Languishing in despair is not an option

By Dr. Melanie Hildebrandt

Where are you finding strength, inspiration and resolve? I’m changing my news sources. The operating system on my iPhone 5 makes that tough… why must I see headlines from CNN, FOX and HuffPost even before I type the security code? It’s force feeding by corporate America who wants to control what we know and when we know it.

In so many ways, a veil has been lifted and the ugly face of “America the Beautiful” has been exposed, to some people for the first time. Where there were clearly defined wrinkles, scars, and imperfections—things we were identifying, covering up and trying to surgically remove—the election and its aftermath reveal an America more hideous than most of us wanted to imagine. I have studied and teach from a critical (race) theory perspective. You’d think I’d have been better prepared. But now, every morning, my first waking thought is, “Shit, where do we go from here?” Then I put on my work clothes and drive to class. It’s not a choice. We just gotta keep doing the work.

But I’m not gonna to lie. Some days I wonder what impact this infection, and by that I mean this election, will have on our shared humanity. On our planet. I’m pretty anxious and discouraged. But when I’ve had some rest and a decent meal (i.e., not one made by the good people of Sheetz and eaten in my car) I am grateful for (still) living in a place where we have free access to the work of amazing, wise and astute observers of American society — people whose words don’t show up on the news feeds of my phone. This week, I choose to focus on the words of Lerhonda Manigault Bryant, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Dominique Christina.

We have little time to waste. Languishing in despair is not an option. We must find inspiration, resolve and new learning outside the “news feed” bubble. And we are fortunate to have such (re)sources at our fingertips, including this blog site. Let’s use it! Check these out.

Dominique Christina: “Karma” (spoken word)

Lerhonda Manigault Bryant

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


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