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As a Concord resident and a supporter of an honest reckoning of our country’s history, I found Middlesex School’s decision to disinvite Nikole Hannah-Jones profoundly disappointing (“School cancels prominent writer’s talk: Hannah-Jones cites backlash against efforts to talk about racism in class,” Metro, Oct. 20).

David Beare, head of school, stated that Middlesex was “concerned that individuals from outside our community might inadvertently distract from the insights and perspective that she intended to share.” But a protest against Hannah-Jones’s talk would have provided an important learning opportunity for Middlesex students: that even today, more than 150 years after the end of the Civil War, many Americans still cannot reconcile themselves to the horrors of slavery and the Jim Crow era that followed. What better way to highlight the challenges our society faces as it confronts its historic legacy of white supremacy?


Gilbert Metcalf