As we self-reflect on how much more we could be doing in the fight for racial equality, we hail educator Rachel Elizabeth Cargle for her brilliant, illuminating Insta feed.
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This community has grown to over a million???? I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to those who have been sent this way and decided to stay. • My name is Rachel Elizabeth Cargle. I was born & raised in Akron, Ohio. I am a 31 year old black woman. • ????I am a writer, lecturer & public academic. This means I do my studying and work independently & outside of any particular university. (I previously attended Columbia University where I swiftly left when I saw the ways black students weren’t protected. I often show up as a visiting lecturer, keynote speaker or workshop facilitator. . ???? I developed and facilitate a community of self paced online (un)learners called @thegreatunlearn where I curate syllabi to aid in our collective approach to learning outside of the white lens. . ????Last year I started @thelovelandfoundation , a non profit that came about from a fundraiser I did in 2018. We now support hundreds of women of color in gaining access to mental health care they deserve, cost free! . ???? Early in 2020 I moved from NYC to my hometown of Akron, OH to support in the care of my mother. Along with joy of experiencing “home” as an adult I have gotten the chance to plant some goodness here with a dream come true: a radical bookstore of my own! @elizabethsofakron • Thanks for being part of my world! I use this platform to inform, engage, & amplify. I think there is magic in social medias ability to bring like minded humans together to share our stories & know we are not alone in our fight for goodness. • My work often offers more critical language and a more critical lens to exploring how we exist together in the world. I hope my words can serve as a template for how you engage these issues in your own life’s work. • This space is dedicated to my ancestors, the bold & brilliant black women who have fought hard & long & passionately from the slave fields to the courthouses. I am a continuation of their work, I hope to be their wildest dream come to life. I want the legacy of my work to not just be that of my “family” or “name” but for it simply to be another step toward the whole & joy filled freedom of black women. • The work continues #revolutionnow
And yet those of us who do not live continued daily discrimination have, unquestionably, allowed ourselves to become complacent. Open or extreme racism may be widely condemned in our communities, but we have collectively permitted ourselves to turn blind eyes to the barriers still firmly in place against true equality. Now, in the aftermath of the tragic murder of Floyd George in Minneapolis, it feels like the world is slowly, at last, waking up. There is much work to be done.
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Today my resistance was rest. • I get asked often by people in the Black community “what should I be doing right now? How can I show up?” • My answer: however you feel called yet don’t ever feel obligated to be the answer to a problem you didn’t create. Truly, Black people staying alive and well IS the resistance because thats what they’ve tried to rob us of generation after generation. So just being alive and being well — that is your work. Anything above and beyond that is your call, sis. • Today I chose rest. ????
That is, in part, thanks to social media, and those on it who use their voices to educate their followers on the ongoing reality of being a black person in the west. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle is an academic who, as her bio reads, is ‘building an intellectual legacy through teaching, storytelling and critical discourse’. Read her piece in Harpers Bazaar on why you need to stop countering the #blacklivesmatters cause by saying all lives matter (seriously, if you do say that, please stop). Listen to her Revolution Now public address. Join her for her The Great Unlearn self-priced course, in which she invites experts ‘to guide us through unlearning our whitewashed colonised understanding of the world. With downloads, live events and resources each month you really get a chance to dive into things you didn’t know you needed to unlearn — you will exist differently in the world as a result.’
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This article has been making its rounds the last several days and I hope it can offer you some critical language as you navigate conversations with each other. • Swipe for excerpts and head to the link in my bio for the full piece. • I’m going to be taking the next 48 hours off of social media to rest. To rest my mind. To rest my heart. To rest my eyes. It’s been a weary several days and I want to say thank you those who are showing up in the ways they have the ability to. We all play a role. Solidarity is the only way. • If you’d like to get in touch with me or my team please do so via my email firstname.lastname@example.org. • Please consider donating to your local grassroots racial justice organizations. They are in the frontlines. • If you would like to support my work you can head to the highlight titled “support” and find all my details there. • If you enjoy learning from me you can join me over at @thegreatunlearn and sign up for my monthly developed syllabi to UNlearn together and create a new world. • Thank you, all ???????? talk soon.
We need to do better, and education is key. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle is not there to spoon-feed or give out gold stars. She’s not there to sugar-coat. She’s showing up to do the serious hard work of unpicking a narrative way too long entrenched. For this, Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, you are a hero. Thank you.
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