It’s a storytelling time of year. Children and grandchildren snuggle in laps, looking at illustrations and listening to their favorite books read aloud. Families gather together on couches in living rooms all over the world to watch movies and TV, listen to music, and be in each other’s company. Bedtime stories. Movie nights. Classics. Traditions.
For this week’s Story + Action, we're asking you to examine the choices you make in your home about the stories you consume. Implicit bias isn’t something that can be fought only by marching, protesting, and signing petitions, important as those are. It’s also not going to change simply by following a Facebook group (as inspiring as it is). Change starts at home. It starts with the decisions we make in our most personal moments, the moments that we’re not sharing as status updates or tweets or even talking about with friends over coffee. The book on our nightstands. The movie we watch with a loved one to relax and unwind. These everyday, personal decisions are often the hardest to unpack from bias and to commit to changing. They are deeply embedded in our culture of comfort, familiarity, and entertainment. This makes them more important, in terms of individual action, than almost anything else we can do. We can continue to push ourselves to change the way conversations in our homes confront racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, xenophobia, and ableism, and there is often no better way to do that than by sharing a story. A book, a movie, a TV or radio show. Pay attention, pantsuiters. What stories are being shared in your home? What stories aren’t?
Pantsuit Nation is proud to feature the following piece by Talamieka Brice, an award winning artist and the CEO of Brice Media:
While holding my son, I finally found the words to voice for the election.
When I asked Talamieka about sharing her hugely popular Pantsuit Nation post with an even wider audience, she graciously agreed and had the following to add: “I think about the school to prison pipeline often and am glad my son's daycare is predominantly black so I don't have to think about his behavior being scolded harsher than others or, how his life will be in public school as opposed to private or, how to teach him how to walk through this life. Thank God he has an awesome dad who's also a veteran to help him… I move through day to day and [try to] come to grips with bringing another child into a looming Trump presidency. I never thought my words would impact people the way they did. I'm trying to process it all myself being a black creative with purple hair living in Mississippi of all places, lol.”
If Talamieka's story moved you, we hope you’ll consider bringing another story into your home this week to share with loved ones.
Suggested viewing for this week: 13TH. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay uses powerful imagery and commentary from scholars, activists, and politicians to show us that slavery, instead of being abolished by the 13th Amendment, has evolved into a system of mass incarceration through a loophole in its language.
Suggested reading (for children) for this week: Daddy, There’s A Noise Outside. Kenneth Braswell takes the complex issue of protesting and breaks the conversation down so that a 1st grader can understand. The text is thought provoking for all ages and especially relevant as we confront confront racism head-on in our daily lives.
What suggestions to do you have for reading or viewing? Leave a comment, and we’ll work on a list to share here on our website.