To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all of                 the time.

- James Baldwin 

You know, when

Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it's important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away.

- Barack Obama

I don't think we can

rely on governments, regardless of who is in power, to do the work that only mass movements can do.

 

- Angela Davis

Black Lives Matter

This month's focus is on what a few Black authors say about both racism and activism. Additional Black writers I highly recommend include Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Malcom X,  Maya Angelou, and Terry McMillan. There are so many choices, but independent bookstores and libraries can make referrals to other materials to further personal understanding of being Black in America, and to simply enjoy good writing. The film list is endless too, so if you prefer movies,  I found "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am," "Just Mercy," and "If Beale Street Could Talk" equally powerful.

 

In Stories, check out my past piece, "Lessons in Black and White," about encountering upfront racism in Florida and Las Vegas.

A new story will be included next month.


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I think America has always been polarized. It's a racist country and always has been.

- Alice Walker

Negroes must concern themselves with every single means of struggle: legal, illegal, passive, active, violent and non-violent... They must harass, debate, petition, boycott, sing hymns, pray on steps -- and shoot from their windows when the racists come cruising through their communities. The acceptance of our condition is the only form of extremism which discredits us before our children.

- Lorraine Hansberry

We all have a responsibility to create a just society.

- Bryan Stevenson

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