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The Elephant in the Room: The Black Experience

The recurring consequences of police brutality and the resulting civil unrest has made it clear to everyone: something REALLY needs fixing right now. The first step to fixing any problem is fully acknowledging and understanding what the problem actually is. The goal of this blog post is to help you answer these questions:

  • What is the “black experience” like in America?
  • Why does inequality and racism keep coming up? 
  • Why are people enraged enough to protest?

My personal experience as a lighter skinned mixed race person is NOT the same as “the black experience”, I am fully willing to acknowledge my own unique privilege. However, I can recall many experiences during youth that made it clear to me “we” were different. My father is black, and half my family is black. It was normal to me that family members and friends were...

  • incarcerated or had been
  • receiving public assistance or had been
  • raised in single parent households
  • harassed or intimidated by a police officer at least once
  • denied career opportunities to advance

I spent 2010-2016 in undergraduate and graduate school studying the relationship between race, crime, punishment, and politics. I slowly began to realize my "normal" was actually the result of injustice on a grand scale. However, I am not a civil rights activist, or the “most informed person” on this subject.  That being said, I want to share some of the material that has helped me gain a deeper understanding and wider perspective on racism and the black experience.

This material is from various people, men and women of all colors from all places. I hope these resources will help broaden your perspective, so you can gain a deeper understanding of why so much anger and anguish has finally boiled over. From understanding comes compassion.

Systemic / Institutionalized Racism

White Privilege

Mass Incarceration

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela

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