As we enter Black History month, let us take time to acknowledge that Black history is American history. As community members, let us make the effort to reach beyond memorized Martin Luther King quotes and black Instagram squares. As community leaders, recognize that learning is never-ending and empty platitudes impede progress and connection.
When we make efforts to learn about those different from us, speak up in the face of injustice, and go out in society with an open mind, we only stand to benefit. With a nuanced, expanded understanding of history, that is fostered at home and at school, children will not grow up to be adults who don’t know that ‘mutt’ is a derogatory word or have no qualms about selling racist memorabilia in a town they protect and serve.
Unfortunately, adults like those hold positions of power/influence in our community and that is problematic.
We live in an era of heightened accountability where figures who serve the public are expected to do just that and model the highest of ethics rather than the public being forced to accept individuals who refused to put in the work to be better. Some want to call that cancellation but it’s just accountability, the same thing the public has always sought, only now we have more effective means to achieve it.
This is not about knowing everything. This is about the willingness to learn; necessary conversations about race and the work that is needed to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in Newtown.
Thank you to The Newtown Bee, for [participating in] this important upcoming discussion with C.H. Booth Library and the Board of Education on Race.
Published 2/3/22, The Newtown Bee