I learned I was wrong. I learned I was wrong in time to not have to undo poor teachings in my home.
There is more to learn. There is so much that I don’t understand and will never fully understand as a white person. But because I love someone whose skin is a different color than mine and because they are a human being who deserves the same respect that I get, I am going to try really hard.
I had an experience where I said something wrong to my friend who is a person of color. I didn’t know at the time what I was saying, but I learned really quickly…in that moment, though, she shut down. She didn’t tell me WHY what I said was wrong or hurt her and I thought she should have. I expected her to, and in some ways, I was upset that she wouldn’t. It wasn’t until months later that I realized it’s not her place to educate me. She didn’t do or say anything wrong, and she didn’t need to teach me a thing. It wasn’t on her to do that; it was on me. At nearly 30-years-old, it’s no one’s responsibility except my own to learn how to be a better human being. And because I am also a mother, it’s also my responsibility to teach my child the same.
I have felt urged more than ever to stand next to people of color and hold their hands and yell at the entire world that they deserve more than what they have been given. How do I share my heart with a small child? How do I present to her an issue that her innocent heart does not yet know? How can I be open, honest, and real with her like we are about everything else in life?
I feel that as a parent, my job isn’t to shield her from the world or shy away from the tough stuff, but to teach her how to make it a better place than it was before she got here. There are podcasts, blogs, books, and articles available at our fingertips — if only we choose to use them. There is a lot out there, but we all need a place to start.
After some research, I’ve chosen six books to add to our shelf to open the conversation around Black Lives Matter. Here is where we will start. Will you read with us? Can you recommend more?
1. I’m Still Here