Black Lives Matter
by Blake Kimzey
A year ago
Black Lives Matter. Racial injustice came to America with the first Europeans and to ignore our legacy is to ignore 400 years of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and The New Jim Crow that has led to gerrymandering, redlining, lending discrimination, voter suppression, police brutality and mass incarceration. This is what is meant by systemic racism in America. It must be dismantled. We support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Writing is inherently a political act. Rhetoric matters. The position from which we write matters. What leaders say and do matters. We cannot be silent as writers, activists, and advocates in the face of systemic injustice. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, David McAtee, and countless others have been casualties of systemic racism in our country. To be silent about these injustices is to be complicit in them.
We have been listening at Writing Workshops and we will continue to be advocates of the Black Lives Matter Movement. White staff members have found these anti-racism resources for white people very helpful and are working through the list to learn what it means to be black in America.
There is no such thing as being "not racist," says author and historian Ibram X. Kendi. In this vital conversation, How to Build an Antiracist World, Kendi defines the transformative concept of antiracism to help us more clearly recognize, take responsibility for and reject prejudices in our public policies, workplaces and personal beliefs. Listen to or watch this TED Talk here.
We have also been listening to the Seeing White Podcast, a documentary series that has been an education in 14 illuminating episodes. The series looks headlong into police shootings of unarmed African Americans, acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists, the renewed embrace of raw, undisguised white-identity politics, unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring. The series also traces the origins of “whiteness”, where it came from, what it means, and what whiteness is for. LISTEN HERE. We highly recommend it.
We support liberation from oppressive white power in the United States and are hopeful the BLM protests of 2020 will bring about meaningful change and reforms. We are listening, and we want to be part of systemic change.
To be part of this change, donate money to the following organizations:
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Black Lives Matter
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- The Bail Project
- Center for Policing Equity
- The Loveland Foundation
- Color of Change
- Project Nia
- Until Freedom
- Campaign Zero
- Southern Poverty Law Center
We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement. We are committed to doing our part to eliminate systemic racism and white supremacy.
-The Writing Workshops Team