The Black Out Tuesday social media campaign makes little sense. At best, it’s an easy way for people, brands, organizations, and institutions to express solidarity. But it seems too easy.
Black Out Tuesday is a handy excuse for some people, especially white people, to avoid the necessary difficult conversations about race at the precise moment when those talks are most important. At the same time, perhaps some people, especially black people, need a break from the barrage of messages about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, the Coronavirus crisis’ disproportionate toll on black people, and the President and some of the news media twisting all those stories to defend the racist systems underpinning “America.”
Even if grief moves people to engage in Black Out Tuesday, I hope others remember earlier messages in this current protest movement, such as “silence=violence.” So, today seems the perfect day to raise my voice. Below are links to my work on race, starting with a piece that explains the childhood roots of today’s message, followed by others roughly in reverse chronological order.
Comment on Donald Sterling and Doc Rivers
Opinion and memoir of my childhood in race and sports
Positive Coaching Alliance Blog, 4/28/14
Commentary, video and shoutouts for the reasons I ran
Speaking of Donald Trump
Video and poem used to introduce my poetry class to middle-school students I teach within the Citizen Schools program
Long Shot: Conversation with Craig Hodges
Video interview of former Chicago Bulls star and activist and author
Voices We Need to Hear
On watching “Black Panther” and the importance of black voices in media
First and Lasting Visions of the Late Jimmy Webb
Remembrance of my friend from Sojourn to the Past, an original “foot soldier” on the Bloody Sunday march over Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge (includes Jimmy’s hilarious remark from the pulpit at Oakland’s First African Methodist Episcopal at the 2:55 mark of this recording).
Narrative and photos from a journey with Sojourn to the Past, the civil rights education nonprofit