In the early stay-at-home days of Covid-19, I heard people saying they were having trouble focusing enough to read a book. I was grateful not to have that problem. Sure, it’s a stressful time, but I feel like it’s finite. A vaccine, herd immunity…eventually life will get back to normal. (That’s just my experience; I am not invalidating anyone else’s!).
But in the last week, I haven’t been able to read for more than a few minutes at a time. There’s no vaccine coming for racism. And it seems like every few years, that racism leads to explosions of violence and burning cities. With the pandemic, getting back to normal is my greatest wish. With racism, it’s my greatest fear.
I’ve been to a couple of protests this week, and one of my biggest takeaways is that white people need to stop talking and listen. I’m giving myself a few days off of reading and blogging, and I invite you to listen to some authors and illustrators who have taught me a little bit about what it’s like to be Black in America (Based on my blog. Forgive me for any omissions):
Dapo Adeola, Roda Ahmed, Jacqueline Alcantara, Kwame Alexander, Troy Andrews, Derrick Barnes, Melba Pattillo Beals, Daniel Bernstrom, Becky Birtha, Keturah A. Bobo, Tonya Bolden, Jo Ann Allen Boyce, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Ashley Bryan, Howard Bryant, Nathan Bryon, Grace Byers, Tami Charles, R. Gregory Christie, Lesa Cline-Ransom, Brandy Colbert, Bryan Collier, Floyd Cooper, Jerry Craft, Nina Crews, Christopher Paul Curtis, Ken Daley, Junot Diaz, Sharon Draper, Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Alice Faye Duncan, Zetta Elliott, Tonya Engel, Shane Evans, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Laura Freeman, Nikki Giovanni, Ebony Glenn, Xia Gordon, Eloise Greenfield, Nikki Grimes, April Harrison, Ekua Holmes, John Holyfield, Rita Lorraine Hubbard, Gordon C. James, Veronica Miller Jamison, Angela Johnson, Jade Johnson, Varian Johnson, Angela Joy, Vivian Kirkfield, London Ladd, Francie Latour, E. B. Lewis, Mariama Lockington, Kelly Starling Lyons, Kekla Magoon, Torrey Maldonado, Janae Marks, Bre McCoy, Breanna J. McDaniel, Patricia McKissack, Michelle Meadows, Tony Medina, Sharee Miller, Daniel Minter, Oge Mora, Frank Morrison, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Walter Dean Myers, Kadir Nelson, Marilyn Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Vanessa Brantley Newton, Baptiste Paul, Daria Peoples-Riley, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney, Connie Porter, Sean Qualls, Lisa Moore Ramee, James E. Ransome, Jason Reynolds, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Faith Ringgold, Christian Robinson, Chris Sasaki, Connie Schofield-Morrison, Ilyasah Shabazz, Margot Lee Shetterly, Nikki Shannon Smith, Ronald L. Smith, Javaka Steptoe, Nic Stone, Shadra Strickland, Karen Strong, Don Tate, Quevenzhane Wallace, Charles Walters, Renee Watson, Carole Boston Weatherford, Alicia D. Williams, Rita Williams-Garcia, Sherri Winston, Brenda Woods, Jacqueline Woodson, Elizabeth Zunon