Black. Lives. Matter.
I want to start with that. And if you’re response to that is to say “All Lives Matter”, let’s talk. Yes, all lives DO matter. However, our culture, our government, our society has treated POC, ESPECIALLY the Black Community, like their lives don’t. So the mantra isn’t trying to say that White lives don’t matter, or that police lives don’t matter, or that any life doesn’t matter, but instead that all lives do, in fact, matter. So let’s stop leaving the Black lives out of that sentiment.
Black. Lives. Matter.
Now, I’m a White girl from the South. My family tree has a great many shades of brown running through it, but the melanin got real watered down by the time it got to me. I’m White. I didn’t realize the privilege associated with that until I was an adult. I knew racism existed, but there was a lot I didn’t understand.
And the difference between not being racist and being actively anti-racist? I’m still learning. But this topic is important. Too important to shy away from. I’m a Christian. I am called by my God to love my neighbor. And Jesus makes it VERY clear that my neighbors are not just the people who live next door, or who look like me, think like me, speak like me, etc. So I’m trying to learn.
Having said all that, I’m admitting I’m not qualified to lead the discussion on racism and being anti-racist. I’m doing a lot of reading and listening to people much better educated on the topic than myself.
So this month, I thought instead of rambling off ten facts that may or may not be relevant to your writing, I’d supply ten links to resources that are relevant to all our lives. I’m handing over the mic, so to speak, the best way I know how.
1.100 Ways White People Can Make Life Less Frustrating for People of Color. Pretty self-explanatory.
2. Sources to Help You Learn About Institutional Racism, a List from PBS News Hour A list of 100 books, podcasts, movies, articles, etc to help educate people about racism.
3. Access Ain’t Inclusion a Ted Talk by Anthony Jack:
4. New Day Podcast, Episode: A Conversation About Racial Injustice This came recommended from a former co-worker of mine. As White people, we don’t have to talk about race every day. But that’s not true for many of our Black counterparts.
5. Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History This is a class from Coursera that you can audit for free. It starts today.
6. Performative Allyship is Deadly (Here’s What to do Instead).
7. Racial Reconciliation: A sermon by Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa, OK. It’s about two hours long and worth every single minute.
8. Racial Injustice has Benefited Me: A Confession Okay, yes, this one was written by a White guy. But maybe if you won’t listen to all of the powerful statements from the Black leaders on this list, you’ll listen to the guy who created Veggie Tales.
9. Here’s a list of Black-owned, independent bookstores where you can buy all the books on this list and also support the Black community at the same time.
10. How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time. A Ted Talk by Baratunde Thurston.
I have never done anything intentionally racist. I have never said anything intentionally racist. But, in hindsight and with learning, I know now that I have said, done, and thought harmful things rooted in racism. I am sorry. As I come to know better, I will do better. And I will be intentional about learning.