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Also, here are some essays you can read online: 1. Clint Smith's essay on becoming a parent in the age of Black Lives Matter:

2. Professor Carol Anderson on 1919 and now:
3. Ibram X. Kendi's "The American Nightmare."
4. I also recommend The 1619 Project:

BOOKS: Here's a selection of books and essays I've found helpful in learning about racism and its centrality to American life:
Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an Antiracist" and "Stamped from the Beginning"
Carol Anderson's "One Person, No Vote"
Audre Lorde's "The Uses of Anger," which can be read here: 
(And also Audre Lorde's essay collection "Sister Outsider") 
Ta-Nehisi Coates's "We Were Eight Years in Power"
Toni Morrison's "The Source of Self-Regard" 
Mari Evans's "I Am a Black Woman"
James Baldwin's "The Fire Next Time" 
Cameron McWhirter's "Red Summer"
Jacqueline Woodson's "Who Can Tell My Story," which can be read here:
Zora Neale Hurston's "Barracoon" 
Isabel Wilkerson's "The Warmth of Other Suns"
Harriet Washington's "Medical Apartheid"

Lastly, some of you have asked us what you can do to help, or what we're doing. I look to leaders in affected communities for those answers; one guide can be found here: On a personal level, Sarah and I are focused on 1. supporting underfunded public libraries that serve large African American communities, and 2. criminal justice reform, including the misuse of bail to jail people who have not been convicted of a crime. For more info on that, check out

Hank has been focused on fundraising for but again, we think it's critical to begin philanthropy from a place of listening, and in both our cases, we learned about these organizations and priorities from listening to people affected by anti-Black racism in the U.S., and we are still trying to listen and learn.
Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday.  Sorry for the pause in our silly title thing but I'm just immensely sad today.  

Honestly, I worry my talking about the protests in the US might sound like and could be just virtue signaling BS.  It's so easy to make a statement and much harder to do the long-term, challenging, complicated work that points us toward a more just human story, and when I look at movements and organizations fighting for that change from Black Lives Matter to We Need Diverse Books to Partners in Health, I see people who've changed the world by responding to crisis, but also through sustained work that often received very little public attention.

That said, I think it's important to acknowledge that the root cause of the crisis in the United States today is the ongoing violence and discrimination Black Americans experience and have been experiencing for over 400 years.  We see this continuing racism in every facet of American life, from our education system where schools with mostly Black students receive far less funding than schools with mostly white students, to our healthcare system, where Black mothers are far more likely to die in childbirth than white mothers regardless of economic or educational background.

I'm sure there are people watching this who feel like racism is over or like it's a minor problem or whatever, but I would submit that might be because the political, social, and historical context that white people bring to understanding racism is often hugely inadequate.  This is partly because of the way we're educated.  It's partly because we benefit from these injustices and so may not see them for what they are, and it's partly because of our information feeds, not just on social media and the like, but also the people we talk to every day.  

The way you understand the world is shaped by the voices you listen to, but it's also shaped by the voices you don't listen to.  To cite just one example among millions of what I mean, many white Americans have never heard of the Red Summer of 1919, when state-sanctioned violence against Black people and responses to it occurred alongside a global disease pandemic.  I know I didn't know much about the Red Summer until recently, and so honestly, I don't feel like my voice is the voice we most need to be hearing from right now.

Instead, with input from friends and colleagues, I've made a playlist of videos focused on Black creators and the long history of African American experience in the hopes of amplifying those voices and those stories.  The playlist includes videos about the Red Summer, but it ranges from poetry to vlogs.  I really hope you'll watch it with me and consider subscribing to these creators.

Also below, you'll find some reading and non-YouTube video that has been helpful to me, including a beautiful and wrenching essay by Clint Smith.  As we've talked about before, I believe that how we orient our attention is, in the end, how we orient our lives, and so I need to do a better job of listening to the voices of Black Americans and to marginalized people everywhere because I really believe that when we listen with openness and empathy, we are moved toward generosity, toward advocacy, and toward justice.

Hank, I'll see you on Friday.