As a person of color in this community, I often find myself between feeling lucky to live where I live and wanting to scream in a constant state of “white people don’t get it.” be torn. After some back and forth, I ask myself. Did I really hear what I thought I heard? ”
Pondering my experiences always brings to mind Claudia Rankin’s book Citizens: American Lyrics, a collection of poems, memoirs, and art that explores black experiences from microaggressions to police violence. When I first read Citizens, I couldn’t read beyond the first chapter. It was too difficult to read a text that reflected my experience so well.I was stopped by the Yellow Springs police station because I was part of the group that wrote Black Lives Matter outside the police station. Another black woman in the village had bile in my throat when the police came to my house to deliver the Zoning Appeals Board parcel. I felt
I was recently asked to host the talkback portion of “Five Scripts for an Anti-Racist Tomorrow” produced by Yellow Springs Schools. Patrons get nervous when they see black actors grappling with character experiences as they move through the world. A recording of the performance is available for those unable to attend.
In one of the scenes I found most compelling, it was about a black student’s unwillingness to ask his white boyfriend to ask his white roommate to remove the Confederate flag from his dorm room wall. talking A boyfriend comments that he’s “depressed” at the cause, and a black student calls him back, yelling, “You’re not black!”
This dialogue isn’t a key moment in the scene, but it’s important in telling the story of the White Alliance. Many members of people of color and marginalized groups say they have been hurt by something, have white friends who understand crime, and need an ally to speak up. I’m confident. Rather than understanding why people in marginalized groups are hesitant to speak up, understand the injustice.
During the talkback portion, the actors said the show was “challenging”, “thought-provoking”, and changed the way they navigate the world forever. – I don’t think I could have performed that play.
Audiences said the performance was necessary and an opportunity for villagers to strike up nuanced conversations about race, anti-racism, etc. It was good to hear that Visioning Sessions abound in Yellow Springs. resulting in more Black Lives Matter yard signage and lackluster or non-existent policy changes. We were literally on this hill when we left school to protest the racist encounters our students had.
please think about it. Does it make a difference if an “anti-racist” person calls the police because of a noisy black neighbor or grass on the sidewalk? After weeks of protests and a string of demands, Is adding funding to the police the best thing our community can do? Do you have?
Now, I don’t want the reader to think that I didn’t appreciate or respect the work of Stephanie Radford, Lori Sparrow-Knapp, or a cast of hardworking students. It’s proving how invested we are in an anti-racist future. Make a plan, list, write down, share, and do three things you can do to create the anti-racists of tomorrow. please do something
* News writer and reporter Jessica Thomas’ column, “Unsolicited Opinions,” has a space dedicated to her opinions on books and other matters.
https://ysnews.com/news/2022/11/unsolicited-opinions-what-is-an-antiracist-tomorrow Unsolicited Opinion | What is tomorrow’s anti-racist? • Yellow Springs News