[The 90’s raw: Sherod Williams]

This tape features raw footage for the award-winning series The 90's. Eddie Becker interviews Sherod Williams, a clinical psychologist, about his experience with racism and the steps that need to be taken in order to combat it.

00:00Copy video clip URL Williams describes a racially charged gang fight he witnessed as a child. He explains his difficulty in understanding why the fight was taking place and whether or not he had to take part in it because he was black. Williams also recalls a few other instances from his childhood in which he experienced racism. He goes on to say that he had “a growing awareness” of racism while growing up. Williams also talks about some of the overt racism he experienced while in the Army at a military base in Augusta, GA.

02:35Copy video clip URL Williams recalls a time in which he experienced racism in elementary school. He then goes on to talk about his developing a “measured acceptance” of racism. “I think you go through anger, then you go through a certain amount of–well first of all you get hurt, angry, then there’s a certain amount of concerted effort to do something about it, and there’s a certain amount of acceptance, measured acceptance. In other words, you’re going to not get into it unless it reaches a certain level.”

04:04Copy video clip URL When asked about his experience of the anger stage, Williams pauses and states that he went through a lot of anger after finishing grad school and moving on to teach at a predominately black educational institution. He explains that he had been offered two jobs, one at Alfred University, a predominately white institution and another at an African-American institution. “I think it was there I felt much more in touch with my anger about the racism that existed in the college system and the way that education took place and much more identified with the oppression.” He continues to talk about the racial divide between whites and blacks and talks about the process of figuring out how to control his anger. “When I say ‘measured acceptance’ it means that I’ve really put it on the back burner more times than not, because I realize there’s a limited number of things that I can do.” Williams goes on to say that he’s not looking for battles anymore and that he picks his battlefields carefully. He then talks about his hopes to work with African-American gifted children.

08:46Copy video clip URL Williams talks about the pain racism causes him. “I think the most painful thing for me personally about all of this is that I resent not being allowed to be an individual, that I’m defined by race, not only in terms of who I am but even how I relate to people and who I can relate to. That’s probably the part that really still bothers me the most.” The tape has audio and video signal issues.

10:14Copy video clip URL Williams recalls a time from his youth when he and a group of family friends debated whether or not racism would ever be eliminated completely. He goes on to say that things will get better but that there will still be a sense of vulnerability among African-Americans. He talks about the issue of race relations in more detail. He goes on to talk about an experience he had in Vietnam involving inherent racism between the Cambodian and Vietnamese cultures.

14:15Copy video clip URL Williams talks about a holiday performance at his children’s school which incorporated numerous multicultural perspectives. He states that he was very moved by the performance because of this and talks about the play for several minutes.

17:09Copy video clip URL Williams goes on to talk about the need for mutual respect and appreciation between cultures. The interview is then interrupted by his daughter.

19:16Copy video clip URL Becker gathers footage of the front page of The Telegraph. This lasts for the remainder of the tape.

22:25Copy video clip URL Tape ends.

 

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