A year ago last month, Ronald and I saw the mothers of the Black Lives Matter movement at a restaurant after one of the Clinton rallies. For new readers, I am white and Ronald is black. We met forty-two years ago when I was 18 and he was 19. I wanted so much to go over to the mothers’ table and tell them how sorry I was for their losses and sorry that America failed them, but I am someone who feels others' pain acutely, and I was already in tears just being in their presence. I had shed many tears each time I heard about another unarmed black man, woman, or child murdered at the hands of a racially biased police officer, vigilante, or white supremacist terrorist, and I've felt the terror of having people treat us differently, unkindly, and, sometimes, violently because they didn't think we should be together. I did not want these beautiful women to feel they had to comfort me, and my husband agreed, so I did not go over. I regretted that decision, because they deserved to hear my condolences and that their children's lives mattered.
When we arrived home, I made a decision. I wanted to contribute to the conversation about race in America in an even bigger way than writing this blog. So, at age 60, I wrote my first full-length book, dedicated to the mothers of the movement, about my forty-two-year journey of learning about race in America. Forty-two years is not long enough, because we have already proven that 50 years or 150 years is not long enough. As the months wore on, under the great weight of a Trump-led America, where white supremacy moved into the White House and flooded mainstream culture, my book evolved, using posts from this blog—all written about the unjust murders of unarmed black men— revised, expanded, and interwoven with my own experiences with racism, ranging from micro-aggressions to the truly terrifying, and the political landscape and racist backlash in America.
I am one tiny voice in the conversation about race that America must have, all of us, together, where people can put aside their feelings of frailty and of feeling attacked when talking about racism and inequality, and, instead, listen and ask what we need to do differently and how can we dismantle this system that benefits some while disadvantaging others, to create a better tomorrow where equality is an inherent right.
The book is published! It is titled To the Mothers of the Movement, With Love. You can order it here.
I hope, dear readers, you will join the conversation. I hope you will read my book, and it will inspire you to talk to your friends and family. Maybe it will give you the strength to speak out when you witness racial bias. Together, as a country, we can come to understand that systemic racism is a terrible, oppressive, unfair, and violent system, and it must be dismantled. Equality is right and righteous. Don't be silent. Vote for equality. Protest for equality. Take a knee during the anthem for equality. Let the mothers of the movement know that America knows their sons' and daughters' lives mattered.