Numbers too big to manipulate, a force too big to ignore

So, it’s 2020 and you’re on the couch complaining about the sadness of the world.

What are your options, really? There’s lots of talk about voting and government – casting that vote to get yourself heard, but where does protest and dismantling the system (rather than operating within it) come into play? If it’s business as usual, how do you change where we are?

History matters, not only for reflection but to move us to action.

Last year on BlackLight, we read W.E.B. Dubois’ “Black Reconstruction in America”, which discusses (amongst other things) how complacency and systems of power moved to erase the gains of freedom.

As we look back at changemakers in the past…we have a few questions

  1. Is there a tendency to downplay the protest, smooth over the shaking of power systems?
  2. Do we ignore the bigger picture of the interplay between these two arms, changing government and dismantling power?
  3. How are we called to action in 2020? What do we learn from W.E.B. Du Bois?
  4. What will future generations say of us and our deeds?
  5. What can we do, however small, however radical, to change the rules of the game?


Change can start from inside the system or change can come from pushing on the outside of the system. Either way:


Welcome to the first Zine and Conversation for TiBL2020. We’ve collected and annotated posts from 2017 to 2019 on the themes of governance, voting, politics, protest, and activism into the zine (attached to this page), and then listed some questions to focus our discussion. In the zine, you’ll find excerpts from our previous posts (including QR codes to help you get to back to that post). We’re posting two versions of the zine, one for web and one print.

How to use these resources

  • Find a friend. In moving from reflection to action, we are asking that readers identify another person (or a group of people) that they want to work through the materials with.
  • Pick the zine format you prefer. This year, we have created zines (small pamphlets) that you can either download and read in PDF form, or print out and fold in half to make a paper booklet. Both have the same content, one is just laid out so you can print and fold!
  • Read the material, reflect together. We will be doing this activity ourselves, reflecting on the questions we’ve posed, and discussing them. Since your trusty BlackLight curators don’t all live in the same place, we’ll be doing those discussions online, and posting them– you can choose to meet with your partner or group in whatever format works best for you!
  • Make a plan of action, and then ACT ON IT. From each week, we want readers to identify actions they will take to combat white supremacy. These actions should take place outside of yourself– addressing internalized white supremacy is an important aspect of the work, but it is not the only aspect of the work. Get out there!

Click here for BlackLight 2020: Issue 1: the Printable Booklet Format!

Click here for BlackLight 2020: Issue 1: the Read-on-Screen PDF Format


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