Black History Month

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As Black History Month winds to a close, I thought I’d share my praxis for this year. I am, I’ll admit, cribbing from my church’s newsletter and blog a bit here.

It’s no secret that I am the white pastor of a white church in a pretty white town in a pretty white state (DeWitt, Clinton county, and Iowa are about 97%, 92%, and 86% white, respectively). It is easy for me to go through my day without ever entering a predominantly Black space or having a face-to-face conversation with a Black person. And what’s true in my daily life has also been true in my media consumption: a lot of the books I read, podcasts I listen to, people I follow on social media, and tv shows and movies I watch are predominantly white.

So, this year, I decided to do a little project for Black History Month. Instead of listening to more stories about, say, Henrietta Lacks, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Martin Luther King Jr., I decided to work on my media habits. I invested some time and energy in predominantly Black media. Admittedly, I was better at it at certain points in the month than I was at other points.

So, here’s where I ended up:

Twitter: I started following quite a few more Black people (or, at least, people who I know are Black). This includes @staceyabrams, @tressiemcphd, @JIJennings@ReignOfApril@BigGhostLtd@Nettaaaaaaaa@questlove@BlackGirlNerds@JamilahLemieux@Combat_Jack@brokeymcpoverty@bomani_jones@JamilSmith@eveewing@FeministaJones@ProfessorCrunk@Moore_Darnell@writer9706@RevDrBarber@JoyAnnReid@deray@wkamaubell@PureKwest@revdrseed@thephiwa@pastortraci@DaBuhuro1@om3, @CoryBooker, and @BarackObama. A few of those were already on my feed, but many were added this month. And that’s a little more than 14% of the people I follow.

Podcasts:I listen to a lot of podcasts, so I looked at what I was listening to. Again, there were already some Black people on the list, but not enough. So, here are the Black (or predominantly Black) podcasts that I’m listening to. I should point out that there are very few podcasts that I listen to every episode of, so it’s not like I’m listening to the whole back catalog. But I am listening to these and they’re in my feed for the future: RevealIn Black AmericaThe NodPod Save the People.

General News: I did not do great here. I added theGrio and The Root to my regular reading, but that’s about it.

Finally, there were a few articles and podcast episodes that I really appreciated:

So, overall, not great, but a vast improvement over the terribly homogenous media environment I was in before.

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