The Baltimore County and the Baltimore Chapter of The Pierians hosted A Conversation with Ann Todd Jealous, mother of former NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous, and Caroline T. Haskell, editors of “Combined Destinies: Whites Sharing Grief About Racism.”
After a discussion of the history of the Pierians, by Janet Waters, president, Baltimore Chapter, the founder and charter members were honored. Merlene Adair, president, shared the occasion for the 20th anniversary of the Baltimore County chapter.
To the audience’s pleasure, however, the conversation with the editors, Ann Todd Jealous and Caroline T. Haskell, was the highlight of the afternoon at the Morgan State University Murphy Fine Arts Building in the James E. Lewis Art Gallery.
Ann Todd Jealous discussed her journey as a Baltimore Western High graduate who joined the first group to desegregate the previously all-White public high school for girls. Attending Antioch College and American University and fighting for civil rights taught her about “hatred, fear, ignorance, arrogance and the powerful courage of allies.”
As a Peace Corp Volunteer in the Philippines in the 1960s, Jealous witnessed social oppression in another country. Forty-six years of interracial marriage and co-parenting with a conscious and loving husband opened her heart to White racial grief. She is a life member of the NAACP.
Co-editor Caroline T. Haskell is a White woman who has committed to unlearning her racial conditioning and actively practices being an ally to people of color. She is in an interracial marriage of almost 20 years where her ‘whiteness’ is regularly examined and discussed with her Japanese American husband.