The Elephant in the Room: The Black Experience

The Elephant in the Room: The Black Experience

The first step to fixing any problem is fully acknowledging and understanding what the problem actually is. The goal of this article 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 father is black, and half my family is black. I know my personal experience as a lighter skinned multi-racial person is NOT the same as “the black experience”, and I am fully willing to acknowledge my own unique privileges. However, I can recall many experiences during youth that made it clear to me “we” were different. And more recently, the highly publicized recurring consequences of police brutality and the resulting civil unrest has now made it clear to everyone that something really needs fixing, but we can't fix a problem that we don't fully understand.

I spent 2010-2016 in undergraduate and graduate school studying the relationship between race, crime, punishment, and politics. I want to share some material that has helped me gain a broader perspective on racism and the black experience.

Below you'll find my own intentional curation of the most digestible content (no 1,000 page history books or 5 hour lectures!) and I truly hope these resources will also help you gain a deeper understanding, because from understanding comes compassion.

Systemic / Institutionalized Racism

White Privilege

Mass Incarceration

Written by Sierra, Good Juu Juu Founder 

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