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Government, Politics & Issues

Ferguson, one year later: Are the racial divides in St. Louis better or worse?

From left to right: Jerry Benner, Greg Gibson and Amy Peach.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio
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From left to right: Jerry Benner, Greg Gibson and Amy Peach.

Part 3 of 5

The police shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014 brought the eyes of the world to St. Louis. But it’s the people who live in St. Louis who were impacted most directly.

Now that a year has passed, St. Louis Public Radio is inviting you to share how Brown’s death affected your life, as well as your thoughts about how the events that followed impacted the region as a whole. We’ll be asking you a different question every day this week.

Today’s question: Are the racial divides in St. Louis better or worse than they were before Aug. 9, 2014?

Do people of different races and cultures understand each other better than they did before last year? Or do you think divisions of race and class have widened over different interpretations of events?  Whatever your response, we’d love for you to be part of the conversation.

Here’s what a few people have had to say so far.

I think it’s brought about more conversation, but I don’t know if those conversations are happening amongst the people that those conversations need to happen amongst. — Greg Gibson, Breckenridge Hills
Greg Gibson is director of sales for Tape 4 LLC, which provides supplies for road construction.
Credit Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio
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Greg Gibson is director of sales for Tape 4 LLC.

I think that from what I’ve observed of people who maybe will listen to the issues, (they) do maybe acknowledge that institutional racism is a part of it. But you can see in their eyes that they get exhausted of the conversation. –Amy Peach, Richmond Heights

Amy Peach is director of instructional technology at Fontbonne University.
Credit Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio
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Amy Peach is director of instructional technology at Fontbonne University.

amy_q3.mp3
Amy Peach talks about the state of racial divides in St. Louis.

 Ferguson has the potential of being one of the first areas in St. Louis County to become a showplace for (integration). It’s been here. It’s existed here, and we’re not going to make it any worse. Obviously by law and everything else we have to make it better. — Jerry Benner, Ferguson

Jerry Benner taught in the Parkway School District before he retired.
Credit Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio
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Jerry Benner taught in the Parkway School District before he retired.

jerry_q3.mp3
Jerry Benner talks about race divides in Ferguson.

Do you have your own thoughts to share? Continue the conversation in the comments section below, or become a source for St. Louis Public Radio through the Public Insight Network, which is how we received the responses above. Tell us: What has changed for you, one year later?  You may also see the complete responses from these sources and others. 

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.