I discovered Rachel Cargle last year via friends. She challenged her Instagram followers this year to dive in with her during Black History Month. She is posting a daily research topic: “Black history is American history. Do the work to learn and honor it.” We search, we read, we learn, we form understanding. It’s useful to me, meaningful this way. And because I retain research and reading better if I doodle or create a markup board, I’m doing one each day. The anger swells each day, but so does the understanding of the depth of the differences of our experience, the things I take for granted. My privilege.
Commenters on some of the posts try to argue away the horrors of the past, because “it wasn’t our generation” or “I wouldn’t do that.” They accuse Rachel Cargle of reverse racism and generalization. I understand the instinct to say, “but, but, but.” I feel it, too. And then I think of my visit to Charleston. If my great great grandmother had come through one of the 40+ auction marts, stood on a table and been sold. If she had babies who were taken from her and sold. If she witnessed abuses and inequity her entire life, even after becoming “free.” I’d be screaming the injustice of it. If I had to teach my sons how to not get shot walking or driving down the street—because of the color of their skin. In 2019. I’d be Ares in female form.
Thank you, Rachel Cargle.
So. I’m #doingthework. And eager to see Rachel in early March as part of the Muse Conference in Bend. I don’t know much beyond that, but I’m learning.
My reflections on the prompts are below.