Normal? Normal service cannot be resumed.

Okay, how do you go back to posting pretty (I hope) pictures of crafting and humble bragging about the state of your stash(es) when the world is still crazy?

The answer is you don’t. I know it’s a cliché, but there must be a new normal.

These past few weeks in the aftermath of George Floyd, the brouhaha over statues and the continuation of COVID 19 lunacy that we are gripped in has left me unsettled. So I took the time to figure out what I will do next.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading, listening and talking. I’ve been learning about how the key activists are planning to combat this blight of systemic racism that taints not only the US but pretty much every nation. I’ve read about the protests and some of the proposed action. See my new girl crushes amongst those I’m learning from. Ijeoma Oluo’s book ‘So You Want to Talk About Race’ was the first I tackled and gives a great entry point if you are wondering where to start learning. I just discovered Layla Saad’s podcast where she talks about White Supremacy, it was a remarkably uplifting experience to hear her talking with great positivity about what we need to do.

Author of ‘So You Want to Talk About Race’
Creator of @thegreatunlearn
Author of ‘Me and White Supremacy’

For me one of the critical issues emerging is the significant impact on Black people’s mental health. On my mental health. I have been discovering the work of activists such as Rachel Cargle who are DOING THINGS which are helping Black people in the USA survive the mental and emotional impact of white supremacy.

I’m seeing this crisis through a UK lens so I was delighted to come across a project here which is doing similar work. Black Minds Matter UK have raised more than £500,000 in a month to provide mental health support for BAME people in need here in the UK. that translates to about 700 people. If you’re thinking of donating somewhere, this could be the cause.

I’ve also realised I have to look a little closer to home as while a lot of the visible work is being done in the US and we have our own nuanced package to be dismantled here in the UK. Information and resources have not been so easy to find so I am focusing on finding UK equivalents to learn about and share.

I have started talking to a few people close to me about what is happening and how they will act going forward. Also I have been reaching out to new people.

I retired from teaching last year and in some ways I’m glad but in others, I feel I have unfinished business, especially now. I spent most of my teaching career as the only Black teacher in a school with only a handful of Black kids. I was busy getting by. A year ago (already) I worked in a school in my city which, although still quite white, had more a far more diverse student population. I was introduced to the organisation BAMEed which is focused on representation within the teaching body and how increasing the diversity of educators could have a significant impact on the experiences of both BAME and white students and feed forward into society. I shared what I think about the importance of representation here what seems like a long time ago now.

BAMEed Network

So this is the new normal me. I will be posting about sewing, I have a queue of drafts simmering away, but I will be learning and sharing what I want the new normal to be in all I do.

Stick with me.

Thanks for stopping by

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

10 Responses

  1. I have started reading and learning and as a retired white teacher in a school where 40 % were Asian I have had to confront some uncomfortable issues in myself. I thought I was teaching from a stance of inclusivity and everyone was equal. It is through my reading that I realise I was so badly informed and I am determined to change the way I think. I have a lot of work to do and just wish I had begun this journey earlier but my whit privilege kept me dumb. It is no excuse and I want to change. Thankyou for your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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