We are still in the eye of the storm when it comes to talking about race in America. Unraveling race is a complicated intertwined mix of legacy; myths and emotions that center around the perspective of those that are courageous enough to have the conversation.
Personally I love and hate talking about the subject because it is so ingrained in my life’s experience that it can be overwhelming. Experiences of race has left me broken and strong at the same time. My life’s personal work is a daily practice of not letting it break me….. today. That is where my strength comes in as well as self-compassion and an acute awareness of how I am perceived in the world.
Being a black women in this society means that I have to have a super human persona that allows everyone who experiences me feel non threatened and safe. This happens simultaneously while I feel threatened and unsafe. How fucked up is that? America and Black Women do not have a reciprocal relationship. America most often takes.
In the past few weeks I have had some strong conversations about race with the headlines about Starbucks, Waffle House, and Danielle Laporte. It seems that the common thread in these conversations is white women and their ideas about race. As I said this is a complicated conversation and it has many layers that range from I love hip-hop and Oprah to calling for help at the first sign of feeling uncomfortable. Which is a very confusing dichotomy to digest when looking from the outside, especially when you call us sister and are still silent on the issues that threaten us most.
The issue for me is not only to understand the issues of black People/ women for white Women/people to understand their own path in what is happening. I have yet to hear a white person fully connect to the atrocities that historically you all have caused and created. When a conversation happens there is instant deflection and no personal responsibility.
The argument that I was not even alive, is mute when one considers that white people continue to benefit from economic gain from slavery. (Don’t know how watch 13th) and study history. The same books are available to everyone. No true reconciliation will ever happen if white people do not take full responsibility for their actions, non-actions, silence, complicity, advances, advantages and privileges. It goes much further back than the civil war. It goes further back than the American Revolution.
The atrocities of colonization around the globe have catastrophically devastated black and indigenous communities. And to continue to say that’s not me …. I didn’t do it perpetuates the problem.
It’s odd that White people feel so entitled to the shade from the tree when they had nothing to do with planting and growing the tree
Personally I have taken the position that I am not going to explain race to anyone again who has not taken the time to study and understand the complexities of white supremacy, the true history of this country , colonization and a full understanding of Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. I cannot seed your garden with my magic if you have not prepared the soil. The knowledge will not take root.
I have been asked I curate a list of works by authors, directors and educators that will assist you on your journey to unravel racism. These works helped me understand the world that I lived in. A world, which travels through the womb of black women, yet does not respect us as its mother. Humanity has been the child that refused to look us in the eyes as it suckles our breast. Let that soak in.
I ask that as you read, watch and learn, consider a diversity of perspectives.
- To gain understanding
- To examine your personal thoughts and actions
- How you can break the cycle of racism within, yourself, your family and your community
- Without being defensive
- With compassion
- Open to take personal responsibility for your thoughts and action
- Be willing to accept what you don’t understand as someone else’s truth
- With an open heart
- Be willing to push through being uncomfortable
If you do the work then as a nation we can have honest conversations that will elevate humanity and move America forward.
Black Woman Amplified, Founder
Unraveling Race Resource list:
Curated by Monica Wisdom Tyson
A reference for truth and knowledge of the black community, white supremacy, racism and oppression.
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (book)
The Isis Papers (book)
I Am not your Negro (movie)
The Color of Law (book)
The Half that has never been told (book)
Letters to a Birmingham Jail(book)
Ain’t I a Woman (book)
The New Jim Crow(book)
Assata an Autobiography (book)
FruitVale Station (Movie)
Still I Rise ~ Maya Angelou (documentary)
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption(book)
Slavery by Another Name: The re-enslavement of black americans from the civil war to World War Two (book)
The Mis-Education of the Negro (book)
The coldest winter ever (book)
Genocide in Germain south-west Africa: The Colonial War of 1904-1908 and Its Aftermath by Jurgen Zimmerer and Joachim Zeller
The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B Du Bois (b00k)
12 years a slave (movie)
The Ways of White Folks By Langston Hughes (Book)
Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (book)
We Should All Be Feminists
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (book)
Women’s work to follow:
Dr Joy Degruy Dr. Isis Fuqua
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
Zora Neale Hurston
( I believe that it is important to have a well rounded view of life though the eyes of black women , so I have included the men we learn from and poets we love)
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