From Bystander to Highstander

“We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us.”

The Black Diaspora in the Americas is as real today as it was when people were abducted from their homes, dragged across an ocean to new continents, and enslaved for centuries.

This enslavement and genocide were led by white Europeans. It was enabled by new, at the time, racist theories and ideas of what constituted humanity.

Since these times, Black people have played critical and watershed roles in enabling American fortunes and its international econo-geopolitical standing. America was built on the backs and souls of Black folk, and white Americans and white people across the world continue to benefit from this long-standing power asymmetry and oppression.

White people, regardless of their direct familial or genetic connection, benefit from whiteness, while Black people are disadvantaged.

These are the facts.

So, now, the big questions for you.

What responsibility to white people have in ending this injustice?
Would you want to have the things you have, won the things you’ve won because of a fundamental injustice that is older than the country and society you were born into?
What if you were on the short of the power asymmetry?

This coming Wednesday, February 12, Renee, Lucianne, and Brian will have an online conversation to discuss questions from the first zine of 2020! Stay tuned for more information.

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 2: the Read-on-Screen PDF Format!

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