Required reading if you’re trying to understand what it’s like to be Black in America
Kari Cobham

I have been making my way through these readings and have been especially struck by the writings of Nikole Hannah-Jones and John Metta, both of whom offered insight into why the black community responds as it does to shooting deaths, and why so many of us who are white don’t fully understand the response.

“For white people, who have been trained since birth to see themselves as individuals, the collective fear and collective grief that black Americans feel can be hard to grasp,” Hannah –Jones said. In Metta’s words, “We don’t see a shooting of an innocent Black child in another state as something separate from us because we know viscerally that it could be our child, our parent, or us, that is shot.”

Garnette Cadogan’s essay “Walking While Black” is another excellent read. It’s a powerful piece of writing that makes it very clear that if you are walking down a street in this country as a black man you are walking in a different universe than a white man walking the same street.

Thanks for your work in compiling this enlightening list, Kari.

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