A One-Woman Anti-Racist Book Club

I have one major issue and one major prediction for the outpouring of support for Black Lives Matter and racial inequality in this county. The issue: so many performative allies. Post-post-post-post-post-post. But what are you doing? What is your call-to-action? The prediction? Americans, as a whole, have the attention spans of rats (like, you know, getting bored of being safe for a global pandemic after like five minutes) and I can see this becoming a passing phase for many. 

I don't want to be that person. I have tried to create my own call-to-actions every week, whether it's donating a few bucks to charity, working on the BLM embroidery hoops for my Etsy shop, reading books on my own, talking to my son about what's happening, or emailing elected officials (this is so, so, so easy, and I have found after sending Facebook messages to many local ones that I get quick, personable responses back within hours, including two police departments, a mayor's office, and an assemblyman). But who will hold me accountable to keep doing things?


And that's the thing, as non-black people we need to take a good, hard look at our track records of staying focused, disciplined, and to follow through. How many diets or work-out routines have you quit? How many friends or family members have you simple lost contact with because you couldn't be bothered to text? How many home projects have you not seen through until the end? And those things aren't even that important, in the scheme of things. I'd hope that something this significant and huge would maintain a strong hold on America, but when I look around, I just don't know.

And sure, you don't need to shout from the rooftops what you are doing. Does it hurt to mention it, to gently nudge the talkers into becoming doers? I don't think so. You don't need to screenshot your donation receipts or a video of you calling your mayor, but I think it can be motivating to people who need a kick-in-the-pants to act to see that their peers are out there actively trying to be a part of the solution. There's a difference between being showy and self-serving and encouraging. 

I can sit here and be pessimistic (or realistic?) about the fickle nature of my fellow countrymen, or I can take responsibility for myself. What I pledge to do each month:

- Make a donation to Southern Poverty Law Center or Campaign Zero
- Keep the dialogue open with my son
- Post links to relevant articles and podcasts on my Google Classroom page- I think I will start doing this on each Monday
- After fulfilling the orders for the BLM hoops on my etsy show I'll keep it going for those who are interested (I donate the profits to chartiy)
- Start my one-woman book club... keep reading!

The One-Woman Anti-Racist Book Club
Okay, fine, this isn't really a true book club, since it's just me. But I want to make sure I am reading at least one nonfiction or fiction book a month that is by a black author. I went back through my records and in 2019 I read ten. This year I want to read twelve or more, and from this month forward I plan to post here about it, focusing on what I learned, applicable quotes, and more about the author. 

There was a hashtag going around twitter recently about how much authors made for their book advances, at the discrepancies between white authors and BIPOC was clear- using our voices as readers and bloggers is one way to highlight books that deserve more attention (while learning how to be better allies ourselves). 

I read a few posts lately from black authors who are reminding readers to not just read nonfiction accounts that are strictly about race; to paraphrase one (sorry, I don't remember the source) she  said that we need to read about the everyday lives of black people that show them falling in love, getting annoyed at their kids, having careers, etc... So my goal is to read a variety of books! 

I just finished my first one, Brit Bennett's newest, and will post about it next week.

I hope that everyone will join me in finding some sort of way to act, not just post or talk, about making America a place.

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