Published on 02/07/2020
As you may know, this is Black History Month and we are celebrating at EH in a variety of ways. This week we hosted performances from the acting company Living Voices called “The Right to Dream”, which speaks to growing up in small-town Mississippi and the impacts of racism. In the library this month you can check out films or see books on display for children and young people (there are great books like this year-round in our library). Watch for more information and events in this newsletter.
You also may know that the Edmonds School Board passed a resolution that this month is also Black Lives Matter month. The Black Lives Matter movement has been a source of controversy because it is sometimes misunderstood to mean that ONLY Black lives matter at the expense of all others. This is not the case.
BLM began as a movement out of the injustice of the acquittal in the Treyvon Martin murder in 2013. Started as a hashtag, BLM is based on the history of African Americans being systematically targeted and diminished, and that those disparities persist today. The acquittal in the Treyvon Martin murder is one of many such injustices that black people have endured. #BlackLivesMatter is an effort to lift out that reality, not at the expense of others as is sometimes assumed, but as the expression that racism still exists in our culture, in our institutions, and in our politics. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “no man is free until we are all free”, and we must all strive towards justice and fairness by acknowledging how privilege and racism shape our world and impact people.
Talking about race and racism is not easy. It is uncomfortable, and many people become angry, skeptical, cynical, and defensive. At EH and in our school district we are engaged in this messy and uncomfortable work to engage in critical reflection, listening, and making change. I would encourage us all to listen deeply to stories and experiences people have. This will help us understand the impacts of racism on people of color in our community and beyond- it is the right thing to do in pursuit of a more just and equitable world.