Things I’ve read and wanted to share.
If you’re a marginalized group, it is helpful to have spaces where you don’t have to be constantly on your guard against the dominant group. This is true for women and LGBTQ+ people, so why can’t people accept that it is also true for Black people?
In Why People of Color Need Spaces Without White People, Kelsey Blackwell explains why Black people need their own spaces:
People of color need their own spaces. Black people need their own spaces. We need places in which we can gather and be free from the mainstream stereotypes and marginalization that permeate every other societal space we occupy. We need spaces where we can be our authentic selves without white people’s judgment and insecurity muzzling that expression. We need spaces where we can simply be—where we can get off the treadmill of making white people comfortable and finally realize just how tired we are.
This is such a helpful article. It also explores how spaces that try to be inclusive end up not being. Partly because anti-racists are keen to talk about their anti-racist efforts. Do read it, it has some excellent ideas and points.
I envision a world in which we can be true with one another about the things that matter. In which we need not mask ourselves. And we can start in our own communities, with one another.
Authenticity is the greatest gift we can give to one another: the honest truth of our experience. It takes courage, and it takes trust.
Romance and racism
The Guardian Long Read has an in-depth study of racism in the world of romance novel publishing. The scariest part was where a Black author received fan mail from a white reader who said that until she read her novel, she didn’t realize that Black people fall in love. I was horrified by the depth of ignorance. I suppose it’s good that she realized her mistake, but bad that she felt the need to traumatize a Black person by telling her.
Someone once wrote a similar letter to Colm Tóibín, saying they didn’t realize two men could fall in love.
This is one of the reasons why representation matters. Another reason is so that marginalized groups can see themselves mirrored in books and films of all genres.
Everything human-made has been dreamed up by someone. Our cultures, societies, communities, urban spaces, our farming and our treatment of the landscape is all a consequence of someone’s dreaming.
We might stop dreaming about new cars and kitchens and carpets and start dreaming about how to live at our hearth and in our homes. Dreams of community and time spent with people we care for, and who care for us.