A Haiku for today, and some thoughts.
Privilege lives in me. I don’t know what I don’t know. Please help me know it.
I have had my hackles up for years about this. I’ve felt defensive and powerless. I have mistakenly thought that the only thing that would make black people happy is if I just returned to my mother’s womb and was born black instead.
“What do you want from me!?” was the prevailing narrative.
But now because his death was the tipping point, I am humbled. Desperate to understand. To see what I don’t see yet. Fortunately for me, Rachel Cargle has created a 30-day #dothework program aimed at helping dismantle the unconscious ways in which we’ve benefitted from this horrible situation, and helping us become more effective allies.
One of the things we’re encouraged to do, of course, is read books by black authors. One of them happens to be a friend of mine. Donny Hylton, a woman who served 27 years in prison and who, now out in the world, is serving tirelessly as an advocate for incarcerated women, and for those who are released into society with little or no idea how to survive there.
She wrote a book called “A Little Piece of Light,” with an introduction by Eve Ensler. And if that isn’t enough, Elizabeth Gilbert calls Donna Hylton “a light warrior, an inspiration, a survivor.” I’ve met Donna. I know her. She is a phenomenal woman who has overcome insurmountable obstacles. A lesser person would have been dead in their teens.
So, on this Day One of #dothework, I’m here to highly recommend “A Little Piece of Light” to you, if you’re looking to read a book by a black woman who’s seen it all and emerged from hell as a beacon of light for all her sisters.
It's where I've started. I got such a long way to go. But none of us can get there if we don't start.