I’m so glad you’re on this journey with me. Although few of us would label ourselves as “racist,” I have come to learn over the past month or so–and maybe you have, too–that so many of institutions upon which our country was built have been to the detriment of the Black American community. So the term “anti-racist,” when I’m using it here on the blog, isn’t to point a finger at anyone and judge, but to say, maybe we have all been unknowingly participating in a system that hurts black people, and maybe it’s time to wake up to that.
Since I’d love for this to be a space where we grow together, and without judgment, I plan on sharing some things I’m reading, listening to or otherwise learning to help all of us understand the dire situation of race relations in our country, in the hopes that it pushes us all toward a more peaceful, more understanding future.
The most powerful impetus for change can come from understanding other people’s lives and existences, especially when they are different from our own.
My words don’t have the finesse of a professional book reviewer, but bear with me!
Damon Young has put together a collection of essays about his experience growing up as a young black man in the city of Pittsburgh. (This is my hometown, too, and let me just say, the familiar references were kinda fun to read, too.) Overall what you’re getting is a nuanced look at growing up black in a world where it’s not always easy. And the writing is insane. Though the issues he’s talking about can be heavy, there is not a page without his subtle, candid humor seeping through.
What struck me, as it might you when you’re reading this, is how different it is to navigate the world as a black person, especially a young black man.
We hear this, often, from members of the black community–that there is a very real, baseline difference in the way they are treated, viewed, spoken to–but until we really take in these stories from those who have experienced it, it can be difficult to internalize.
Understanding the need for change is the first step in making change, and this is a good place to start.
I included some more thoughts on the graphic below. Follow me on Instagram, where I’ll be regularly sharing more tips, thoughts and reflections on my journey.
With gratefulness for your open mind and heart,