Living amidst an out-of-control global pandemic coupled with the systemic injustices of our country uncovering themselves by the minute, every day feels like an eternity. Most of us are on a rollercoaster of varying emotions from the time we wake up until it’s time to go back to sleep. My heart aches and my thoughts feel like they’ve been stuffed into the Nutri-Bullet. I’m constantly searching for the right thing to say and have found value in taking time to be silent and listen.
At this point, there’s no excuse to not have joined the fight in some capacity. As we’ve learned, activism can look different on everyone but it’s imperative we have all hands on deck if we’re going to move this thing forward. I don’t claim to have all the answers but I do have some information and a shipping account and I intend to use them.
I’m happy to report the library is open. What does that mean? I don’t know exactly and truthfully I’m a really slow reader, but right now it means I just read this book with the goal of expanding my own knowledge and I’m using my voice to share with anyone who is interested. Being in this for the long haul should have us all setting up long-term action plans within ourselves and our circles, and exploring ways to dismantle white supremacy in everything we do. For me, I’m looking beyond an Instagram infographic or a “I can’t believe this shit is still happening” retweet and taking it back to basics. Real, chapter reading, page turning books. All purchased from Black-owned bookstores which is a topic I’ll save for another blog post.
The first book on the anti-racist book list is, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Ojuo. It’s a great book for the well-meaning white person as it touches on almost every hot topic with a first hand account, action items, and just enough information to get you started on your journey. For me the most informative chapter was the one about recognizing our own privilege.
Right now, I’m sending 5 copies of this book into the world with no fee to anyone and the hope people will read them, write their name inside (I live for a sentiment), and pass it along. Pass the book physically along but also pass along the knowledge and your own understandings of the book and get to work. If these books are ever without a reader, send an email to the address on the inside cover and we’ll send you a prepaid return shipping label.
Reading IS fundamental.
Books are on a first-come first-served basis. Request one here.
Lastly, I love a cliff note. Here are a few key points I carry with me daily and I hope you do to:
If you are white and don’t want to feel any of the pain by having these conversations, then you are asking people of color to continue to bear the entire burden of racism alone.
If we continue to treat racism like it is a giant monster that is chasing us, we will be forever running.
Complacency in the system gives racism its power.
Intersectionality forces people to interact with, listen to, and consider people they don’t usually interact with, listen to, or consider.
White people need to be willing to take the emotional risk of investigating the role they play in upholding racism. We won’t know what needs to be done without talking about it.