Moving From America's Divisive Racial History to National Healing

by Sophia A. Nelson /  / Updated 
Image: Violent Clashes Erupt at "Unite The Right" Rally In Charlottesville
White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" exchange insluts with counter-protesters as they attempt to guard the entrance to Lee Park during the "Unite the Right" rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images file

Join us ​for a two part series​, an NBC Exclusive in conjunction with James Madison's Montpelier

Since President Donald Trump took office in January, America has been on an unprecedented journey. As the demographics of America have shifted in the past twenty years, white voters have pushed back on what they see as the shifting of American culture and identity.

This past weekend, beyond the debates over confederate monuments, immigration, and the events of Charlottesville, NFL players and owners staged respectful protests during the national anthem at each game after President Trump called those who protest "sons of bitches" in a speech in Alabama on Friday.

The question now is how we got here and can we come together as "Americans" and fight racism, bigotry, and white supremacy in all its forms.

Image: US-POLITICS-RACISM-SOCIETY-PROTEST-unrest
People light candles in the form of a peace sign in front of the White House on August 13, 2017 in Washington, DC for a vigil in response to the death of a counter-protestor in the August 12th "Unite the Right" rally the turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia.ZACH GIBSON / AFP - Getty Images

​​We are deeply divided as a nation, perhaps, the most divided we have been since the civil rights movement, post Jim Crow era.

The Trump era​ seems to have ushered in anger, nationalism, and violence in our streets, cities, colleges, and amongst our citizens. ​Race has once again reared it's ugly head in our dialogue, our politics, and among our citizenry.

​NBCBLK contributor Sophia A. Nelson recently wrote a book, E pluribus One, on bringing Americans together in the "vision " of our founding after the rancor of the 2016 election.

Nelson traveled to Orange, Virginia this summer and sat with Kat Imhoff, President and CEO of James Madison's Montpelier and the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution, about how we move from our racial history to healing in the 21st century.

Courtesy Daniel J. Edelman, Inc FTP Site

Inspired by the events post-Charlottesville, NBCBLK has teamed up with Nelson on this series, which will include a Twitter chat ​on Friday, September 29, ​on how we, as Americans​, can best heal our broken relationships with each other.

Join the conversation. Be sure to follow @NBCBLK and Tweet us your thoughts with the hashtag, #HistorytoHealing.

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