By Shanelle Henry
Director of Equity and Inclusion
Not surprisingly, in recent weeks, the most common question I have been asked is, "How are you?" The second most common question has been, "What can I do?" Typically, it is followed by a request for resources, ways to financially support the movement, and/or suggestions for self-education (e.g. articles and books to read). I am always grateful to those who actively seek to do the hard internal work of becoming critically race-conscious.
In a recent EdWeek teacher blog, educator Dr. Sheila Wilson penned, "As this grave injustice is playing out on the global stage, it most definitely has implications that will impact the conversations teachers will inevitably have to field with students."
But, this doesn't just apply to teachers; parents, this means you, too. This tragedy is a teachable moment. You must seize this opportunity to have these hard conversations with your children about what's happening in our world today. Dr. Kira Banks, a clinical psychologist whose website Raising Equity provides free videos and resources on how parents can fight racism and cultivate an open mind in themselves and their children, states, "...if a person hasn't done the work to understand the history of racism and discrimination in America they should do so, and then join us in raising our children to see and disrupt racism, and be the change we want to see."
Therefore, also not surprisingly, the current New York Times Bestsellers List (Paperback Nonfiction) is replete with books on anti-racism, understanding racial identity, and the social, legal and cultural analyses of the legacy of racial injustice in the United States. My approval of these books does not rank nearly as high as the NYT, but I do recommend reading any, if not all, of the titles listed. And, while some may assert that the true zeitgeist of an era cannot be known until it is over, I contend this Bestsellers list illustrates otherwise: