I cannot articulate a specific moment when I first became aware of green books or sundown towns. Rather, for as long as I can remember, I’ve lived with the awareness that in our nation’s past, there were places and times of day when Black people were unwelcome.
Piece 42: Bad Blood
The bad blood between medical science and Black Americans is deeply rooted in the white supremacy that has shaped this country and its subjugation of Black bodies.
Piece 41: Respectability
Why do you think that the names of Pauli Murray, a gender queer woman, and Claudette Colvin, a teenage mother, are not taught to us alongside the name of Rosa Parks, even though all three were civilly disobedient in the same way?
In what ways might respectability politics have influenced your idea of which Black lives matter and which ones don’t?
Piece 40: One Day, When the Glory Comes
As theologian James Cone states in The Cross and the Lynching Tree, “Without concrete signs of divine presence in the lives of the poor, the gospel becomes simply an opiate; rather than liberating the powerless from humiliation and suffering, the gospel becomes a drug that helps them adjust to this world by looking for “pie in the sky.”
Piece 38: We Don’t Say Their Names Enough
How, in all our culture’s popular representations of Rosies’ contributions to the war effort by taking over men’s jobs back home, have Black women escaped recognition?
Piece 37: Shut Up & Dribble
…all of these amount to a deafening, collective cry from black American athletes’ own home and country to shut up and dribble, a collective f-ck your breath.
Piece 35: Black Church
When you think of the terror that has been inflicted on the black church in this country time and again, how do you imagine you might feel if the black church was that first place of faith for you? Would you feel safe to worship in the space where you truly felt at home?
Piece 34: Black Love
Amidst the love I feel for my blackness, nothing is quite so magical as witnessing the strong, deep bonds of love between us: romantic, platonic, and familial.
Piece 33: Expanding the Antebellum Narrative
Can you imagine the connection students might feel to history if it were intentionally made concrete and brought near to them rather than remaining an abstract, olden time amoeba?
Piece 31: Wakanda Forever
I’m deeply grateful for the artistic choices Chadwick Boseman made, that broke box office record expectations for a black-led movie, that made star-struck young children want to attend historically black colleges and universities, that provided hope, relief, and joy for an audience full of people like me who are so grossly underrepresented in such beautiful, thorough artistic endeavors.