “It’s only melanin,” he said at one point. And we can use the film Racial Taboo as a starting place to make warm and rewarding friendships that free us from racism.
Brian brought an actual set of shackles which he invited people to hold and feel the weight of once they had viewed and discussed the film. The weight of slavery itself was in those artifacts.