Hello everyone! It’s June 2020, and summer is officially upon us. Although, if you live in the South like me, the summer feels like it’s been here since February!
We are already halfway through this crazy year, and the biggest thing on my mind this week has been the murder of George Floyd by the police. Judging by the number of protests that have spread across the country over the past few day, I’m not the only one who is confused, angry, and scared when it comes to this situation and similar problems of the past.
Some of my best friends are Black, and I’m terrified for what they may be going through right now. What they’ve been going through their whole lives. What I haven’t ever even had to consider simply because I was born into the privilege of white skin. I can’t even begin to imagine the nightmare my Black friends are going through right now, but I can make an effort to be a better ally to them.
One thing I’ve realized recently is that I am woefully uneducated when it comes to what it means to have white privilege, what it means to grow up Black in America, and why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important in the fight against systemic racism in our country. So, with the goal of education and self-improvement in mind, I have decided to participate in the Blackout Buddy Read sponsored and created by Books with Shae.
The Blackout Buddy Read runs from June 5th until June 19th. The end date was deliberately chosen by Shae to coincide with Juneteenth – the anniversary celebration of the day in 1865 that the Emancipation Proclamation was finally recognized by all the states. There will be a live show on the Books with Shae Youtube channel on June 19, 2020 at 7pm CST to discuss both books included.
This isn’t really a read-a-thon so much as it’s a read-a-long, so there are only two books to get through during the roughly two-week event period. Shae chose two books written from different perspectives.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo is written by a white woman for white people. This books seeks to help white people recognize how they react to racial discussions and challenges, how those reactions effect people of other races, and suggests ways for white people to participate in racial discussions in a more positive manner.
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson, Ph.D., on the other hand, is written by a Black woman for everyone, but I think it’s especially written for anyone seeking to know and understand more about black history in America. Anderson sets out to highlight important moments and issues from American history that impacted the Black community, and how those moments effected other aspects of the lives of all American citizens.
I am really happy with Shae’s book choices, and I plan to use them as a starting point to my own continuing education journey. These books and others will hopefully help me have more meaningful discussions with both my Black and white friends.
While reading these books I plan to keep a notebook handy because I want to do more than rush through them. I want to deeply understand what I’m reading and incorporate it into my structure of knowledge. I want this to be the beginning of a journey that will help me be more than another silent observer. I want this to help me overcome my fear of speaking out against injustice, but most importantly, I want to be able to help my friends.
Have you read these books? Do you plan to participate in the Blackout Buddy Read? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
**Book titles are linked to their respective Goodreads pages. No affiliate links are present in this post**