Thank you very much, loyal readers, for opening today’s issue of the newsletter. This week, Bryan Stevenson said, “We have never honestly addressed all the damage that was done during the two and a half centuries that we enslaved black people. The great evil of American slavery wasn’t the involuntar
Thank you very much, loyal readers, for opening today’s issue of the newsletter. This week, Bryan Stevenson said, “We have never honestly addressed all the damage that was done during the two and a half centuries that we enslaved black people. The great evil of American slavery wasn’t the involuntary servitude; it was the fiction that Black people aren’t as good as white people, and aren’t the equals of white people, and are less evolved, less human, less capable, less worthy, less deserving than white people. That ideology of white supremacy was necessary to justify enslavement, and it is the legacy of slavery that we haven’t acknowledged. This is why I have argued that slavery didn’t end in 1865, it evolved.”
This week’s articles center the ideas and lived experiences of Roxane Gay, Ibram X. Kendi, A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez, and Nikole Hannah-Jones. My hope is that you find the pieces valuable for possible reflection, conversation, and action.
+ I’m hosting a small gathering tonight if you’re interested in connecting with other thoughtful members of our reading community. It’d be heartwarming to see you there. Reply if you’re in, and I’ll email you the Zoom link. Bring a beverage of your choice. We’ll begin at 5:30 pm PT and be in dialogue for an hour or so.
Roxane Gay: “Eventually, doctors will find a coronavirus vaccine, but Black people will continue to wait, despite the futility of hope, for a cure for racism. We will live with the knowledge that a hashtag is not a vaccine for white supremacy. We live with the knowledge that, still, no one is coming to save us. The rest of the world yearns to get back to normal. For Black people, normal is the very thing from which we yearn to be free.” (6 min)
Ibram X. Kendi: “Their American dream—that this is a land of equal opportunity, committed to freedom and equality, where police officers protect and serve—is a lie. Their American dream—that they have more because they are more, that when black people have more, they were given more—is a lie. Their American dream—that they have the civil right to kill black Americans with impunity and that black Americans do not have the human right to live—is a lie.” (11 min)
A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez: “Growing up, when my family experienced anti-Black racism from the outside world, or disrespect from men within our orbit, I used to be upset that no woman in my family had modeled authentic hurt. But now that I have two children of my own, I understand. Unattended grief is heavy and slows one down. Black mothers don’t have time to spare. My mother chose to teach me what I needed to survive.” (9 min)
Nikole Hannah-Jones (2016): “We’d been here again and again, but somehow, this felt depressingly the same yet also different. Even older Black people, typically stoics from weathering things my generation has not had to, found themselves, to their alarm, crying as well.” (6 min)
Thank you for reading this week’s newsletter. If you like, please share with me your thoughts. Also, let’s welcome our reading community’s six new subscribers: Kally, Vicki, Cricket, Darryl, and two others. I hope that you find this newsletter a solid addition to your Thursday email inbox. (Thank you to loyal readers Lauren and Maria for being ambassadors.)
As always, if you’re not finding that this newsletter is valuable, please unsubscribe. See you next Thursday at 9:10 am.