My son “recently started sharing his location with me via iPhone. I didn’t have to ask. It’s a sad state of affairs when even the grown kids want you to know where they are at all times.”
These words were written by the mother of two incredibly talented young men who have ebony skin. It breaks my heart every time I read them.
Over the last several days, when I’ve stepped away from Boom Learning, I’ve stepped into a world filled with the the exhausted, heartbroken, worn-down voices of mothers of sons of color, whose every day and every hour is filled with the stress of living black in America.
This is not the first time I’ve heard their voices of grief and frustration. This time the grief is deeper, more soul-crushing. Their hurt is palpable. The confluence of Amy Cooper’s casual endangerment of a man’s life and the murder of George Floyd have given us a glimpse into the everyday experience of living black in America. The pain of that experience right now has become palpable to all of us.
This world I step into is a diverse, caring and blunt-speaking community. We share a commitment to the law. I have learned much from them. In the aftermath of recent events, the drive to do something is strong.
Today, I am sharing with this community the recommendations from that community for how to begin.
- First, become comfortable with being uncomfortable. We all have hidden biases. Assessing our hidden biases is the first step to awareness.
- Second, let go of fears you may have about explicit conversations about race. People of color do not live in a color-blind world. Here is a reading list of 31 Children’s Books to support conversations on race and racism for your classrooms.
- Third, confront our past. My mother drilled into me from a young age: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana) In Germany, confronting their Nazi past to prevent a recurrence is so core to the curriculum that it is taught in multiple years. We must confront not only slavery, but the residual acts of the last century.
|Here are a few suggestions for summer reading to understand modern racism –|
|· The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America – by Richard Rothstein|
· They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott
· Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
· Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
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