Artist and blogger damali ayo has been making very cool activist/populist art. I like her black history flash cards a lot, and maybe I’ll try making a few cards myself. It’s a good idea! You might remember damali’s work from a couple of years ago on the hilarious web site rent-a-negro.com which definitely held up a difficult and instructive mirror for me. It sucks to catch yourself in a racist thought or action, but I do all the time. On the other hand it’s better to catch it and check it than otherwise, right?
Today, damali’s booklet “I Can Fix It!” which is a short, very clear, anti-racism handbook, really blew me away.
Take a look at >Now Art and download the pdf to print the handy booklet!
I’m blogging this on my mommyblog because I think I’m going to distribute her booklet at my son’s school… Probably just by printing a few sample copies and putting one up on the bulletin board, then a followup email with a short description of it and the link to damali’s page. Because I opened my big mouth more than once about race and needing to have those conversations, I might as well keep it up and push it further.
The other day I had to check an impulse to slap a good friend as she cluelessly did the hair-touching and extended commentary on hair on a little boy at school… and finally I just went, “Uh I guess K. isn’t used to curly hair.” It was embarrassing and maddening. That was lame of me but I could not for the life of me think what to say. Later I was like, “Doh… could have said instead that she is only used to white people’s hair.” Unfortunately there will probably be a next time for me to whip that one out.
I notice when I say something like “the white moms I’ve been talking to” people do a double take and try to check if maybe I’m not white and they missed it. That’s funny but kind of sad. (Because generally white people don’t refer to other white people as “white” even when it’s directly relevant.)