Vermont is a hyper-liberal state that actually has a pretty robust movement to secede from the U.S. altogether. Bernie Sanders represents Vermont. And much like how Bernie left something to be desired in his racial politics, so did many of the hippie Vermonters I was spending my time with. But, those Vermonters loved Bob Marley… like, LOVED Bob Marley, and by 15, he was pretty much all I listened to.
I think the vision for us White folks could be grounded in the idea of going home. That might be literal, like it has been for me in the past few years as I try to rekindle and build anew my relationships with my family in the south, and my ancestry in Ireland. I think it can also be a more figurative calling- one rooted in the idea that as Whiteness gets smaller (which is so important) White people will need to find a home in identities outside of the power and domination that Whiteness represents.
Welcome to our first podcast episode of the New Year! Episode 9: New Year Hard Truths. Inspired by CREAD blog posts, “Hard Truths Bring Clarity” by Humblevito and “Fear of a Black Rebellion” by Edunlevy. On this episode we discuss our 2018 goals and commitments for the work we do including the need to maintain a spiritual practice in order to live a truly anti-racist lifestyle and we discuss the many facets of Black rebellion inspired by the slave revolt of 1811 and what revolt looks like in 2018. Finally, we end our discussion talking about the often complex relationship of Black elders to Black youth via the Ta-Nehisi Coates, Cornell West beef.
It’s been a long time and we’re happy to be back together again, moving the culture forward.
Where theory meets practice and education meets liberation.
My answers came back to these points:
They need to know White Supremacy doesn’t want you to know how smart and capable you are because then it means the power shifts to you.
My Black and Brown Kings and Queens need to know that language is at the base of all power dynamics and if they don’t learn how to wield it, they will be at the mercy of it.
Surely others had taken a stand on the issue before, but somehow the situation in Montgomery was different, and within a few months, several more young Black women were charged with violating the bus segregation rules in Montgomery, including the famous one that signaled the beginning of the official boycott.
By his next birthday, Dr. King would be fully engulfed in the controversy and struggle of the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, which he had been asked to lead just before the arrest of Rosa Parks on 12/1/1955.
I’ve written before about fear of black rebellion and how it manifests in our schools. The knowing, or NOT knowing about the 1811 Slave Revolt (as it is commonly known) is directly related to this reality in our work as educators.
So, I swallowed those tears before returning to the sun shine. But what I could never swallow was my new nickname that followed me for the rest of my time living on that block, every time we walked to the train and every time I got on the cheese bus I heard the kids singing, African or Haitian Booty Scratcher.
Which had me fucked up.
Because, again, I was Antiguan.