Meet Jeanette C. Espinoza, Anti-Racism Writer
And learn about her focus on healing the trauma of racism through her writing
Here’s another anti-racism writer whose work I find inspiring. Jeanette C. Espinoza is an activist and speaker, and she’s written some inspiring articles on Medium and elsewhere. Please meet Jeanette - I hope you’ll be as inspired as I am.
1. Jeanette, what made you become an anti-racism writer?
I have always had a passion to write and do my part to help achieve basic human decency for all people in this country. Throughout my life, I’ve written many articles on racism and inequality, but now with the country actively engaging in an open dialogue, I’ve been able to reach more readers who are open to listen, willing to learn about the Black experience, and in some cases, ready to get involved to help combat injustices against people of color.
My writing was primarily focused on encouraging Black women to practice unconditional self-love and to reclaim their power and purpose, but now I have incorporated more articles specifically focused on anti-racism and the fight for our liberation. I want to use my voice to make a genuine difference.
Even if I am only able to touch a few people, my hope is to help create a safe and just society for my children, future grandchildren, and all people of color. We have endured so much simply because we were born with Black skin in a country built on White supremacy, and my desire is to help heal our trauma through engaging and honest articles and books.
2) What response have you had?
The responses have been mixed. Some White people have completely embraced my messages and have told stories of how they have come to understand their privilege in this country and their responsibility to help those who are oppressed.
However, a great deal of White people, White men in general, have been abrasive and defensive when confronted with the idea that they have benefits and options available to them that people of color do not. Most take the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality and assume Black people are simply not taking advantage of opportunities as much as mainstream White America. They find it difficult to address racism because it would allude to the fact that they may be part of the problem, and I am sure that is a difficult pill to swallow.
3) In relation to racism, what is your vision for the future?
My hope for the future is a world where people of all different ethnicities come together and openly discuss their experiences with one another. It would involve all people releasing their fear and defensiveness and simply relating to each other as human beings.
Since racism is so deeply embedded in this society, I understand that it will take generations to get to this point, but if those raising children now simply begin to teach them to value ALL human beings, we can begin to turn this tide and create the type of world that God intended. (Yes, I am quite the idealist!)
4) What are your top three anti-racism articles you have written?
The first three articles of my “Dear White Women” series. They help to dispel the myths and negative stereo types that often follow Black women and are unfairly (and sometimes unintentionally) promoted by White women. I’ve appreciated the discussions these articles fostered, and it has been helpful in achieving my goal of providing a TRUE picture of Black women in American and also reaching potential allies in the process.
5) Share one anti-racism article you've read written by someone else that resonated with you.
There was an article on Medium written by Marley K entitled, “What Not Having Autonomy Looks Like for Black People” that I completely resonated with me. She spoke of the control White supremacy has over even the most mundane and basic functions of Black people, such as our ability to be comforted, what we eat, where we can go, our relationships with other Black people, etc.
It was a stark reminder of how easy it is to become desensitized to certain types of oppression that are not necessarily the “in your face/make your blood boil” kind of egregious behavior we’ve come to expect. It was a necessary reminder of how much work still needs to be done and it motivated me to keep writing and speaking out to help improve our life experiences in this country.
Thanks for reading,