We read Between the World and Me for bookclub this month and last night happened to be the night we met to discuss Ta-Nehisi Coates’ powerful book about America’s racial history—which is written as an open letter to his 15-year-old black son. It was an emotional night. I think we all came away glad that we took the time to talk to friends about what we’re seeing, how we’re feeling, and how Coates makes you think about race and power and identity in ways that go even beyond the visceral reaction one has to deeply disturbing footage that has become all too common. As a white person who has to come to terms with privilege that is no doubt predicated on the lack thereof for others, it’s hard to know how to speak up and be part of the change. I am glad to see that our president hasn’t shied away from calling out systemic injustice as being at the root of what is happening and I wish we saw even more of the leaders in our community doing the same.
As I look at these fields of gold today, these Sunflower fields that back up to our neighborhood, and the pictures, below, of my kids stepping into them—technically trespassing on a local farmer’s land—they take on another valence. They’re just as beautiful of course, but I also think about how another family—one who is not white—might not feel the same freedom to cross the street and step up to see if they smell. Having no fear is a privilege. And I’m so sad to think of all the fear being felt today.
I’ve gathered some of the usual links—all good distractions—but I wanted to start with some of the things I’ve been drawn to in light of the violence we’ve witnessed these past few days.
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” —Elie Wiesel (Who spoke out against injustice until his death on July 1. His obituary.)
Being black in America. Under a minute and very affecting.
#BlackLivesMatter(Too). The problem with the response “#AllLivesMatter”
Okay, and some levity…
…For which I need to read this. Like, today.
A birthday cake that it truly magical.
I can’t wait to watch this!
Katy Perry’s Roar on traditional Chinese instruments.
A perfectly exectued TED talk parody. (So good, but I still love TED talks.)
Incredible breakdancing skills.
I’ve wanted a Vitamix forever. And now I need some smoothie recipes. Help?
After a nearly-five-year journey, NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft achieved orbit around Jupiter. Love how Google celebrated the “incredible moment of human achievement.”
And Tea Collection, a favorite children’s brand, featured me as an ambassador. In turn I asked if I could share a reader discount and they obliged! New customers can enter the code HITHERTHITHER15 at checkout on teacollection.com to receive 15% off your order.
If you ever have any links of note to share, I’d love to hear!