From our June 2020 newsletter: A note about the current moment.
If there's one thing I have learned as a cultural historian, it is that change happens with agonizing slowness until it doesn't. The present moment, in which a string of racist murders of black people was coupled with a clear-as-day instance of a white woman disingenuously calling the police to exert dominance over a black man, has shocked many people into awareness, making them pay attention to things that others have been working long and hard to be heard on for decades-- if not centuries.
Anti-blackness has a long history in the United States. Racism is baked into the system. At The Greater Us, we take the position that if racism is not actively being resisted, then it will make its way back in- into interpersonal interactions, institutions, or the culture at large. Silence is complicity. Turning away is complicity. And remaining ignorant in this period is a choice.
With this in mind, we've put together a lists of resources for folks new to anti-racist and anti-oppression work who want to learn more. Lists of books, articles, movies, and more are proliferating around the internet, and we've compiled one that we think is particularly strong.
That said, the work is not only cerebral. It can bring up uncomfortable emotions-- fear, horror, shame, guilt. Overwhelm. Knowledge acquisition is an important first step, but it is not the only one. Figuring out what to do with the emotions that learning, being in the work, and working to be different all bring up is another important step. With that in mind, we're offering free or low-cost community workshops to allow space for people to do affective work in a contained, small-group environment. Learn more here.