I just finished reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olou.
4 months ago when George Floyd was murdered I was in France. I was separated from the United States both physically and mentally. I felt nearly paralyzed. I didn’t know what to do. I felt paralyzed for weeks. I was slow to act.
One of my beginning steps has been reading information written by Black writers who have been educating, advocating and standing up for a long time. It didn’t feel like nearly enough, but it was something. I had to start somewhere.
When I first woke up nearly a decade ago I awoke to many of the injustices of the world, including racial inequity. But my main focus has been on environmental destruction and injustice and presenting solutions. I have not paid enough attention to racial injustice or done enough. Many consider me an expert in sustainability. I am comfortable in this position. But I have been shaken and now I feel like a little kid in the back of the classroom, rather than an expert. I have so much to learn. I have now seen that these injustices and the solutions are inseparable.
The feelings of being paralyzed have been lifting this month. I have somewhat of a foundation of knowledge built, but I am only at the very beginning. I am becoming addicted to learning and doing better.
I know that I will be making mistakes in the months and years to come. Just last month I seriously let a friend and myself down when I was not a good ally to them and I did not create a safe place for them. I caused hurt. Unfortunately that won’t be the last time I do this, but I am going to do better. I am going to listen. I am going to learn from other perspectives and think from other perspectives. I going to work to overcome my racial biases and engrained racism as well as other biases that I have.
I am committed to this page being a safe space for BIPOC folks. I am committed to being called out and listening and changing.
Thank you Ijeoma for this incredible book and for all of your work. And to all folks standing strong.
I deeply encourage you to read this book and follow Ijeoma on Instagram, twitter and Facebook.
I checked this copy out from a public library, one of the USA’s most precious resources.
Please support your local libraries, the authors, publishers and independent and Black owned book stores.