I really enjoyed this piece and too struggle with the cynic and the optimist. I err on the side of optimist but also I am a non-Black woman of color, as a light-skinned person I end up often as the “whitish” friend white colleagues can confide in, or who rush to “ally” with me while I am more concerned about systemic injustice at a core level for all people who experience oppression. It also pits me into a state where I’m acknoweldging some have it worse than others and not wanting to turn something into oppression olympics, also in not wanting to be viewed as white (I’m half white) but then also definitely acknowledging and because society is what it is, the white privileges that I do have. I do my best. I agree with listening as most important. I listen a lot. I write some. I speak some. I have a loud voice when I need it. I don’t have Macklemore’s platform. ;) Anyway — a short ramble that’s neither here nor there, and thank you for your writing.