white people. do something. (#5)

Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks (1912-2006). Untitled. Harlem, NY. 1963 via The National Arts Club

5. If you or a friend or family member is an educator, watch or share this video of Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking about his experience as a black student telling people he wanted to be a scientist and astrophysicist. Tyson’s experience reminds me of a black friend whose high school teachers tried to dissuade her from taking AP classes, because, with the best of intentions, they thought the AP classes would be “too much” for her. Be an educator who supports and encourages, not one who dissuades. Talk to educators you know about being educators who support and encourage, not educators who dissuade.

#5 of the 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice needs to include the women. Here’s a great resource on black women in stem and you can follow @BlackWomenSTEM on twitter. If you haven’t read or seen Hidden Figures do so. Here are some excellent children’s books.

Essential reading:

White Americans Your Lack of Imagination is Killing Us by Kasi Lemmons

“Now imagine that even now, after everything we’ve survived and accomplished, after we’ve built this country with our sweat and blood, our backs and brains, after we’ve sacrificed our lives in every war that has ever been fought for America, this country is still not safe for us. It’s still not safe to go jogging while black; to listen to loud music while black; to drive while black; to birdwatch while black; to shop at Barneys while black; to be a 13-year-old boy while black.”

Essential listening:

(Shared in solidarity by the amazing Theater of War Productions)

The song, “I’m Covered,” written by Phil Woodmore for the project Antigone in Ferguson, is a healing hymn that comes at the end of the play as a collective response to the violence, outrage, division, and grief that precedes it. “Every night that we sing ‘I’m Covered’ at the end of the play,” said Ms. Blaylock, “it’s my way of covering my student Michael Brown.” We hope that in watching this video, you feel covered, if not by a higher power, then by the humanity, spirit, and hope at the center of the song.

The singers and musicians featured in this video include educators, students, activists, social workers, members of the faith community, and police officers from St. Louis and New York City who have made the commitment to sing together in order to start powerful, uncomfortable, transformative discussions about race and gender-based violence.

How to Support Protesters in Every City

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