We made it to the inauguration of the 46th president of the United Stated of America, fittingly enough just after and Martin Luther King Jr day. Just two weeks after the capital insurrection, the winter after a summer of marked violence against people driving, walking, and living while Black. Finally, this week, after weeks of the racist faction in this country newly emboldened and riled up, some hope.
James Baldwin wrote 𝘕𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘚𝘰𝘯 in 1955 and in 1984 he wrote a preface to the new edition from which this quote is excerpted.
This continent was never white. There is no white land to get back to. And through the vitriol and violence this country has seen there are also those who fought against those forces, who did whatever they could to change the system, who spoke truth to power.
Today I think about those better angels, where we might be without Martin Luther King Jr, and how far it seems we have yet to go. I refuse to cede this country to those that share lies and toxic misinformation and promote divisiveness.
I recently had the opportunity to be a juror for the Scholastic Writing Awards and review work by 10th and 11th graders in the personal essay and memoir category. They wrote about racism, the pandemic, the forest fires that shrouded their skies last summer, what they want for their lives, and how they see the world. It was a gift to read their words in the midst of upheaval and uncertainty. That they still want to express themselves, to better understand their place in our shared history shows me they are that much closer to learning who they are and what they’re willing to fight for. And that in turn inspires me to do better. You can read my full article in The Seattle Times here.
This week on the podcast, founder of Cope Notes, Johnny Crowder joins me to talk about his mental health journey. He didn’t think he would ever reveal the abuse he suffered as a child or the dangerous coping mechanisms he developed to handle that trauma. But then he decided that if he didn’t try to grow and share his experience to help others, the pain he experienced would be in vain and so he set his life on a course of advocacy. You can listen to his episode here.
Next week on the podcast Rosalie and Michel Mastaler join me to share their family’s story of caring for their son Hunter after he lost his lower leg to an injury. Shortly after bringing him home from the hospital they realized that the most powerful tool they could offer him was resilience; that to help Hunter avoid feeling sorry for himself they had to avoid feeling sorry for him. Look for that episode on January 26th.
Wishing you inspiration this week and 2021 energy.