Why I Started This Anti-Racism Newsletter

And how you can support it (includes "I'm Tired (of Racism)" essay

I’ve become an active anti-racism writer. Since the murder of George Floyd, I’ve been sharing aspects of my experience as a Black woman and Black professional on social media. But algorithms change, and it seems that anti-racism content is no longer flavor of the month. Yet I know that there are plenty of people who want to see the content that’s being suppressed. And it IS being suppressed as I note in Writing About Racism While Black.

That’s partly what this newsletter is about - sharing experiences so we can all grow together. It’s also about fulfilling my dream of writing regularly about an issue I’m passionate about. And it’s about one day making anti-racism writing my day job. To do that, I’m going to need your support.

Here’s an example of what you’ll get. It’s my essay: “I’m Tired (of Racism)” originally published on Medium.

I’m Tired (of Racism)

I’m tired of the color of my skin being a reason to stop me from my daily rounds or, in the US, a mark of death.

I’m tired of the name calling — the first time someone called me a n****r, I was 6 or 7. I can still remember the sting. I’ve been called that word in multiple languages, and it hurts in all of them.

I’m tired of the “problem” of my hair. The nun who ran my primary school in the ’70s took exception to my Afro. “Is it clean, is it neat?”, asked my dad. “If the answer is yes, we have nothing to talk about.” I remember interviewing for a job in the ’80s and being told I’d have to do something about my braided hair if I got the job. Everyone else in the world can wear their hair the way it grows from their head — what makes our hair so different?

I’m tired of the double-take when I walk into an interview — my name could be that of a blue-eyed lass from Ireland. They weren’t expecting to see me. One colleague complained that my name “wasn’t African enough”. Who asked her, anyway?

I’m tired of the reduced expectations — the people who think I’m of lesser intelligence (trust me, I’m not!), and the ones who assume I’ll only be interested in Black issues. I’m a human being and this is my planet, so stuff it! Plus, I’m a polymath — I’m interested in a bunch of things.

I’m tired of people taking one look at my profile picture and thinking I’m worth less, or even worthless. Despite two Masters degrees and more than 30 years of writing experience, some people want to pay me less than entry-level colleagues from outside the Diaspora. I’m not taking it, though. I value myself, even if some don’t value me.

I’m tired of the coverage — the crackheads, thugs, mammies, pimps and drug dealers that were all that represented people like me until a couple of decades ago. And, even though it’s better, there are still plenty of those shaping how people see us. (Why did Denzel win his Oscar for being a dirty cop rather than for any of the other fine characters he played. He was an awesome Malcolm X, but I guess that was too much of a threat?)

I’m tired of the “it was a long time ago” — systematic oppression has no expiry date.

I’m tired of the “I’m not racist because …” — if you’re not explicitly anti-racist, you’re part of the problem.

I’m tired of feeling like if I say how I really feel about inequity and lack of diversity, people will stereotype me as an “angry Black woman”. Yes, I’m a Black woman, and I’m angry about these issues, but it’s not the same thing.I’m tired of more than 50 years of this shit for me, and 400 years of it for people that look like me.

I’m tired of having to educate people who can read and learn about everything else in the world about white privilege, racism and history. Please, just #dothework

When it comes to racism (overt aggressions and microaggressions), there are lots more things I’m tired of, but mostly I’m just tired…

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Of course, I’m not the only one writing about these issues. I’ll share insights and resources from other people who are #doingthework, so we can all learn and grow together.

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