#MatteredToMe - June 12, 2020: Black Grief, Photojournalism, and Anti-Carceral Organizing
Hello, everyone. It's Friday. Here are some things that mattered to me recently.
- Taylor Harris's essay "Whiteness Can't Save Us" is about loving her kids, and fearing for them; about church and school and hospitals, and the heartbreak and fear and anger of the ways those places don't always care for Black people.
- John Edwin Mason wrote about the ways photographs and photojournalism can lie even while showing a portion of truth, how this shapes the way we see protests and Black people.
- Saeed Jones's essay "Whose Grief? Our Grief," about the protests, about how this moment is the product of generations of American brutality, about what Black people are allowed to say or own. "But maybe history ain’t even history; maybe it’s just another kind of grief."
- Organizer Mariame Kaba's zine which republished the 1977 "Open Letter to the Anti-Rape Movement" from the Santa Cruz Women Against Rape, showing the necessity of organizing that is feminist, anti-racist, and anti-carceral all at once. Showing how all of these fights are connected, how they are actually one fight. And showing how this fight is not new, and still not over.
- Melissa Gira Grant on the co-opting and mainstreaming of "defund the police," and how this can be seen as a defense of the status quo.
- Finally, Chenjerai Kumanyika's two-part conversation with abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore, getting at both the history of the carceral state and the need to push for a society that actually values and supports dignified human life.
As always, this is just a portion of what mattered to me recently. Lately I've been oscillating between anger, despair, and cautious hope. I'm heartened by how many people newly recognize the need for change, and I hope we can keep pushing for it.
Thank you, and take care.