I stand with #BlackLivesMatter.
I’m not going to detail my activism here, because I’m not asking for credit for it. I encourage everyone to seek out resources for donation, protesting, and supporting black businesses; other people have done a far better job compiling lists than I could, and especially as petitions and donation needs are changing day by day, anything I post here will likely become outdated quickly. Do a search, pick something you’re capable of, and do the work.
But there’s an aspect of my support where I already suspect things will get tricky. Book reviews.
I’m white. I’m in the process of educating myself about anti-racism. I have reviewed every book I’ve read since the beginning of 2016. I’m not going to stop reviewing, and I’m not going to skip the anti-racism books I’m reading–if anything, those will be the ones I need to bring the most attention to.
But I’m white, and my voice and my feelings should not be the important things in this context. On the other hand, I don’t know any other way to review a book I read other than giving my thoughts and feelings on it–I can’t separate who I am from my reviewing. It’s a tidy little dilemma, isn’t it?
I’ll be as transparent as I can about everything. Whatever white guilt or pain or outrage I feel as a result of learning what I will learn from these works, I will minimize, because that’s not important to anyone but me. To the best of my ability, I will not be any more or any less critical of these works.
But more than halfway through the first read on the list, I am already finding the edges of my own bias and assumptions, discovering that I still have more growing, learning, and more importantly, unlearning to do.
I will get undoubtedly make mistakes along the way, but I am committed to that growth. I am committed to becoming a better ally and a better person.
[Just wanted to make this all clear before the first book review drops on Friday, because boy, did I pick a doozy to start with.]