The stories I want to tell are inevitably intermingled with other lives, lives I don’t truly understand. Honestly, I know nothing I need to know to tell the story well.
The more I know the more I know I know nothing.
I’ve been reading. I’ve been listening. But the more I know, the more I realize I know nothing. Nothing about black lives. Nothing about brown lives. And honestly, not enough about white lives economically, religiously, and politically removed from my experience. The little bit I almost had right is just enough off center to be misleading at best, but mostly, just wrong.
I want to be an advocate and an ally. I want to tell a story. But how to do it well? How do I do it in a way that honors my experience and their truth?
I felt dismay then just as quickly hope when I listened to Justina Ireland weigh in on the controversy surrounding the young adult novel American Heart.
Dismay because at first her words seemed to convey that I could never tell a story that included color. But then that nugget of hope:
“If your good intentions fall short of the reality the first time and that just kind of puts you off the sauce, then why were you here in the first place? I mean, if I’m trying to run a marathon, I’m not going to stop because I had one bad run day. It’s a lifetime.”
I’m here in the first place because I want to stand up and use my privilege and voice to connect and encourage empathy. I’m here for the lifetime, for the marathon. I’ll listen harder, lean in deeper. I’ll see myself. I’ll see you. I want to tell our story well.
©Copyright Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved, 2017.