Is it ironic that this was the year I chose to use a daily planner as my New Year’s self-improvement resolution?!
That was useful until about mid-March, when Covid-19 cleared my social calendar completely.
So I’ve made a new resolution.
Following the death of George Floyd and the ensuing uproar across our nation I realized a few things. First, that I was not living in a “post-racial” America as I had hoped I was (okay, I may have had inklings of this before, but I had to own it for real now). Second, that I knew next to nothing about the contemporary experience of Black people in America (nor that much about their post-Civil War history, if I’m honest).
As I grappled with those truths in the weeks of late March and early April, I was nearly ready to completely silence this blog (and my white woman voice). I obviously had a lot to learn and not much to say.
I asked myself the question, “How can I follow the incarnational example of Jesus in this situation?” Practically speaking, it did not seem I could literally uproot my family and move to a Black neighborhood to understand better what it means to be Black in America. Although the thought did cross my mind.
I had to find another way to get into that experience.
So this is the resolution I made: for a year (at least), I will immerse myself in the voices of black and indigenous people of color (BIPOC). Through books, music, movies . . . whatever I can get my hands on. The more different from me someone is, the more I want to understand their story and experience.
I cleared my CD rack of non-BIPOC artists (except those my children frequently listen to–this is my resolution, not theirs). I put books on hold, many more than I will be able to read through before they are due (I’m currently reading “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” by Ta-Nehisi Coates and “Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto” by Native American author Vine Deloria, Jr.). My husband and I watched “13th” directed by Ava DuVernay.
Some of this is heavy stuff, so I’m breaking it up with some novels here and there. And listening to a lot of Ben Harper. =)
I don’t know what will come of all of this, though I am hopeful that this journey will produce good fruit of compassion and humility, and even lead to positive, creative action to help create a more just society for the next generation to live in. I hope to share some of the things I’m learning on this blog.
with love, Anita
Maybe this is the year for CHANGE! Have you had occasion to change a resolution or make a new one? I’d love to hear about it!