History professor and high school textbook author pushing to capitalize the "b" in "Black," and why that matters

History professor Albert Broussard, who also writes a history textbook commonly used in US middle and high schools, is pushing to capitalize the letter "b" in Black in future revisions of the text when referencing Black people. The publisher, McGraw Hill, told CNN that they are "strongly considering it." From CNN:

"I just personally would like to see it capitalized because I think African American and Black are used interchangeably by most people in the population," Broussard said. "If you start children out thinking about Black or White or any group that way, that's how they will think about them for the rest of their lives."

McGraw Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are purveyors of the final drafts of history. While it is unclear how many textbooks each company sells each year, more than $209 million worth of K-12 social studies books were sold in the US in 2018, according to data provided to CNN by the Association of American Publishers.

All three education companies are reviewing whether to use Black capitalized in their K-12 textbooks and educational materials, according to comments they provided to CNN[...].

"It is very important, in my opinion, to use Black instead of black. In a very subtle way, black minimizes the importance of being Black. Because Black Americans were ruthlessly and abruptly cut off from their own national and ethnic identities, they don't have the privilege of attaching a homeland, spiritual or otherwise, to their American identity," [Denver Public Schools social studies teacher Gerardo] Muñoz told CNN over email.

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Tattoo parlor offers free sessions to cover up of racist symbols

In Murray, Kentucky, Gallery X Art Collective tattoo artists Jeremiah Swift and Ryun King are offering free sessions to cover up racist tattoos for people who have changed their minds for the better. From CNN:

"We also got a guy with a giant swastika who said he has never taken his shirt off in front of his kids, [King said.] I like seeing that. I like seeing people want to change themselves for the better. That swells me full of emotions[...]"

King's first client was Jennifer Tucker, a 36-year-old mother of two who wanted to cover up a small Confederate flag she got tattooed on her ankle when she was 18 years old. [Image above]

"I went to a school where there wasn't a single black person," Tucker told CNN. "Our community had no black families, they would literally run them out every time one moved in. Everyone in my school flew rebel flags and had rebel flag tattoos and I bandwagoned and got the tattoo. It was a horrible thing to do."

After high school, Tucker moved to Paducah, Kentucky, where she became involved in various solidarity movements and peaceful protests aimed at uniting the community and fighting racial injustice against black people.

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"Engage in the long, faithful work,” a beautiful graphic poem about learning anti-racism

This is a really powerful (and painfully relevant) poem by Morgan Harper Nichols. I think it works even more profoundly in the carousel of images, as embedded in the Instagram post below. I'll copy the full text (from her original post) below.

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Engage in the long, faithful work. Surrender the need of striving to be the best or always right and focus instead on leaning into Light, that reveals all things. All that is good and all that stands to be corrected, and redirected. And as you lean into Light, be gentle with the word “darkness.” For more than it merely means wrong or bad, it is also the color of a full, starless night sky, and actual bodies of human beings who have been overlooked too many times. Many, many words hold more than one meaning. Language on “light” and “dark” may have its place, and this is also true, this very language has been used to say, “You are a threat. I am not. I am worth more than you.” It takes kindness to understand this, for even though kindness is a beautiful word. it does not mean that nothing gets disrupted. Sometimes a way of thinking must be interrupted in order for kindness to truly thrive. For as sure as kindness leans into what is good, it also speaks about what isn’t right. It is compassionate and gentle when long histories are pulled from mourning into morning. Engage in the long, faithful work of awakening with your heart and mind open to the possibility that things are more complex than they once seemed.

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Ben & Jerry's on Black Lives Matter and the police killing of George Floyd: We Must Dismantle White Supremacy

“Silence Is Not an Option”