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A Message from The Newberry Library: Confronting Difficult Histories

The country is reeling from the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, and protests against racial injustice and institutionalized racism are occurring in cities throughout the nation, including Chicago.

As a research library dedicated to the humanities, we believe that historical inquiry can lead to greater understanding of the systems of oppression that have created, exacerbated, and reinforced racial inequities in the United States. Remaining silent about these inequities amid social unrest and pandemic is tantamount to complicity.

Instead, we must come together in community (even if virtually) to confront difficult histories and build a better future. And we must do this while remaining conscious that, for people of color, racism is not just a topic of study––it is a searing presence in their daily lives.

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