white privilege

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Part of series of open letters to my daughters: mama always said

Dear white child of mine,

Last evening I attended an equity and inclusion meeting held in the library at one of your schools. I’ve been to a few of these meetings already, and I don’t think I’ve attended one where I haven’t shed a few tears. I got there a little early (unusual, I know), so I browsed through the books your librarian had highlighted for Black History Month. Picking up Hidden Figures, I read through the Prologue:

“Growing up in Hampton, Virginia, I assumed the face of science was brown like mine.… Keep Reading

words

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Part of series of open letters to my daughters: mama always said

Dear sweet child of mine,

You recently showed me a picture of a sign posted on the locker of one of your schoolmates. Everyone’s locker had signs taped on them, but this one caught your attention. Like the others, this one began with I am followed by a description of the person whose books, shoes, coat, and maybe a few pictures could be found behind the locker door on which the sign hung. On this particular one, additional words had been added to the original words I am classic to instead read I am a classic bitch.… Keep Reading

#LikeAGirl

 

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Part of series of open letters to my daughters: mama always said

Dear sweet child of mine,

There is a story of bravery, perseverance, endurance, and grit that I want you to know.  It is the story of how Katherine Switzer ran and finished the 1967 Boston Marathon.  The full story can be found here.

At that time, the Boston Marathon was an all-male race.  That’s why when Katherine suggested that she enter that year, her coach, Arnie, responded like this:

“No woman can run the Boston Marathon,” Arnie fired back.

“Why not? I’m running 10 miles a night!”

Arnie insisted the distance was too long for fragile women to run, and exploded when I said that Roberta Gibb had jumped into the race and finished it the previous April.

Keep Reading

thank-you notes

 

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Part of series of open letters to my daughters: mama always said

Dear sweet child of mine,

The season of giving is over. Holiday cards are stacked in a toppled pile on the counter. A lonely Christmas music book sits unplayed on the piano. The house is still awash with twinkling lights, but instead of reflecting off brightly colored packages, the tiny bulbs radiate off new toy cars, fresh-faced little dolls, fuzzy, warm sweaters, and that weird hat(?), hot pad(?), underwear(?) that great-aunt so-and-so crocheted.

I remember that post-Christmas feeling as a child … slightly disappointed that the excitement had ended, but happy and warm having received many of the items on your wish list, and maybe even a pleasant surprise.… Keep Reading

what crayon is skin color?

 

flesh

Part of series of open letters to my daughters: mama always said

Dear sweet, white child of mine,

You were working on some homework the other night.  As with most of Kindergarten homework, it involved coloring.  When faced with the task of coloring a picture of a “Nina, the nurse”, your attention turned to digging through the box of crayons for “skin color”.  I came over to help you find the “right” crayon, but got distracted … the mischievous 2yo next to you decided that crayons seemed better as a tasty treat, than for imparting color.  By the time I got back to you, your picture was finished.  … Keep Reading