This week, let’s start of with a few options for your calendar:

cpcTonight, Tuesday, May 31, 7:30 – 10:30 pm
Center for Participatory Change (CPC) Jazz-n-Justice fundraiser
The BLOCK off Biltmore, 39 S. Market Street
Find out more about CPC here: cpcwnc.org

Also tonight, 9 pm
Slick Rick (yup, THE Slick Rick)
The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave.
Shout out Joe Greene and his team at Asheville411.com for this!

shoe flyerFriday, June 3, 5 – 8 pm
Perceptions – The Black Male: Images of Dignity
Art opening featuring new works by Joseph A. Pearson and Jessie Whitehead.
Pink Dog, 348 Depot Street

Sunday, June 5, 3 pm
Date My City Summer Movie Series Kick Off
Screening of Slavery By Another Name
Edington Center, 133 Livington Street
“Let’s talk about the neo-slavery system that re-enslaved armies of blacks and sold them as forced labor from Civil War until World War II. And we must also discuss the evolution of that system NOW and how more black males are under it’s control than were enslaved in 1850. ‪#‎reeltalk‬” – from the Date My City Facebook page.

WHAT I’M READING

what does it mean to be whiteThis week I am also compelled to share with you what I’m reading, which is the book What Does it Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy by Robin DiAngelo. I found out about this book from Deborah Miles of the UNCA Asheville Center for Diversity Education. Over the years I have read many books and articles about racism, gone to hear speakers on the topic, took a Racial Equity Institute Anti-Racism training, attended Building Bridges, and have had countless conversations with wise people about the ways racism plays out inside and around us. That said, the journey to deepen my understandings, address my own white supremacy, and discover ways to genuinely be of service in this complex terrain is a lifetime one. Therefore I am committed to ongoing study and self-reflection. After two chapters, I am already finding What Does it Mean to be White? extremely illuminating, and uncomfortable in a productive way.

Here’s an excerpt from the back cover: “What does it mean to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless yet is deeply divided by race? In the face of pervasive racial inequality and segregation, most white cannot answer the question. Robin DeAngelo argues that a number of factors make this question difficult for white – miseducation about what racism is/ ideologies such as individualism and colorblindness; and a tendency to protect (rather than expand) our worldviews. These factors contribute to what she terms white racial illiteracy.”

My hope is the knowledge I gain from this book will help me to better articulate the reality of racism, and to play a part in raising the level of racial literacy of the whites I come in contact with.

If you are interested in reading What Does it Mean to Be White?, I encourage you to get your copy where I got mine – Firestorm Books! If you’re not familiar with Firestorm, check them out. They are one of Asheville’s few worker-owned coops, and righteous on many other levels, too. Call them at 828-255-8115 and they can order this (or any title) for you.

Peace!