not forgetting

Recently, I was asked to share my resources for the work I’ve been doing to learn more about the Black community. I don’t even know what name to give this work — racial reconciliation, racial equality, justice work — those seem to be the least controversial ways to define it.

When I say “this work”, I mean the research and exploration of a world I know close to nothing about. Growing up as a white woman in America, there are TONS of things I’m not exposed to involving race in my country. I’ve mentioned in past blogs I’d been exposed to things about race in America and then I’d forget. This Spring, God called my heart to not forget and I’ve been on a journey of “not-forgetting” ever since.

Since my intention to post these things might be construed or assumed (and I know what assuming does!!) I’d like to make my agenda extremely clear. This is an effort to share resources, to share the journey I’m on. I’ve made very few comments on what I’ve thought while exposing myself to the content. In the same way moving to Italy exposed me to art, the following resources have exposed me to race relations, a world I’ve been exposed to so little as a white woman in America.

Outside of the Just Mercy book (first on the list, which I read for the first time in 2014), the rest of the resources are ones I’ve explored since June 2020. My heart aches that it took me thirty-two years to learn what I’ve now learned but I don’t beat myself up. I’m humbled that at age 32, God has opened my eyes to a world so different then the one I grew up in and was exposed to. My prayer continues to remain “open the eyes of my heart Lord…” if I keep singing the worship song these words come from, the lyrics continue “I want to see you.” Seeing my Black brothers and sisters by exposing myself to this content, God has opened my eyes to more of who He is.

In one of my therapy appointments a few months ago (after starting this specific journey), as my heart was heavy with what I’d read and seen, as I wept for what I was being exposed to, my therapist (a Black woman) told me she was going to let me in on a little secret. She said something like “we (the Black community) take breaks from this stuff. We turn off the news and put our phones on silent and hang out with our family and laugh and joke…we take breaks.”

Doing this work is HARD WORK. My heart has ached, I’ve lost my breath at times, there have been tears, and there have been moments I’ve wanted to turn it all off immediately and go back to “un-seeing” race. And yet, these faces come to my mind.

These and others, who have let me into their lives and trusted me with their friendship. They don’t get to forget and I don’t want to either. I am at the VERY beginning of my journey with this work. If you are a white person interested in doing some yourself, my advice? Take breaks. Prioritize self care. Give yourself permission to pull away from time to time. I do all of the above, because I want to be in this work for the long haul.

I’m writing this page in September, posting it publicly in November and will keep adding to it over time. I also have these resources captured in a Google Sheet if that’s easier to reference: Black Lives Matter_TO SHARE.

There are very few times in my blogging life I’ve ever told you what to do. I do my best to write out of my own experiences and keep my recommendations to a bare minimum. You do you, boo. However, with sharing these resources I feel a responsibility to give a disclaimer. If you are a parent, PLEASE expose yourself to this content before you welcome your children into the conversation or expose them to the videos. I, one thousand percent, support including kiddos in the dialogue about race and have friends that are doing it SO well but as the parent of a twenty-one month old, I haven’t had to walk this path yet and therefore can’t offer recommendations for how to do so. I can, however, say as someone who’s exposed herself to this content, I’ve done so not in the presence of my child and I wouldn’t have wanted her to be there when I watched or listened for the first time.

Resources in Order of When I Watched/Read Them

EJI: Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stephenson’s Organization

Atlanta Journal Constitution Article on OK Cafe Confederate Flag Display

Atlanta Journal Constitution Article

No Ego: How To Be An Ally Podcast

Revisionist History: The Limits of Power Podcast

Be The Bridge Website  

Action Items for New Allies blog post by C. G. Brown

Judy Wu Dominick

The Broken Policing System (While hilarious and full of incredible facts, pretty salty and NOT for kids!):

Dismantling Racism — White Identity Ladder

Black Tax, Journey To Launch Podcast by Jamila Souffrant

Rethinking Incarceration with Dominique Gilliard

On Headwinds and Tailwinds: Understanding the Racial Wage Gap

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

Took the Implicit Bias test based on the book Blindspot:

Being A Keeper, Pastor Miles McPherson speaks on the ‘third option’ to fight racism

Faith & Prejudice Website

Black Lives Matter in the Bible

What is Juneteenth?

100 Amazing Facts about the Negro

Another Run at Freedom

Awakening to Whiteness, Be the Bridge Podcast by Latasha Morrison

Mapping Police Violence

Man killed by police officer for stealing his car

What Can Solidarity Look Like Among People of Color?

Is All History White History?

Stone Mountain Protest/Counter Protest Coverage

The Capitalist Genius of the Anti-Racism Industry

A Sociologist Examines the White Fragility That Prevents White Americans From Confronting Racism

White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo, International Journal of Critical Pedagogy 2011

Ending Black Oppression and Celebrating Black Dignity

Wikipedia Georgia State Flags

Confederate States of America

Repairing the Breach: Deepening Columbia’s Commitment to Black People and their Flourishing

Breaking White Silence

Jasper, Texas

Fight for Wright

What is an HBCU?

Dr. Voddie Baucham Speaks Out About The Black Lives Matter Organization

Cardi, Candace & Critical Race Theory

All of these words are offensive (but only sometimes)

How A Brave Black Woman is Challenging Black Lives Matter

Candace Owens on Black America, Relatable with Allie Beth Stuckey

Going to Church Shouldn’t Hurt

Unconscious Bias

State of Science on Unconscious Bias

Strategies to Assess Unconscious Bias

CRT (Critical Race Theory) Why is this a repeat of history?

Taking a Stand (Part 1)

The Battle for our Future: America vs. Critical Race Theory

Executive Order Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

Why Diversity Programs Fail, Harvard Business Review

Truth’s Table, Polarization

Truth’s Table, Ask An Abolitionist

Emancipation Proclamation

Made in America (Seeing White, Part 1)

Emancipation Proclamation — Hear and Read Full Text — Abraham Lincoln

Made in America (Seeing White, Part 2)


What the ‘black-on-black crime’ fallacy misses about race and gun deaths

Fatal Injury Reports, National, Regional, State 1981-2018

Made in America (Seeing White, Part 3)

On Crazy We Built a Nation (Seeing White, Part 4)

Little War on the Prairie (Seeing White, Part 5)

That’s Not Us, So We’re Clean (Seeing White, Part 6)

Chenjerai’s Challenge (Seeing White, Part 7)

Skulls and Skin (Seeing White, Part 8)

A Racial Cleansing in America (Seeing White, Part 9)

To be continued!

xoxo, va

3 thoughts on “not forgetting

  1. Pingback: law and order | Following the Fortunatos

  2. Pingback: a part of that | Following the Fortunatos

  3. Pingback: dear Mrs. Obama | Following the Fortunatos

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