Educating myself about anti-racism

black box

If you are reading this blog, chances are that you know me: You know what I look like – you know that I am black and that I am an educator working in Vienna, Austria. Some of you may know that I was born and bred in Trinidad and Tobago, my ancestors came from Africa and China, with a dash of Indian and European in the mix. As such I feel that had already been well-informed about blackness and racism, as well as the effects of slavery and colonialism, especially from an Afro-Caribbean perspective. Yet, after the events of the past weeks and the global reaction to them, I feel that, in actual fact, there is very much that I DIDN’T know.

What has recently happened to Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd has been the „straw that broke the camel’s back“ for many millions. Yes, senseless killings of people of colour (POC) has happened before. It is a decades-old, yes even centuries-old story. Yet, this time feels different. Just like the #MeToo and #FridaysForFuture movements, we may have reached a tipping point. And, like many educators, I have felt compelled to educate myself to examine what I can do on a personal and professional level. That this topic has superseded a still-raging worldwide pandemic goes to show that we educators cannot afford to be „racially-illiterate“ or remain silent going forward, no matter our country, context or skin colour.

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