Learn. Grow. Support Black Lives.
What heart-breaking times. I pass these murals daily in my Minneapolis neighborhood (on plywood coverings on local businesses lost during the Covid19 shutdown):
As a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, I join them in putting out the call:
“The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators stands together with the African-American community in our unequivocal stance against racial inequity and prejudice. We deplore the legacy of tragedy, pain, cruelty, and fear that have resulted from long-standing explicit and implicit racism. We must examine and dismantle racism. Our members create books that will influence what kind of adults children grow up to be and how they see themselves reflected in the world. We want those stories to speak to all children, to tell the truth no matter how difficult it is to face, and to contribute to the message of today––that the time has come to end racial inequity forever.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
BLACK CHILDREN’S LIVES MATTER.”
Please help us change our society—to teach and raise children who will do better. Visit the SCBWI’s list of Organizations and Resources Supporting Black Lives. And if you and your kids or students haven’t yet watched the Kidlit 4 Black Lives Rally (with ASL translation) please take the time to do so! It is powerful.
Understanding Begins with Education:
This and other articles created by Ben & Jerry help spell out the reality of systemic racism with well-laid-out information; studies, links, and facts that hit many nails on the head, including:
– White families hold 90% of the nation’s wealth, with Latino and black families splitting a meagre 5%. For every $100 white families earn, black families earn $57.30.
– African-Americans are 2x as likely to be unemployed
– Black students are 3x more likely than white students to be suspended for the same infractions.
– Black home ownership is at an all-time low: 42% in comparison to 72% for whites
Listen to Black Voices:
A Minneapolis-based cultural resource I’m so thankful for is the beautiful radio/podcast program On Being with Krista Tippett. Two wonderful recent shows of theirs that are MUST LISTENS:
Fortifying Imagination: Conversation with Jason Reynolds on books that fortify the young, which also have a power to help heal adults. Mr. Reynolds is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
And in this enlightening interview with trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem — ‘Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence’, we learn that we carry the racism of our ancestors on a cellular level. Learning about the science behind this is humbling, no doubt, but it’s also a hopeful thing to learn because we can actively work to heal these patterns inherited in our nervous systems. He also speaks with Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, in this episode.
I am wishing for the healing of heart-breaks and a start to the breaking down of barriers between all living Beings, so that we may see our diversity as beautiful and our underlying Oneness as unquestionable.