By Kali Nelson
It’s Black History Month and I couldn’t figure out what exactly to write about that could do this month justice. I knew that I should acknowledge this momentous event, but how eluded me. I spent a better portion of the month unsure, there were so many things I could write about. I could write about #BlackLivesMatter, or how racism affects pregnancy, or black feminists we’ve forgotten about. I had so many options to choose from, it overwhelmed me. So I started to read. I read Roxanne Gay’s book, “Bad Feminist.” I watched a documentary on Audre Lorde and I read her poetry. I read Maya Angelou, I googled “black feminist.” I sat and thought about what I, a white, middle-class woman, could bring to the table on this topic.
I figured I couldn’t bring much, to be honest.
Then I read a poem Maya Angelou wrote called On Working White Liberals, and it hit me. I’d write about this, this is what white people need to read. Angelou is telling White people what we can do to help them with this battle. To me, it said that she doesn’t want us to fight it for them but to follow the Black man. This poem was published in Maya Angelou’s Poems in 1981.