Black History Month began Monday.
This year’s celebration comes at a fraught time. Economic, educational and justice inequality can no longer be ignored. They affect nearly every aspect of American life today.
Last summer, hundreds of Westporters marched downtown, declaring “Black Lives Matter.”
This month, our overwhelmingly white town is challenged to examine just what those words — easy to say, far more difficult to put into action — really mean.
Last month, Layla Saad delivered the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day keynote address. She discussed her impactful book, “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor.”
The powerful work helps readers understand how white privilege influences their lives. It is the first selection in this year’s community-wide WestportREADS program.
The book includes Saad’s “28-day challenge.” The idea is to write daily journal entries based on prompts — for example, “What negative experiences has white privilege protected you from throughout your life?”
Though journal entries are private, TEAM Westport and the Westport Country Playhouse will facilitate discussions based on them in March.
They’re also developing weekly videos based on the 28-day challenge, to be released each Monday. If you have a question to be addressed in the video, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to register for the 28-day Challenge. You’ll get a list of weekly “challenge questions” for journaling; a link to the weekly videos, and notification of post-challenge discussions.
It’s not too late to start journaling now. Meanwhile, click below for a panel discussion on how to prepare for the Challenge’s self-reflection process:
And click here for the Week 1 kickoff video: