October 23, 2020
Last week on the podcast, we talked about the importance of using your voice to confront racist behavior. On today's episode, we're flipping the script to discuss what NOT to say as an anti-racist warrior. In other words, how to avoid ever having someone say to you, 'You can't say that, that's racist.' Listen in to hear my list of questions, sentences and phrases you should remove from your vocabulary and why…if you want to be a good anti-racist warrior. Note, white people, this episode really is for you.
Clearly this episode would take hours if I actually covered every single word or phrase that could be considered racist. So, I don't do that. Instead, I’m sharing a short list of common phrases, questions and sentences that people say, that for the most part are considered racist or racially insensitive when uttered by white people. Of course, there is always an exception to the rules I'm sharing – and nuance and context matter too – but if you remove these phrases from your daily chatter, I promise it will aid you on your journey to being a good anti-racist.
Links and Additional Resources on What Not to Say
The racist history of mispronouncing and renaming people of color.
Teen Vogue explains why 'Black on Black crime' is a racist phrase that falsely pathologizes the Black community.
A hilarious video that demonstrates why you shouldn't ask Asian Americans and Latinos where they are from.
A heartfelt column from the Chicago Tribune that explains why we should make the shift from 'slave' to 'enslaved' when referencing African Americans in antebellum America.
Proof, that hard shell tacos with tomatoes and cheddar are not Mexican food.
You can grab a copy of Anti-Racist Baby for yourself or a friend on the My American Meltingpot online bookstore.
And don't forget to visit My American Meltingpot for more resources and inspiration.
October 16, 2020
Did you realize you can live your whole entire life and never say a single racist thing or have a single racist thought, but if you’re not using your voice to speak out against racism, then you're not an anti-racist? In fact, some might even say you’re an accomplice or at least complicit in the crime of maintaining a racist system.
On episode 52 of the podcast, the fourth lesson in our Don't Be Racist series, we're going to be talking about using your voice as an anti-racist warrior. So far, we’ve spoken about mindset and taking action. On this episode, we’re going to deep-dive into taking action by using your voice to call out racism when you see it. On the show, I break down how and why anti-racism warriors must do this.
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Vote!: There’s still time in many states to register, request a mail-in ballot and to participate in early voting. The Republicans would love a close race and we can’t let that happen. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris need a decisive win in November. Please vote like your life depended it. Because mine sure does.
Shop the My American Meltingpot online bookshop: You will find a delightful – and newly updated – collection of books for kids and adults with a multicultural focus. Every purchase you make on the My American Meltingpot online bookshop, supports the production of the podcast and independent bookstores all over the country.
Read: This list of inspirational quotes from some of our greatest leaders and thinkers about the importance of using your voice in the face of racism, oppression and injustice.
October 9, 2020
This is our third episode in the Don’t Be Racist Series on the My American Meltingpot podcast. Last week we spoke about taking action. This week, we're going to work on decolonizing our minds. In order to be a true anti-racism warrior, decolonizing and unlearning many of the untruths we’ve been taught our whole lives is essential. So, today’s lesson is all about how and why decolonizing your mind is a must.
This episode is just the beginning of a process because decolonizing your mind is a lifelong pursuit. Opening up to the idea that you need to unlearn and relearn American history is the first step. And then you must keep educating yourself with resources that are not written by the so-called winners of history. During the show, I share seven decolonized truth nuggets that will jump start your decolonized education.
Resources to Help You Decolonize Your Mind
For teachers and educators, a great article on decolonizing your history classroom with additional resources.
A moving essay by a young Black woman who explains what decolonizing her mind and life looks like.
A great list of book titles from bookship.org to help decolonize your mind.
A short Ted Talk to watch called: Decolonization is for Everyone.
People of color might want to follow @decolonizingtherapy on IG.
Educators and Parents might want to check out @decolonizeliteracy on IG for resources related to Black and Native experiences.
Thank you for listening. Please stay motivated and don't forget to vote. A vote for Joe Biden is a vote against four more years with an openly racist, dangerous president.
Thank you for listening and please be sure to check out the show notes on the My American Meltingpot blog, where you can also leave me a comment about how you're enjoying the show and/or what lessons you'd like to learn in the series.
October 2, 2020
On episode 50 of the podcast, we're continuing our "Don't Be Racist" series. And the lesson for this episode is all about taking action. Do Take Action to be an anti-racism warrior. Don’t sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to do the work.
Last week we talked about mastering your mindset. Finding your why for doing this work. Hopefully, it is now clear in your mind why you need to become an anti-racism warrior. So, the next step is to take action to bring about the change we want and need in this country.
During the episode, I break down how to get yourself motivated to take action as an anti-racism warrior, and the types of actions you can take, especially if you're just getting started as an activist. I don't want anyone to feel overwhelmed or get burned out too fast, so take my advice to heart. We need our warriors in the game for all four quarters.
Do This: To Be An Anti-Racism Warrior in Action
Here's what you should remember about taking action as an anti-racism warrior:
- Start small - Don’t overwhelm yourself. But keep in mind that little actions can have big results.
- Find your zone of genius to make it easier to get in the game. Use the skills you have in the area where it is most needed.
- Find a friend to do the work together. Anti-racism work is more fun with a friend.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel, you can just help roll the wheel up the hill. There are hundreds of local and national organizations doing anti-racism work and they need help. Volunteer for one of these organizations instead of trying to think up something new to do.
I would love to hear what kind of action you’re taking on your journey to become an anti-racist warrior. Please leave a comment on the show notes page on the My American Meltingpot blog and tell me what you're up to! You'll also find more resources to help you take action.
*This episode is sponsored by a new course on Teachable called, “Finding Your Role in this Moment of Social Change.” This course is ideal for anyone who wants to make a change in the world but doesn’t know how or where to start. This self-paced, 90-minute course will help you figure out the role you want to play in social movements and how you can make effective, lasting change. If you're looking for more instruction and a deeper understanding of how activists really make change with their work, definitely check out this course - taught by author and and activist Eileen Flanagan. You may remember Eileen from the moving essay she wrote about the connections between racism and climate change on the MAMP blog. She is the real deal and an excellent teacher.
September 25, 2020
Episode 49 of the podcast is our first official lesson in the "Don’t Be Racist Series." And the first lesson is all about Mindset. In order to be an anti-racist warrior, you have to master your mindset. On the show I share why this is necessary, and how to get it done.
Research shows that the difference between those who succeed with their goals and those who fail, often comes down to mindset. But the good thing is, we control our mindset. So, essentially, we are in control of whether we’re going to be successful at something or not. And because I want everyone who listens to this podcast to become confident and successful anti-racism warriors, then we have to make sure we're coming to anti-racist work with the right attitude, energy and purpose.
For the record, anti-racism work isn't about saving the colored people and it shouldn't be approached out of sense of guilt or ancestral obligation. Listen in as I break down why white people should be embracing anti-racism work and how to get in the right frame of mind for something that may seem scary or intimidating.
It's a short but useful episode, so listen in and take notes.
Useful Links + Resources
I wrote a blog post about the importance of a mindset change for white America as they approach anti-racism work. It should be helpful as you contemplate this work.
Check out the My American Meltingpot Bookstore on Bookshop.org for anti-racism titles and great multicultural fiction and nonfiction.
Homework Assignment to Help Master Your Mindset
Watch one documentary about racial injustice. Here are three offerings on Netflix you might want to check out:
13th -This award-winning documentary by Ava DuVernay is about the criminal justice system and its treatment of African Americans.
Immigration Nation - This new docu-series takes a deep look at immigration in the United States today.
The Two Killings of Sam Cooke - "While Sam Cooke rose to stardom as a soul singer, his outspoken views on civil rights drew attention that may have contributed to his death at age 33."
Thank you for listening!
September 18, 2020
On Season five of the podcast, we’re doing something a little different. From now until the end of November, we’re running a special series called, “Don’t Be Racist.” On each episode, I’ll be sharing short, actionable, bite-sized lessons on how to be an anti-racist. New episodes will appear every Friday.
On episode 48, I'm sharing my reasons for launching this series and explaining what you can expect from me, your favorite anti-racism educator. In a nutshell, I plan to show up to make this series as pleasant and invigorating as anti-racism work can be. I'm giving you real-life lessons that you can start applying to your daily life right away. I’m not here to guilt you into doing better, or to beat you up for your ancestors' crimes. I just want to be the spark that inspires you to embrace an anti-racist attitude and take action.
America needs you. The world needs you. I need you.
So, tune in next Friday and be ready to work.
Also, tell your friends about the series. Remember, sharing is caring.
In the meantime, if you want some homework, go listen to a few of our past podcast episodes that will help get you thinking about anti-racism work, white supremacy and how to have conversations about race. This post offers a list of episodes to get you started.
Finally, be sure to follow me on Instagram where I will be sharing additional content meant to inspire you on your anti-racism journey.
Let's do this!
August 7, 2020
On episode 47 of the podcast I sit down with Lauren Francis-Sharma, the author of the My American Meltingpot Summer Book Club selection, Book of the Little Axe.
Book of the Little Axe takes place at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century and tells the story of Rosa Rendon, a Black Trinidadian woman who flees her island home and finds herself living among the Crow Nation in what is now Bighorn, Montana. She becomes the wife of a Crow chief and raises three mixed-race children with the nation.
In addition to Book of the Little Axe, Lauren is the author of the novel, Til the Well Runs Dry, which was awarded the Honor Fiction Prize by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan Law School. She is also a MacDowell Fellow and the Assistant Director of Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College.
During our conversation, we talk about how Lauren came up with this epic story idea; the real life characters that populate the pages of Book of the Little Axe; why it's important to tell the stories of people of color in a historical context; and how Stephen King inspired Lauren to leave her corporate career and pursue writing! I promise it is an inspiring conversation all around.
For full show notes, please visit, My American Meltingpot.com.
July 31, 2020
On episode 46 of the podcast, I want to encourage everyone to pick up their pens and fight. Yes, become a revolutionary writer. We can all put pen to paper and write for our lives. You don’t need permission to write. You don’t need fancy tools or equipment. You simply must write.
You can write newspaper articles, blog posts, poems and manifestos. You can write novels, comic books, biographies and letters to your congressperson. You can write pamphlets, plays, memoirs and letters to your younger self. You can write text books and guide books and an entire magazine if you’re up for it. You can write song lyrics, movie screenplays, and letters to your racist uncle.
Join me as I share how revolutionary writers are born and stick around to hear from three extraordinary revolutionary writers – Tracey Lewis-Giggets, Kenrya Rankin and Zetta Elliott – who are all busy creating revolutionary works right now.
By the end of the show, I hope everyone is inspired to write!
For full show notes and links to the work of our guests, please visit My American Meltingpot.com.
July 24, 2020
On episode 45 of the podcast, I'm talking about a brand new book series called The Queens of the Resistance. A perfect collection for any wanna-be Revolutionary Reader, The Queens of the Resistance series is a group of four biographies saluting four of the most beloved boss ladies in Congress: Maxine Waters, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren. Written by Brenda Jones & Krishan Trotman, these easy-to-read, illustrated biographies are super inspiring and informative. Also, the books themselves are absolutely beautiful to look at and would make a welcome addition to any bookshelf or coffee table.
It's another mini Revolutionary Readers episode, but we still get to hear from one of the co-authors of The Queens of Resistance series, Krishan Trotman.
Also, because self-care is also revolutionary, I also take a moment on the show to share my definition of a perfect summer beach read and two options for you to consider reading.
If you feel inspired by this episode and now you want to be a revolutionary reader, please share this episode with a friend or tell a lot of friends by leaving us a rating or review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
For full show notes with links for resources mentioned in this episode, please visit My American Meltingpot.com.
July 17, 2020
On episode 44 of the podcast we're continuing with our Revolutionary Readers summer series. The topic? We’re going to be talking about how to raise young revolutionary readers, with the hope that the young people in our lives go from being revolutionary readers, to revolutionary leaders. Think about it, reading can be the spark that leads young people to do great things. Keeping in mind of course, that 'great things' could be defined as becoming the first female president of the United States, or it could mean starting a food drive for those in need in one’s community.
In addition to my suggestions for raising revolutionary readers, I also share my latest book crush, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet. This book incorporates all the elements I love to read about from Black identity, to family bonds, to colorism. You'll probably want to read it too!
Be sure to check the show notes at My American Meltingpot for a full recap of the show and for additional book recommendations for the young revolutionaries in your life.