photo by Wikimedia commons
It is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day here in the US. In past years, I would enthusiastically share quotes on social media, read children’s books about the man and his work to my young students, and occasionally attend the powerful service that the St. James Baptist Church in my adopted community hosts annually. This year, though, I find that I cannot.
I cannot blithely share quotations out of context as though that does anything to combat systemic racism. I cannot just read a story or two to my students and expect it to make them grow into anti-racist humans. I cannot take up a seat in that crowded church one day a year to make myself feel righteous, when there are so many other neighbors in my community who rely on the fellowship of that church to provide sanctuary from a city that is prejudiced against them.
I cannot just do nothing, though.
While this weekly TKUG post is usually light-hearted and fun, for today, I am going to share some resources that are keeping me going as I strive to do my part to make my home, my community, and my nation welcoming and just for all people.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN have virtual tours of their exhibits, as well as many resources to inform, educate, and inspire us all.
The YWCA has a mission of “eliminating racism and empowering women.” It is an organization that has been dear to my heart for many years.
Our stories shape us. Other People’s stories have the power to shape us as well. We need to actively seek them out and listen to them. As an educator and a writer with ties to Rhode Island, I am especially excited about this year’s line-up for Funda Fest, the Rhode Island Black Storytellers annual festival. Since it is virtual this year, all of you can join me!
We cannot honestly call ourselves pro-life, we cannot truly say all lives matter, until by word and deed we, as individuals and a nation, show that black lives matter. That is how I , how we, can honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.