I want to say thank you Chelsea Misquith for leading other librarians to write a letter of support for 5 Black Librarians. I appreciate your time and energy. If you haven’t seen the letter, here it is, An Open Call for JMLA and Medical Librarianship to Support Black Colleagues
When I saw the letter circulating through so many listservs I was surprised and I knew that my decision was a good decision. JMLA needs this pressure so that no one will ever go through this again. JMLA did issue a letter of apology. We shall see if they are ready to take the necessary steps to make JMLA truly inclusive and supportive for all writers. Jasmine Clark wrote an amazing piece, On JMLA, Conflict, and Failed Diversity Efforts in LIS.
As the letter of support was circulating I felt many emotions. Two of the emotions that I felt was disbelief and fear. I am going, to be honest, I know that the many stances that I take in support of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility will be inconvenient to many people that want to go along to get along so I might be labeled many things but I must stay focused. I want those that we want to come into this profession to thrive. Time is up for us merely surviving in this profession and having glimpses of hopeful times.
This entry is a “calling in” blog post. Thank you for signing the letter of support. So let’s get to it, if you signed this letter and truly are in support of All Black Lives that support should include all of the Black library workers that are your colleagues. It is easy to support us to show how not racist you are but it takes work to support, uplift, promote, encourage, care, listen to, and love Black library workers that you encounter every day. If you signed that letter of support please take this time to reflect on how you are or how you are not supporting the Black lives that you interact with daily. We all can do better in fighting against anti-Black racism.
Performativity has not worked. It is fake and it is harmful. It has killed our stories, our dreams, our bodies, and so much more.
Please take the time to read our pre-print of the editorial that we withdrew from JMLA. We give some tangible ways that you can combat anti-Black racism in libraries. Here is the link to the editorial: Starting with I: Combating Anti-Blackness in Libraries
Remember that supporting Black Lives includes those that are already in your life. 2021 we have to continue making progress. Because after all the reading groups, going to the protests, the random text to your Black friends a lot of people want more of anti-Black racism to be alive and well in this country. So for those of you that truly want change, I hope that you are ready for the work because I surely am ready!
Happy New Year! Thanks for reading my blog posts. Let me know your thoughts below.