THE LOVE U GIVE

 

I spent the day reading THE HATE U GIVE. I would like to say it’s eerily ironic that the storyline is so similar to what’s going on in our world today, but it’s not ironic, is it? It’s the same horrific story, repeated over and over again.

This is a powerfully strong book that thankfully is listed as a young adult novel (warning for very young readers, the language is strong.) It should be required reading in all high schools and then reread as an adult. Thank you, Angie Thomas, for filling part of the darkness with truth.

So many things stood out in this book. The main character, Starr, is present during an illegal police shooting. She knows the truth and it forever changes her life as well as the people in her life. One sentence in particular challenged my own thinking as I watch the news:

“Khalil is a suspected drug dealer and unfortunately, the word ‘drug dealer’ will always be louder than ‘suspected’.”

So many people have read this 2017 bestseller but if you haven’t, move it up your list. It needs to be read. And now is the perfect time to challenge your thinking about racial injustice. “Racism isn’t about black versus white; it is about a lack of equal opportunities.”

An underlying element of this story stoked my long-held envy of the intricately knit together group of neighbors, family and friends of the black community. They truly embrace ‘it takes a village’ as they band together and march forward to a better future. We should all learn from their example.

I am left challenged and moved and encouraged and saddened by this book. Written in 2017, it is as relevant as this morning’s newspaper. Thank you thank you thank you, Angie Thomas, for bravely using your voice. #thuglife

Start small.

 

Discouraged. Frustrated. Lost. Broken. How does a middle-class, middle-aged white woman with a janky back who likes to read and mess with plants, make any kind of difference in the world of equality? Days like yesterday – oh so many days… – leave me confused and aimless when considering how to contribute to the good. The equality. The healing of the broken and divided.

This picture is from Ink and Fable ‘s Instagram post this morning in which she talks about going back to the words. Back to the text. Her phrase leapt out and followed me around all morning long.

Oh sure, my big, gigantic, pie-in-the-sky dream would be to own a children’s bookstore. But perhaps a *slightly* smaller step would be to buy, read, publicly review, and donate books written by and about people of beautiful color to my local public schools. We often hear about the importance of POC seeing POC in movies and books in order to recognize themselves in important and significant positions. And I agree. But it’s also important for ALL of us to see people of color in those roles. And at the earliest age possible.

Watching the news at night I keep sighing and thinking we’ll never repair our nation’s divisiveness. And maybe we won’t, as adults. But what if our focus was on changing the minds of our youngest? Enabling, empowering and elevating equality in our very youngest minds? Teachers want to see it happen. Gifting them with the books of diversity might be a teeny tiny way to help change the discourse early on.

Read books from people of color. BUY books from authors of color.

We get overwhelmed with all the things that need to change and wonder how we can POSSIBLY make a dent in it. (Of course we all can to some degree.) But changing the conversation that happens on playgrounds and in curriculum is blaring to me like a foghorn today.

Thank you, Patience, for your thoughtful post. You’ve lit a fire under my frustration and helplessness…