Combating Racism – Black History Month – Part 4

To close out Black History month, instead of lengthy prose, I am sending links to videos and TED talks that will continue to educate you to the issues of race in America and the ways we can combat racism. These are in addition to lists of videos that I have suggested in previous newsletters.

To learn more about the history of racism in America, here is an excellent lecture entitled “History of Race in America,” given by Jeffrey Robinson of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. (1 hour 20 minutes)

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Watch Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, discuss the subject of racism and differentiate “color blindness” from “color braveness.” (14 minutes)

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Watch the extraordinary Bryan Stevenson, human rights lawyer and author of Just Mercy, discussing the injustice of our criminal justice system. (23 minutes)

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Watch Ruby Sales—whose life was saved by the white seminarian, Jonathan Daniel—discuss her history as a freedom fighter in the civil rights movement and her ideas to humanize the future and heal the pain of racial division. (20 minutes)

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Watch Shanta Tia Sawyer process her experience after facing microaggressions at a YMCA. In a live post, she tries to do the work of moving past the moment. WARNING: This video contains graphic language. I urge you to try to look past it at the humiliation she expresses. This video, more than any other I have watched recently, showed me what it is to live in the skin of a Black woman facing subtle racism. (16 minutes)

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Watch Clint Smith, poet and educator, talk about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice. (4 minutes)

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CONCLUSION

Consider your take-aways from each of these videos and the three previous newsletters of Black History Month.

  • What have you learned? What information do you have now that you didn't get in your years of schooling?
  • How will you continue to honor the purpose of Black History Month?
  • What actions will you take to fight systemic racism?
  • How will you acknowledge the achievements of Black Americans and their role in U.S. history?
  • What will you teach your children, nieces and nephews, neighbors, and deniers?
  • What will you do to eradicate White obliviousness?
  • And how will you use your voice?

Let me know your thinking and your plans to combat racism . . . beyond Black History Month. Remember the words of Ruby Sales: Our humanity depends on everyone's humanity.

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