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For Those Who Give a Damn, But Don’t Know What To Do

When I was 18 years old, I met a white woman who changed my life. Her name is Barb. She reached out to me as a person, and at a point in my life when I wasn’t yet my best self. She saw my potential, but never treated me like a project--like a black girl to polish up and help be successful in this big university system. She asked for my opinion. She listened when I gave it. Often that opinion was filled with rage against men, white people… She never flinched, and she never left. She heard me and cared about a reality that was not her own lived experience. This is called being an ally

Barb modeled for me what I have come to expect from all others who are my friends: a commitment to ending racism and other forms of oppression where they exist, and not just when yet another black person being murdered is the headline. It means that you understand that racism is not about you “feeling like” you're a racist. If you grew up in the United States (and...

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