Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Educating & Holding Myself Accountable

Hi everyone! It's been over seven months since I've been on here, but I am officially back to blogging. Although I will have some posts in the future about my sophomore year of college, quarantine, dealing with the pandemic overall, and Summer; I want to talk about how I've been getting involved with current events, such as the Black Lives Matter movement.

I am very fortunate to have gone to a private school that educated me about social injustice, and racism. Although my high school wasn't perfect, they did make the effort to teach the students about biases and prejudices despite being a prominently white school. In the upper school (the only years I went there), racist comments and actions were treated seriously. I am also from New York City, which as a whole is liberal, but also has influenced me to become more educated with the world around me, and taught me to accept people of all races, genders, religions, sexualities from a young age. Although I am white, I am continuously educating myself about the privilege I hold, and injustices everywhere.

That being said, this is how I've been supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement. This is not to brag or say that other people are doing more or less than I am doing, I just want to showcase how easy it is to support the cause and become educated.

First of all, I've been educating myself about race in America. I've been going through all the resources posted by Black YouTubers& bloggers, authors, friends, and other people who have come up on my social media. I have also been reposting many of their photos that have resources, places to donate, or news onto my accounts to spread awareness. I've particularly have watched videos about racism in some of the hobbies I take part in, i.e Field Hockey, Roller Skating, yoga, and writing.

I bought White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo, and Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. I have yet to read them, as they haven't arrived yet, but I will definitely try to discuss them after I do.

Image from Jane Mount Instagram

In my third semester of Development of Western Civilization, we started learning about America, and with that comes the history with slavery. Books I read as part of the curriculum were Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X Kendi, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Both of those books gave me more insight into the history of slavery from a modern perspective, and through the account of a former slave.

In my final semester of DWC, I was in a colloquium called Meaning of America which covered the history of America starting from 1619. Although the course covered an array of topics, we always came back to The New York Times 1619 Project, which examines the 400-year history of slavery, starting with the first boat that held slaves coming to America in 1619. This project includes a podcast and articles from many Black writers and journalists including Nikole Hannah-Jones. I also was able to read some of James Baldwin's works, which depicted not only racism in America, but also his love for the country as a whole.

Although I'm not an expert in Black studies, I greatly appreciated having literature by Black authors included into my curriculum. I feel like the education system needs to include more Women and Black authors because there is no downside to diversifying the curriculum from white men to a range of voices. Throughout my first two years of college, I was able to read more works by POC authors, which has definitely shifted my way of thinking, and my views on American Literature.

Next, I have been donating some of money to organizations. I know that everyone can't donate money, but there are more ways to get involved in supporting the BLM movement. Before I educated myself more, I donated to the Minnesota Freedom Fund & Campaign Zero. I found both these organizations through posts on Instagram. Since the death of Geoge Floyd on May 25, Minnesota Freedom Fund has raised over $30 million and has asked for people to no pause on donating to them. Also, there has been some controversy over where the money is going, and other organizations such as 'Reclaim the Block' want the bailout fund to be transparent with where their money is going. As for Campaign Zero, the donations push the organization to combat police brutality through reform. Those two organizations were a start, but I wanted to put my money to other organizations that aren't getting as much hype through Social Media.

SO_hockey ( https://so-field-hockey.square.site/ )
Black Girls Code ( https://www.blackgirlscode.com/)

As time goes on, I am hoping to find more organizations to donate too. If you don't know where to start, I recommend the NAACP and Black Lives Matter! If you can't donate money, sign petitions and continue to spread awareness

Although this isn't part of the BLM movement, there is a global crisis going on in Yemen. I originally didn't know much information about what was happening until I looked at https://yemencrisis.carrd.co/. Since then I've donated to an organization that I believe will work to make a difference there when it comes to the hunger crisis.

Lastly, I've been trying to stay informed as much as possible about the current state of the world. 2020 is a very eventful year, and also an important one when it comes to American politics. This is the first presidential election that I will be able to vote for and I really want young people to vote in the upcoming election. I've noticed that many people I know (even if they won't admit it) only get their news from Instagram stories, tweets, and Facebook reposts. It's important to make sure that you're reposting credible information. I also stay up to date with an email subscription to TheSkimm daily and I try to read the Wall Street Journal and New York Times a few days a week.

What ways do you stay informed?

I'm very excited to be back to blogging! New posts...and a name change coming soon :)

Christina Madeleine

*Let me know in the comments if anything I said I was misinformed so I can change it!



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