(terrible title, I know. I’m still working on coming up with something better)
Caught up as I was in my own story as a Hispanic immigrant, I must admit I am ignorant of Black history beyond what the news channels have shown me. This was thoughtless and wrong. So this week I’ve been researching, and it’s been uncomfortable at times, and very eye-opening at others. I have made mistakes; I will continue to make mistakes, and I am okay with it. Please bear with me, I’m learning. I am 1% more aware than I was last week.
These are a few resources that I’ve found helpful.
When They See Us. Directed by Ava DuVernay, this short series tells the story of the Central Park Five, a group of five teenagers—four black and one Hispanic— falsely accused of raping a white woman. This series doesn’t pull any punches: it’s raw, chilling, cold, meant to make you question everything you thought you knew about the justice system. You are not supposed to feel comfortable watching this—which makes it all the more important to watch. Available on Netflix
Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay. Thoroughly influenced by an influencer whom I admire, this is a collection of essays on wildly different subjects, but all united by the presence of strong female characters. I’ve just very recently started reading this book, after having it on my “to read” pile for close to six months, and I am rather ashamed I waited so long: the writing is clean, impeccable, and the characters’ voices are grounded, a beautiful contrast to the cold universe surrounding them.
The influencer who talked about it is Audrey Leighton, by the way.
Code Switch by NPR. This podcast talks about multiple issues affecting minorities, especially black people. Like anything produced by NPR, this is well done, well researched, and talks about issues such as racism, police brutality, and anti-blackness with frankness and honesty, without shying away from the issues at hand. They counter their heavier topics with lighter topics such as thanksgiving dinners, song recommendations from the community, and interviews with multiple artists, thought leaders, and influential people of color. This is “Black issues 101” at its best, and in my personal opinion a great introduction to the issues minorities—back, in particular—face in a daily basis.