Meet Anti-Racism Writer, Hannah Drake
And learn about the launch of a movement for Black people to hold their space
Hello friends, one of my previous interviewees introduced me to Hannah Drake, and I’m so grateful they did. Hannah is a powerful voice in anti-racism writing, and is a good person to follow if you want to take the challenge of broadening your perspectives. Please, meet Hannah:
Hannah, what made you become an anti-racism writer?
I do not think I became an anti-racism writer. I think as a Black woman I was just an anti-racism writer. I didn’t choose this. It chose me. It is what I know I was put on this earth to do. At times I feel like Esther in the Bible, perhaps I am here for such a time as this.
What response have you had?
While I do get hate mail, admittedly the overall the response has been great. I write the truth and while people may not like it, they cannot deny the truth. One thing that always baffles me is who told White people confronting racism would be easy? Who told White people that it was going to feel good? I tell people all the time reading my work is like taking medicine. Sometimes it may not taste good swallowing it down but it will be good for you.
In relation to racism, what is your vision for the future?
I believe that Black people have wanted nothing more than to just be. Just be. I remember when I went to Dakar, Senegal, I went to a store with a friend to buy some earrings. I was holding the earrings in such a way that the shop owner would not think I was stealing them. In America I was so used to being hyper aware of my Blackness.
When we went to pay for them, the shop owner was outside of the shop talking to someone. It dawned on me, for the first time in my life, my skin color was not an issue. The country of Dakar is predominantly Black so that alone didn’t make me a criminal.
It was as if I could see the world in color for the first time. It was like the world opened up to me and said, “Hannah, we’ve been waiting on you.” I had that feeling for one week but it was a feeling I never forgot. For one week I could just be. That is what I envision for the future: a world where Black people can just be and experience life in color.
What are your top three anti-racism articles you have written?
I chose this article because it walks the reader through 10 steps to facing and dealing with racism. When people see it outlined it is very easy to relate to and in fact they can see exactly what stage they are in. I believe people will go through each of these stages before they are ready to face and deal with racism.
This is one of my favorite blogs and has been read by more than 1 million people. It started a movement around the world challenging Black people and People of Color to hold their space in this world and not move when a White person is approaching them. This is a life changing challenge because Black people and People of Color recognize how often they move for White comfort. But you are here and you belong here! Do not move off the sidewalk!
I chose this article because often White people, particularly White women, think they are not Karen. They view Karen as someone that is super racist when in fact Karen is their neighbor, their friend on the PTA, their mom, their sister, their mail carrier, etc. White women do not get a pass when it comes to racism. They have been active co-conspirators.
Share one anti-racism article you've read written by someone else that resonated with you.
Amy Cooper Needs Accountability – Not Forgiveness by DarkSkyLady
Often Black people are expected to just move on, get over it and roll out the red carpet of forgiveness. For far too long White people have not been held accountable for their actions. It is time for White people to sit in their behavior and own it. Don’t run from it, face it. And don’t expect Black people to be there to nurse you through it.
© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2021. All Rights Reserved.