By Michelle Boisvenue-Fox, library director
I had the honor of growing up in a diverse community, attending school that included many cultures (over 70 languages), and having friends with many backgrounds. I continue to enjoy many friendships that expose me to a variety of cultures and backgrounds. I am fortunate.
Years ago, I began a journey to read more diverse authors. This has exposed me to different cultures, countries, and backgrounds of people who are different from me. I don’t have all the answers, but part of my purpose in life is to do better, and in order to do that I need to know and learn. Hurting each other must stop. I have always worried about hurting people without realizing it. “When you know better, you do better,” said author Maya Angelou.
I have learned a lot from my background experiences – many I took for granted because I didn’t see them as unique but as normal. But I am working to educate myself on concepts like privilege and racism. I continue to learn how to be an ally, someone who listens and accepts being uncomfortable.
Here are a few books that might be of interest to you:
And here are more titles on my reading list:
I have found these TED talks inspiring:
- Danger of a Single Story
- What Does My Headscarf Mean to You
- Color Blind or Color Brave?
- Danger of Silence
- How We’re Priming Some Kids for College — and Others for Prison
- Being Black by Jane Elliott (not a TED talk)
May our library always be a safe harbor, always be welcoming, and always be a space to learn and explore as we grow into better versions of ourselves. Black stories matter.