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Being woke

This past week has been a heavy one. I’m horrified by the actions I see. I’m sad for where our country is. I’m sad for the lives that are lost. Lots is broken. Lots needs to be fixed. 

And, I’m uncomfortable.

I don’t feel right sending out our regular ezine this week. I do not feel like business as usual.

As a white woman, I cannot grasp the black experience. We all filter everything through our own lens. And one of my lenses is the white woman lens.

Sure I have good friends and colleagues who are black, friends whom I respect. I’ve dined with them. I’ve chatted at book clubs with them. Prayed with them at church. Shared experiences with them. Had them as overnight guests in my home. Had real conversations. But I can never know their experience, their lens.

I do not think of myself as a racist. However, I am likely holding onto beliefs in my subconscious that are rooted in racism. I think many of us are. And, how can I not? I grew up in the 60s in the South. 

As I said, I’m uncomfortable. I’m not as knowledgeable as I could be. I told you I had friends and colleagues who were black. One of the members of our ICAP team is black. When I think of these individuals, I don’t look at them and think of them as black, at least not on a conscious level. They are people that I know, and I value them as equal creations of God. 

What I can do is educate myself. That is my responsibility. I can study my biases. I can become “woke.” If you look that word up, it means “alert to injustice in society, especially racism.” And, I can go past woke, beyond alert. I can available for honest discussion, be more empathetic, and take action. I can ask questions from my research. 

I’ve spent the past several days searching for ways I can learn more. I can listen to others and I can read. Here are some of the anti-racism resources I’m using and actions I’m taking.  You’ll find links to other articles and information if you keep digging.

Books I’m got to read

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

How to Be an Anti-Racist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Other resources

Public Address on Revolution: Revolution Now with Rachel Cargle. I appreciate her 3-prong approach: Knowledge, Empathy, Action. She also shares a link to a syllabus with other resources.

Following people on social media

One of the blog posts I read noted that we tend to follow people like us. That would be true. I follow largely white women in my areas of interest. I do follow some black quilters and artists, but not that many. I follow some black nutrition coaches, but not that many. 

If I want to educate myself, I need to expand that. On Instagram, I’m now following Rachel Cargle, the women who did the public address that I watched. I am following Lisa with blackwomenstitch and will be listening to Lisa’s podcast called Stitch Please Podcast. I’m using the Search function on Instagram to find others to follow to expand my knowledge and understanding.

During the limited research that I’ve done, I came across the poetry of Nikki Giovanni. Beautiful work. Here’s a link to some of her work. For our times, I really liked the poem Mercy

Showing up and doing better

For some people #blackouttuesday on Instagram will come and go. I don’t want that to be me. I have to make a conscious effort to keep growing in this area. I’ve learned a lot in the past few days, and I’m going to continue with that.

I am looking for ways to recognize and support more black artists in my business. I am looking for ways to support more black artists in their businesses. My question for you is how are you going to show up in your business differently as a result of what you learn? 

Here’s to all of us doing better.

It’s your turn!

Please share your thoughts and other resources with me. 

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