I have been quiet for too long.
Due to my privilege as a white woman in America, I simply do not have to confront racism in my daily life. I wanted to ignore it. To push it off as someone else’s problem to solve.
My silence ends now.
The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others have awoken me. Over the past two weeks I’ve begun the process of examining my own internalized racism and learning about the racist systems that our society upholds.
This is usually a newsletter about building a creative practice with tips and resources for managing your creative side projects. But today we have to acknowledge that our creative work lacks substance without a willingness to confront reality and relearn our shared history.
Here’s a line from the Creative Mornings newsletter that hit it home for me:
A creative life requires bravery and action, honesty and hard work.
To my non-Black readers, it requires honesty to look deep within ourselves and admit we have a sickness. It requires bravery to find our voice, to use it for good, and to apologize when we inevitably mess up.
You’re probably overwhelmed by the amount of emails and social media posts urging you to educate yourself, donate, sign petitions, go to protests, and take action.
Overwhelm isn’t a great starting point for making lasting change. We have to be in this fight for the long-haul. Burnout isn’t an option.
The starting point always has to be education and self-reflection. It’s so easy to slip into frenzied action before doing the deep work that is required to uproot our existing beliefs.
I encourage you to pick your favorite medium from the list below and read, watch, or listen to one educational piece of content this week.
If you like reading books:
Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis (2003).
If you like listening to podcasts:
1619, a New York Times audio series, hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, that examines the long shadow of American slavery (2019).
If you like watching movies:
13th, Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans (2016).
If you like reading articles:
Letter From a Region in My Mind by James Baldwin: “Whatever white people do not know about Negroes reveals, precisely and inexorably, what they do not know about themselves” (1962).
If you like watching YouTube videos:
I will be adding a post to my website announcing my commitment to being an anti-racist platform. It will include details on my quarterly commitments to education and how I plan to invest a portion of my monthly budget to the Black community.
If you’re a small business or someone with a blog or platform, I encourage you to watch the free small business town hall and sign the pledge to commit to building an equitable, anti-racist organization.
You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.
― Angela Davis