Local author, activist says ‘Madison is heading for tremendous racial problem’
A Do Something Good story
MADISON, Wis. — Racism. It’s something that no one wants to hear or talk about, but let’s be honest: We’ve been hearing a lot of it in the news both locally and nationally lately.
This is not what I call a “traditional” Do Something Good story. It’s not going to stir the “warm and fuzzies” within you, but it will — at least I hope it will — stir something in you. I hope it inspires you to join Dr. Richard Harris in having a conversation about how to make Madison better for black people and other minorities.
Harris was born and raised in Madison. He left for a few years with his wife, Maxine, but later returned. They raised their children here. They experienced a lot of joy but also some very trying times. He can be described as all those traditional descriptions: son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle. But he is also an educator, an author, an activist, a change-maker.
He penned the book “Growing Up Black in South Madison.” In it, he describes just that. He doesn’t sugarcoat. He tells it like it was and is from his experiences. And it’s those experiences that shaped the man he is today — fighting for change in the workforce, in affordable housing and in schools for all minorities.
At 81 years old, Harris shows no signs of slowing down. He’s using some of the proceeds from his book to fund a scholarship in his name at Madison College with the hope of making life better for someone else who’s looking for a better life.
To truly profile this man, I would’ve needed a one-hour program, but I hope you enjoy this “video snapshot” of this sweet and smart man who is using his words to Do Something Good for all of us, no matter the color of your skin.
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