At The Power Group, we strive to tell powerful stories that support our communities and make a difference. We are here to listen. We are here to do our part. We are here to learn. Change begins with education and conversation. Posting a “blackout” photo and expressing solidarity with the black community on Instagram is a start, but we must amplify Black voices and educate ourselves on how to do better. Here are a few resources we are starting with!
Ava DuVernay’s 13th is a documentary on Netflix about how the Thirteenth Amendment has led to mass incarceration in the United States. It compels viewers to sit upright and pay attention. In the documentary, DuVernay’s subjects include Henry Louis Gates, Charles Rangel and Angela Davis. Hearing their stories firsthand is raw, real and honest. The documentary wrestles with many of the issues that target Black Americans today, sentencing, the war on drugs, law and order and minor crimes.
The New York Times’ podcast 1619 dives into how slavery transformed America, from even before America was founded, connecting the past and the present through storytelling. 1619 is extremely informative and tells a story that Americans need to hear. I also recently watched Netflix’s adaptation of American Son, a Broadway play that tells the story of two estranged parents waiting at the police precinct for their missing teenage son. The “television event” starring Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale and Jeremy Jordan is just 90 minutes long and tackles race, fear and police racism.
I have turned to the power of social media to educate myself on ways I can do and be better. I was impressed with how the community took to Instagram and used the #BlackLivesMatter for resources and content vs. the #BlackoutTuesday for the powerful message sent out on June 2nd. It is inspiring to see how many people, especially influencers, have paused their usual content to focus on the issues at hand. One of my favorite local influencers, Madi Nelson, is part of an interracial family. I enjoy the informational content she has been sharing as well as the raw emotions she feels and how it directly relates back to her family.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo is a non-fiction book that was a The New York Times Bestseller for over a year. In her work, Diangelo describes White Fragility as a state in which racial stress triggers defensive moves and emotions including anger, fear, guilt, argumentation and silence. She also shares personal accounts of challenges faced during her time working as a diversity and inclusion training facilitator. I am looking forward to reading and absorbing Diangelo’s words once the book is delivered from Amazon.
I have seen a lot of great book and podcast recommendations that I will be utilizing to educate myself. I actually went to order White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism and it is sold out! I suppose that is a good thing. I also think our strongest resource is to have a conversation with the Black community and our inner circle to see how we can do better. I reached out to a friend from college just to tell her I appreciate all of the experiences she has shared on social media about growing up and to see what they really need from us to make a difference.
I have been reading a lot of social media posts – especially on LinkedIn. One that I found especially moving and shocking was from a fellow business owner. She is an amazing Black, female entrepreneur and I have followed her career for years. She described a humiliating experience of being detained by police at a luxury retail center. There was no reason given for the public humiliation other than “mistaken identity”. Her comments made me think a lot about white privilege, and how much work we still have to do. I sincerely believe the crucial conversations (also the title of an excellent book about how to have these conversations) will help us become better people. We are all on this spinning planet together, and we have to find a way to be the best human race possible.