Whatever You Do, Don’t Make a Black Friend

For Halloween two years ago I dressed up as the token black friend. I double checked the party invitation list to make sure no other black people were going (it was a formality, I pretty much knew I'd be the only one) and then wore whatever normal clothes I wanted as my costume. Easy. To help … Continue reading Whatever You Do, Don’t Make a Black Friend

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“I Want to Know More”: Resources on black history, culture, and racial justice

First things first: I did not make this list. I surveyed my white racially-conscious, Latino, and black friends for resources that had helped them understand racial justice issues and compiled their results along with a few recommendations of my own. I was, however, happy to provide suggestions for how to get started with the list at … Continue reading “I Want to Know More”: Resources on black history, culture, and racial justice

Race Relations and the False Immunity of Black Achievement

Ask the “average American” about race relations and they go straight to economically depressed black people, black crime and out-of-wedlock childbirth. This exercise in free association reveals that negative stereotypes about blacks are the most dominant and readily available (versus, say, the myth of the model minority for Asian-Americans) and that either the concept of "relations"—implying the … Continue reading Race Relations and the False Immunity of Black Achievement

The Race Chronicles–Movement 4: Old Haunts, New Grace

I returned to America swearing I’d never date a white man. In ten years, I’d come a long way from insisting white people could be trusted. My contempt for their inability to see both their privilege and the pervasiveness of racism was the imprint left behind from thousands of micro- and macro-aggressions—or what my heart … Continue reading The Race Chronicles–Movement 4: Old Haunts, New Grace

The Race Chronicles—Movement 3: Black Beauty

It was remarkable I ever moved to Laos.  I’d turned down grad school in Hawaii because it was too hot. My adult life had been one extended migration north for cooler temperatures, at some point calling New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington state home. I hated hot weather and by extension the beach, tropical vacations, and summer. … Continue reading The Race Chronicles—Movement 3: Black Beauty