Our American Christians are too busy saving the souls of white Christians from burning in hell-fire to save the lives of black ones from present burning in fires kindled by white Christians. - Ida B. Wells, 1894
Last month I was honored to participate in the closing keynote panel at BlogHer 2014's 10th anniversary conference. This was my 9th attendance of BlogHer and my writing has changed in the nearly 10 years of having a blog.
My fellow panelists were Feminista Jones, Kristen Howerton, Grace Hwang-Lynch, Patrice Lee and Natalia Oberti Noguera and Cheryl Contee acted as our moderator. In my introduction I mention having learned the power of my voice and how I come at it from an educational perspective. (And I mention having a Big Mouth. This surprises no one.)
I must admit, however, that I get asked to speak on this issue everywhere but home. Many people in my town are not aware of what it is that I do on the Internet and there is, ironically, some intersection involved there. In October I will be speaking again on the issue of feminism and girls for the ONE Foundation and that's so important to the work I've been doing at home and abroad.
I keep learning that our voices need to be amplified and that speaking up is something I consider my duty.
This is important now, more than ever, with all the things our nation can talk about with regards to race with what is happening awfully close to where I live and that's in Ferguson, Missouri. I'm not going to stop talking about that anytime soon.
There are a few links I'd like to leave you with, though, and I hope that you watch the video above.
This is what libraries do. They provide a safe place where people can find out more about who they are, what they love, and who they want to become.
The Ferguson Library has been there for the people of Ferguson. I'd like to see what we can do to ensure that the Ferguson library has the resources they need to support their patrons in the weeks, months, and years to come.
These wealthy Silicon Valley tech investors gain access to a level of influence that far outstrips their public visibility. Like celebrities, they have the ability to broadcast their opinions to millions of people because of their position in the tech industry but, unlike celebrities, they can remain out of the public eye, speaking loudly from hidden podiums. And given the rising financial and political power of the tech industry, the racial homogeneity of this elite group of investors is troubling, especially in light of their occasional public comments.
Sacca, for example, recently used his own podium to publish a blog post entitled“A few thoughts on race, America, and our President” on the official Lowercase Capital website. In reaction to President Obama’s perceived discomfort with his role as president in the Ferguson situation, Sacca speaks out against racism, chides Obama for his lack of energy, and urges him to “be brave” in his public comments on the Ferguson shooting. This blog post is marked by an overwhelming paternalism as Sacca, a wealthy white man, advises Obama on how best to navigate his precarious position as a black president. Even though Obama supposedly told Sacca last year in a private conversation that he needs to avoid the label of “angry black man,” Sacca nevertheless claims that “what we need now is for our President to be angry,” adding that “the fact that he is black is even better.” Sacca puts himself in position to judge the political value of Obama’s blackness with no acknowledgment of his own social position as a wealthy white man.
This is a fascinating, visually pleasing look at Rockwell's painting of Ruby Bridges. Art teachers will love this and all educators can use it in their classrooms.
Driving up I could see the crowd, but living in New Orleans, I actually thought it was Mardi Gras. There was a large crowd of people outside of the school. They were throwing things and shouting, and that sort of goes on in New Orleans at Mardi Gras. I really didn’t realize until I got into the school that something else was going on. – Ruby Bridges Hall
Teachers should also be following the #FergusonSyllabus on Twitter for resources. Click here.
This one mentions a great graphic novel titled The Silence of Our Friends, a semi-autobiographical novel set in 1967 against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
By Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons