This will be quick. We had our first #mtbos book club on Black Stats a couple weeks ago and I just wanted to wrap that up with a few thoughts. I attempted a storify of our chat, and I encourage you to click on and browse that. For the tl;dr crowd though, here is my summary in several tweets, followed by two things I’ve been thinking about since the chat.
There’s a lot more that was super interesting and worth thinking about in the chat. There are two things that I have been thinking about since the chat, however. First is this mini thread:
I’ve been thinking about this exchange a lot, because…(and this sucks for me to say) upon reflection, this thought has run through my mind more than once. Always about PoC getting hired and never about white colleagues. And that feels really crappy. REALLY crappy. But it’s super important for me to acknowledge. Shame on me, but now that I’ve named it, I can notice it. Per Sara Van der Werf’s favorite Maya Angelou quote “Now that I know better, I do better.” I know better now, and I will do better, and honestly, this is what I wanted to come out of this book club. PoC have been asking white people to learn and reflect and get better, and I am grateful to have the chance to confront my own prejudices, smash them into the dirt, and get better.
The second thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is on who showed up. Allow me to acknowledge that good golly, there’s no reason that people should choose to spend their precious time on a thing that I built. Not showing up to this does not mean that people aren’t doing their own work elsewhere. But I do want to acknowledge that the far greater majority of people who showed up are people of color. By a factor of about 3. I’m not hating on anyone who didn’t show up, but I do want to notice that the people who did make the time, who did show up, are people of color. Alison put it better than me, in response to Marian acknowledging the white Ts who showed up:
Whatever any of you are doing, please keep doing it. You don’t have to do it here, in this book club, but you do have to do it. If you aren’t doing something, please join us. Next book club is on November 11th – If you can’t make it, no worries, join in on comments section in an upcoming blog post, or just talk to your friends elsewhere about the book. But consider it. Think about how it affects marginalized communities. Thanks everyone.