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I took a little break from writing my blog last week. Turns out, I had some serious studying, reflecting, unlearning and relearning to do. I took part in an amazing 7-day transformative training on anti-Black racism:
“Academics for Black Survival and Wellness was organized by a group of Black counseling psychologists and their colleagues who practice Black allyship. Guided by a Black feminist frame, we hope to foster accountability and growth for non-Black people and enhance healing and wellness for Black people.”
Founded and organized by Dr. Della Mosley and soon-to-be Dr. Pearis Bellamy, Academics for Black Survival and Wellness was 7 days of incredible lectures, readings, live webinars, guided meditations and more on a wide range of topics from the history of slavery (the real history), Black intersectionality, white terrorism, white privilege, Black liberation, transformative justice and more.
The week forced white and white adjacent folks to really look at ourselves and reflect on how we have not only benefitted from white supremacy but also contributed to and upheld it. The week was uncomfortable, to say the least. I had to come to terms with my own prejudices and the ways in which I have internalized and perpetuated racism. I am ashamed to admit that I hold racist beliefs, not intentionally, but by default due to being born into a white supremacist world (i.e. the world we currently live in). I didn’t really know, or perhaps at some level I did, that I held these beliefs. Dr. Della Mosley and the incredible speakers, authors, historians, psychologists, etc. that she organized into Academics for Black Survival and Wellness brought them to the surface with accountability questions. Because that’s the name of the game: to hold yourself accountable for your actions, your thoughts and your beliefs. Simply saying that, “I’m biracial, the proud daughter of a Black father – how could I possibly be racist?” – is no longer acceptable. Because, like I’ve said before, I have white privilege due to my light skin color. There are many struggles that I’ve never had to face, let alone think about. And what have I used that privilege for? Have I used it to speak up for racial justice and equity? Have I used it to actively dismantle white supremacy? Have I been willing to give up and lose the benefits of this system? Not even close!
I have spoken up but not always when I should have. I’ve been willing to give up some time in this fight but what about giving up my privilege, social capital, money, housing, etc? The reckoning for white folks is here. Reparations are long overdue. It’s time I do my part (it’s been time, actually). If you’re white or white adjacent, it’s time you do your part as well. Black people haven’t just been sitting around, twiddling their thumbs, waiting to be rescued by white people (don’t even get me started on white saviors). They’ve been actively fighting for their freedom since the minute they were forcibly and violently taken and enslaved. That’s over 400 years of fighting. And white (adjacent) people? Where have we been? Dr. Mosley, on the last day, said that time has run out. Black people are dying every day at the hands of white supremacy (policy brutality, prison system, school to prison pipeline, environmental racism, lynchings, etc.). This matter is urgent.
Stop following conventional news and instead follow Black voices. They’ll tell you the truth. They’ll open your eyes. Here are some recent favorites of mine:
Pearis Bellamy – Co-founder of Academics for Black Survival and Wellness (and more)
Dr. Della Mosley – Co-founder of Academics for Black Survival and Wellness (and more)
Dr. Janet Helms – Author of A Race Is a Nice Thing to Have on the White Racial Identity Theory (and more)
Professor Carol Anderson – Author of many books including the Anti-Racism Book Club‘s June book White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide