This essay is excerpted from Kevin Powell’s new book, “When We Free The World,” writings about the present and future of America through the lens of gender, race, protests, the pandemic and the presidency of Donald Trump.
Private racism—as opposed to public racism—is invisible to all but the perpetrator and victim. Yet so many more individuals are touched every day by the ubiquitous unrecorded and private racism that occurs outside public knowledge—racist encounters with no videotaped record and for which no collective global gasp is ever heard.
The conversation around film history today still revolves around predominantly male and white producers, directors and more. Even in 2020, the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest American Films of All Time has not one female director.
In order to widen the conversation in the future, we must amend how we look at the past. The time is up—and for many of us, it has been up for quite a while.
Black and brown people are too often killed with impunity by police. Now may be a tipping point and we should not squander this opportunity to make fundamental changes in policing.
The fact is that women in law enforcement respond differently. We are not talking about a few token women—but when gender parity is realized, policing fundamentally changes.
“Joy doesn’t always come easy, but I owe it to myself, and those who came before me to continue to be mindful of my blessings, and my privileges. It is in remembering these joys I have today that will help me make it through the fight for the battles that come tomorrow.”
When faced down by racist man Jay Snowden at a Black Lives Matter protest in Whitefish, Montana, Samantha Francine pushed up her sunglasses so she could stare right back at him. She did not back down.
“I have not always been this version of myself. It has taken a long time for me to find my strength the way I did that day. … This is the first time in 27 years I have truly found my voice as a woman of color.”
“As we follow the new norms of social distancing, I find the lack of respect for my boundaries to be even more shocking than usual: Why are men comfortable getting in my face during a pandemic for the sake of a sleazy comment?”
George Floyd was killed over an imagined counterfeit $20 in a country that can’t keep its promise to place Tubman on the $20, counterfeit security issues or otherwise. Which is the real counterfeit here? George Floyd’s $20, Harriet Tubman’s $20 redesign or a country that still pretends there is “liberty and justice for all”?
As the value of essential work is increasingly appreciated, parental leave needs to be expanded to all workers as the country rebuilds from this crisis.
Black girls live in the same homes, attend the same schools and are touched by the same experiences as Black boys. Because of the lack of media coverage and community, many people do not understand the impact police violence has on the lives of Black women and girls.