See and Honor Color

What could you learn if you decided to listen?

Want to know what I learned? I learned that from where I sit there is a lot I don’t know about others’ lives. Today I’m going to highlight one particular fact I learned from listening, though there are many other things I could have used to to demonstrate the importance of listening.

I learned that black families have to have “the talk” with their kids once they start playing outside by themselves. It is an experience that my parents didn’t have with me and I didn’t need to have with my four oldest kids. What do parents say in this talk? Many things. Here’s what I want you to do: google “black families the talk” and watch several videos of parents talking to their kids about things white families don’t have to talk about.

At 10 I was allowed to ride my bike around the neighborhood, coming back hours later. At 16 I was allowed to drive around Charlotte, to visit friends, babysit, or go to school functions. What warnings did my parents give me?

  1. Do not get into cars with strangers.
  2. If someone tries to kidnap you, scream, “This not my mom/dad!”
  3. Stay in pairs.
  4. Use good manners.

What they told me was nothing like what black parents have to tell their children.

Part of the experience I want you to have is listening to the actual voices of people of color talking about their own lived experiences. Just listening to me, a white woman, talk about someone else’s lived experiences is not enough. Please: google, watch, listen.

Don’t just watch these two videos. Please, find more on your own. If you find some that are especially helpful, link to them for others to find.

Part of this task is seeking out information that is different from what you have always known… part of this task is sharing it with others once you’ve learned.

The above video was released on Oct 16, 2018.

Black Parents Explain | How to Deal with the Police: Arriell & Antjuan | Cut – March 27, 2017

Check out the dates on the videos I’ve shared. Black people have been talking about this for a long time. It’s time we hear what they’re saying.

To circle back to the main quote for today:

I will be educated about your lived experiences. I will work against the racism that harms you. ~Carlos A. Rodriguez

If you want to argue with me about the content of these videos, you’ve missed the point. Do not argue with me about why black parents have to have this conversation. That’s not the point of this blog post. The point is to get you to listen to the voices of those who have lived experiences different from your own. In the case of police brutality, a very sensitive subject right now, black voices are speaking up with potential solutions… find those voices. Hear their suggestions. Join them in their pain and in their efforts to make the world a better place for their children.

Color blindness allows white Americans to assume that things are equal and fair in all circumstances. Rather than pretend things are fine, see color, honor color.

* Main image: Facebook: Carlos A. Rodriquez Instagram: carloshappynpo Founder of thehappygivers
* The Talk that is Mandatory in Black Families
* NY Times: A Conversation with m Black Son by Geeta Gandbhir and Blair Foster March 17, 2015
* Black Parents Explain | How to Deal with the Police: Arriell & Antjuan | Cut

Can’t find more clips?
On one hand I hate that I’m doing the work here for you but on the other hand, I really want you to watch these clips!
Black-ish has the talk – 2016
Family Matters – 1996

Previous posts in this series:
Intro: #OnceYouSeeRacism
1. Build your “talking about racism” muscles. – {general racism}
2. The Dangers of the Colorblind Mentality – (color blind mentality}
3. Be Color Brave, Not Color Blind {color blind mentality}
4. You are here… {color blind mentality; “the talk”}

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in #OnceYouSeeRacism, Racism/Race Issues. Bookmark the permalink.

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