Checking In, 2020

Walking with Cake: Porch Petunias
(Grocery store petunias.)

It’s been a minute, to put it mildly. My blogging dwindled over the past several years, and in April of 2019, my family moved from Pflugerville to Round Rock, Texas. We settled in fairly easily and the boys started a new school that they love. As we’ve adjusted to the realities of Covid-19, finished the school year via distance learning, and are witnessing the national awakening of the Black Lives Matter Movement, I’ve felt the urge to start writing again.

For me, writing is both creative and cathartic, and now that we are settled into our second summer in our new home, I have more time and energy to spend writing and researching ideas that interest me. I spend a lot of time reading online, and it feels natural to start to share a bit of myself again, too.

Especially now, it’s important to share resources and information that we find helpful, and that’s my goal with reviving my blog. For years I wrote from the perspective of an ethical consumer, and that journey helped me gain insight into the systemic racism and daily inequities that exist for Black people in the United States.

I’m sharing a list of articles, movies, and links I’ve found helpful, both in the past and recently, too, as I continue to read and learn about systemic racism. This isn’t a comprehensive list, and includes things I haven’t seen mentioned often in other places. Please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

13th, Ava DuVernay’s powerful documentary about mass incarceration, is an invaluable resource available on Netflix.

American Son, also on Netflix, is the film version of the Broadway play starring Kerry Washington. All of the actors reprise their original stage roles in the movie.

“For Black Children at the End of the World –And the Beginning,” a poem by Roger Reeves, an Austin poet. Reeves explains the poem’s meaning and describes a friend’s young son who waved at snipers on the roof of the capitol building in the hope that they would not shoot him. Some waved back.

Crystal Valentine’s poetry is POWERFUL. “And the News Reporter Says Jesus Is White” was first performed in 2016 and is even more relevant now.

Christen A. Smith is a professor at UT Austin and examines how police violence is killing Black women.

This year’s winners of NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge focus on environmental racism in their own neighborhood.

I first learned about the effects of environmental racism from Dominique Drakeford, the co-founder of Sustainable Brooklyn.

“Why I Took My Young Son to a Protest.”

“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh.

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