June 2020 was a tipping point for many, and like millions of others, I jumped in and started paying a lot more attention to learning about racism and the structural inequities built into our country’s history.
I have learned a lot, which is bittersweet because it means I hadn’t learned it before.
I would not say I was entirely naive to the imbalance before. Because of my professional role (ie, physician) I have been exposed to how different populations live and are treated in a way that wouldn’t have happened if I were a corporate executive (or something to that effect).
But I still didn’t have a grasp on the history, and I did not spend much time thinking about how much harder it is to live every single day as a Black person in this country.
I do think about those things now. I will see two white teens hanging out outside and reflect on the fact that if their skin was darker, someone might stop and question them, and how incredibly unfair that is and how stressful it would be to have to think about that. I spend a lot of time thinking about bias in the residency interview process and in hiring processes. I think about how much I have grown to hate the word “fit”.
I still carry my own unconscious biases. I have come to believe that we all do, though the biases may vary. But at least I am more aware of them. We have donated to anti-racism and Black Lives Matter efforts (like Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights), but could do more. I support Black businesses and creators with my $ and again — could always do more. We have shared more diverse voices and perspectives on BOBW, and on BLP as well and plan to continue on both fronts. 2020 was a the start of a lifelong journey, not some project to finish and put a check mark next to.
If you are interested in Black-owned businesses and creators to support, here are some of my favorites:
Notiq (this is the only thing I am dying to add to my planner armistice in 2022)
Cloth & Paper (planner inserts, covers, and really great pen subscription boxes)
Some of the related reading I have done over the past year and can highly recommend:
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington
How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
no affiliate links were used in this post