Journalist Michele Norris Talks Race In Six Words During Lexington Visit

Oct 8, 2013

Michele Norris at Transylvania University
Michele Norris at Transylvania University
Credit Josh James

Author and award-winning NPR journalist Michele Norris spoke in Lexington Tuesday as part of the Kenan Lecture Series at Transylvania University.

"Reason I ended a sweet relationship... My son's not half, he's double... Mommy, why can't we play together?"

Journalist Michele Norris rehearses a few of the submissions she’s received as part of The Race Card Project – an initiative that grew out of her memoir that asks submitters to focus their thoughts about race into six words.

Before her lecture about race in America and her own family’s racial legacy, Norris had a room full of students read others’ submissions out loud and reflect on how it felt to speak someone else’s truth. Norris says it’s that kind of honest conversation about race that has made the Race Card Project a success both on the web and on NPR’s Morning Edition.

"It's not just the big seismic Trayvon Martin verdict or the election of a black man in a high office or debates over immigration. It's little small encounters that define how people digest, experience, challenge, [and] deal with race," she says.

Norris says her trips to places like Lexington help facilitate that dialogue. Eventually, she plans to write a book based on her experience collecting, sharing, and discussing the six-word submissions.