Beyond Chi-Raq: Deepening the Conversation on Race

Chi RaqJoin Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail on 
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 10:30am, for a half-day conference at the South Church, 292 State Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with lunch included and concluding with a wreath laying ceremony of gratitude at the African Burying Ground Memorial on Court Street.

UNH Professor Reginald A. Wilburn
will facilitate this community conversation that began to emerge during the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail Winter Tea Talk, Chi-Raq and Black Movements, where we explored the disparate views on gun control, sex and violence between white and black people.

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What is it you most want to know but are afraid to ask? 

Together, we will explore questions about the beliefs and current cultural issues on race and culture in our region, recognizing that usually there are no single answers and sometimes there are no answers beyond a deep appreciation for the question and the dialogue.

Questions and highlights of the conversation will then be available to the public on the PBHT website.  Those who attended the “Chi-Raq” tea talk (Feb. 28, 2016) will remember the closing question of the program:

What can we do to continue this discussion and bring it into the larger community?  What can we do here in the Seacoast to build a more aware and responsive community?

This interactive half-day gathering will serve as a springboard for those who want to commit time and attention to action in the name of justice – especially at this time in the United States when sensitivities are heightened, a populist anti-civility and racist movement cloaked in anti-political correctness is on the rise, and lines are being drawn politically and socially.

Participants will have an opportunity to share ideas for immediate action steps, such as by linking your churches, your social networks, your Facebook families, your neighborhoods, your political action committees to make the Seacoast – and ultimately the United States – a more just and safe community for all who live here.

Schedule of the Day

10:30 a.m.       Gathering, Registration, and Coffee
11:00 a.m.       Welcome & Introduction: JerriAnne Boggis
11:05 a.m.       Opening Remarks:  Beyond “Chi-Raq” with Dr. Reginald A. Wilburn
11:15 a.m.       World Café – What’s on your mind?
11:30 a.m.       Facilitated conversation: The Heart of the Matter
12:30 p.m.       LUNCH & Round Table – facilitated discussion
1:30 p.m.         Facilitated report: Where do we go from here?
2:15 p.m.         Procession to ABG to lay a wreath of gratitude
2:30 p.m.         Close

Dr. Reginald A. Wilburn is an associate professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, where he teaches African American literature and drama, women’s literary traditions, and intertextuality studies.  He has presented his work on Milton and African American literature and culture at the Modern Language Association; The International Milton Symposium in Tokyo, Japan; the African American Studies Spring Symposium at the University of Texas, San Antonio; and the Northeast Milton Seminar.  Wilburn’s award winning work, Preaching the Gospel of Black Revolt: Appropriating Milton in Early African American Literature published by Duquesne University Press in March, 2014, continues to garner national and international attention.

Prepaid Registration for the event is $25 (includes lunch). Visit or call Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth NH, phone 603-436-8433 to register, or contact Jerrianne Boggis at 603-318-5120 for more information.