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The Race Project invites Miami Valley residents to talk about their life experiences through the prism of skin color. The conversations are honest, frank yet civil.

The Race Project: Trinity Harris-Brewer & Sawyer Perry

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James Fields IV
/
WYSO

We have another installment of the Race Project. We'll listen in on a conversation between two college students, Trinity Harris Brewer who is Black and Sawyer Perry who is white.

Editors Note: Transcript lightly edited for clarity.

Trinity: Hi, I'm Trinity Harris Brewer. I'm a Black woman. I'm from Dayton, Ohio, the Trotwood area, there is a majority Black population.

Sawyer: My name is Sawyer Perry, I am 20 years old and a Caucasian backslash white man. I grew up primarily throughout Maryland. Maryland is a very interesting place in terms of its racial history. There's a lot of a lot of people down there who pride themselves on Maryland's southern heritage and other people who want to transition out of that and focus more about their contributions to the North.

Trinity: What did you learn about race in America through your K-12 school experience?

Trinity: I think racial education, especially about making minority history clear, was always a bit fuzzy. The primary conduit to which I learned about Black history was Black History Month. That was that was the gist of it, and I was inadvertently contributing to the same problems I had growing up. Which, let me tell you, is not a fun experience to admit to another person, especially a person of color, that you were in any capacity racist based upon such a what I now realize is a stupid ideal as race.

Sawyer: Is there a white attitude that you feel like that someone does like, are you racist son of a gun?

Trinity: I've experienced that a lot, but it's more in the tone that they talk to me. And a lot of students Antioch and a lot of non-Black students at Antioch use "AAVE", African-American vernacular. And sometimes I don't think they know what stuff means or where certain things come from and I think they just use it as an accessory.

Sawyer: A surface level of appreciation is not enough.

Trinity: Yeah, it's a part of my culture and you're using it like it's a purse.

Sawyer: How do you think people could have a better relationships between different racial groups?

Trinity: That is a doozy. I think people definitely need to like, do their own research. And there's so many people that when you're like, 'Hey, you're racist,' they're like, 'Oh, how? Tell me how!'

Sawyer: The burden of proof is on you, buckaroo.

Trinity: Yeah, and I'm like, 'I'm asking questions. I'm trying to help and you won't answer me.' But it's like, that's I have nothing to do with that. That's not my problem. I think people should really do research on their own and just try and under the understand kind of like where Black people are coming from.

Sawyer: How do you think the advancement of technology correlates to race issues as a whole?

Trinity: With the internet? I think that's where I learned so much and that's where a lot of Black people have came out and had voices. And I even see Black people that look like me, Black women that look like me, you know? But I honestly think that there are some white people that really do honestly care. Yeah.

Sawyer: Yeah, I think our generation still has a lot of work to do and I am genuinely grateful that you went out of your way to sit down and have this conversation with you.

Trinity: I'm glad to be here. So, yeah.

The Race Project is produced by Basim Blunt at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. This conversation was edited by Community Voices producer David Seitz.

Basim has worked in the media for over twenty years, as an A&R rep with Capitol Records and as a morning drive show producer. He is a filmmaker, media arts adjunct, and also a digital editing teacher in the Dayton Metro area. In 2012 he joined WYSO as a Community Voices Producer, and his work has earned him a “New Voices” Scholar award by (AIR) Association of Independents in Radio. Basim has produced the award-winning documentary Boogie Nights: A History of Funk Music in Dayton. He also served as Project Manager for ReInvention Stories, a multimedia docu-series produced by Oscar-winning filmmakers Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert. In 2020, Blunt received a PMJA (Public Media Journalists Association) award for his WYSO series Dayton Youth Radio, for which he is the founding producer and instructor. Basim spins an eclectic mix of funk, soul, and classic R&B every Thursday night from 8 p.m to 10 p.m., as host of the 91.3 FM music show Behind the Groove.