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Anti-Racism Policy Journal

Topic / Education, Training and Labor

Friends Reach Out

It has been tough. I feel I’ve forgotten how to have fun, forgotten that it is actually possible to have fun, feel sometimes that I’m letting myself go. But the very cause of my rage and disappointment sometimes takes me out of this discomfort zone I’ve created for myself: human beings.

My mornings are usually about trying to wake up early and get my priorities in order: reading, exercising, writing. Making sure my pets are alive and fed and, only then, starting to work. I feel like I’m trying to live on autopilot. No, not trying, just doing it because I didn’t even realize it until I started talking about it.

But then a friend reaches out. Yesterday, it was a friend who just started talking to me about aromatherapy and the courses she has taken to learn more about her femininity on Kemet principles. The day before it was actually my students who made me smile through a very tough day. Today it is a friend with whom I’m going to have an online dinner.

It’s been hard seeing how Black bodies in Brazil and elsewhere are never safe. How you could do everything right and still be murdered? How you could be a kid, inside your own house, doing your homework, and still be murdered? How you could simply go out to pick up some food you ordered and end up murdered?

And yet these times have also proved how many people are interested in keeping our bodies alive. Just last week I learned about a number of Black women researchers engaged in improving the education system for Black children. And a friend asked me about Black female environmentalists in Brazil or Latin America.

And you know what this meant to me? It meant that I have Black people around me who can see a future, who know we are overcoming this disease. Not all of us. But not all of us are dying either. And African heritage has taught us that when one of us survives, we are all there. It is hard to be optimistic, but today I am willing to try.

The Anti-Racism Policy Journal is happy to partner with Collateral Benefits and Manos Visibles to bring you “Voices of the African Diaspora”, a series of perspectives from Afro-descendants across the world on surviving, overcoming, and transcending COVID-19. Collateral Benefits is a platform that through perspective papers aims to lift up the voices of African and Afro-descendant people from all walks of life so that their intellect, wisdom, and experiences can contribute to and shape the global conversations on the critical issues of our time.”

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