What a heavy time we are in. Can we start with a big, warm, 12 second hug? If we wait all twelve seconds we’ll release serotonin and dopamine and get a nice boost of happy. And after this week…who doesn’t need more of that?! I took time writing this update. More than any other post, in fact. Because I wrote it for me. For Grey. And for you. I am not an expert, but a friend who is learning alongside you; praying that together we can be the change, be the allies, and be kind to all.
“Why didn’t you post a black square?”. I got this note a few times this week. A valid question. It certainly wasn’t because we weren’t supporting this immensely necessary movement happening in our world. We do, we are, and we will. It was because when I opened my feeds, I saw a sea of black squares. And while it was beautiful to see so many of my friends place black squares on their pages and come out to support the Black Lives Matter movement; I didn’t want to take away from the good work across all platforms – the meaningful dialogue, resources, and education that was happening. It also didn’t feel authentic for me to post a square to post one, because everyone else was. I took the week off from posting anything, and instead consumed. I took in every possible video, conversation, and expression from the voices who had been muted for too long. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions; shame, embarrassment, sadness, grief, fear, love. I began the process to educate myself and my family of what we can be doing better; as parents, as members of the community, as humans.
It starts at home. One thing I found out that we were doing “wrong” as parents, was not acknowledging color. I felt like we as a family, loved all, and were colorblind. Many educators in the black community suggest that not saying anything can breed silent prejudice, and something we can be doing better is talking about different skin tones and races. Just as we teach “this is a blue ball, this is a green ball”, we can do the same in a matter of fact, judgment-free way about the color of people’s skin. “Her skin is brown, his skin is white”. About a year ago, Grey was really into Daniel Tiger and one of the sing-songy phrases that stuck with us was “In some ways we are different, but in so many ways, we are the same”. We sing it about one thing or another on a daily basis, and now will weave this in when we talk about skin. Here are two of the new books we bought this week:
I loved this one so much I sent a copy to my best friend’s baby, too. According to experts, even being more cognizant of incorporating more diversity in the books, toys and games we purchase for our children makes a big difference in their world view.
And by the same author, I grabbed this one as well. The way he speaks the language of children and the message of hope, love, and acceptance is magical.
This article about raising Race-Conscious Children from Cup of Jo gave me such insight into everyday conversations, and starting a larger conversation about race with Grey. I know it will help you, too.
One of my longtime, insanely talented, favorite photographers to follow on the ‘gram. An overall beautiful human, Nuru. She and her husband are a Chicago power duo photographing beauty all over the world.
It never dawned on me until this week (another source of the embarrassment I referenced in the intro) that I only followed a handful of black designers. It was never a purposeful choice, of course, but why did that aha moment only come to me now?! Which is part of the problem. And I am so grateful this imbalance is front and center in my mind, and so many others. Thank you to one of my very favorite design accounts, @eclecticgoods, for sharing this gem of a designer, Brigette Romanek. Following, and excited to broaden my horizons and be inspired by others!
“All lives matter”. Until this past week, this is a phrase I would use. I believed it to my core. Not that any life mattered more or less than another. That we all mattered equally. And after truly listening this week; I vowed to never say it again. Here’s why; it harms more than it helps.
THIS video on TikTok hit me in the gut. Yes. Of course we can’t let it burn 😭.
Thank you for being here with us. For allowing us grace. And being the warm squeeze at the end of a long week, and a kind friend and supporter at the beginning of a new one. We’re with you.