It was an interesting time to be in Tulsa. A month ago, the city council voted to remove the “Black Lives Matter” mural in the Greenwood Neighborhood. A week ago, additional remains were found of black bodies killed during the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. And a day ago, the President began the process of trying to discount and deny voters’ voices. As we made the drive, we passed through a number of reservations or names that referenced the tribes local to the area or those forced to live here. Needless to say, it was alot to unpack. And these days, it’s one thing to process within my own brain, but it’s another thing to unpack with the kiddos.
I remember taking Townes out for a date during Black History Month. My goal was to share a milkshake, play some chess, and talk about privilege; or at least convey there was more to history and more to present day than he might understand from school. I remember trying to refine my talking points, answer questions I thought he’d raise, do some research myself, educate myself. Flash forward and I remember watching a reading of Something Happened In Our Town to the kids on youtube to spark a conversation about police brutality. We used our quarantine time to make Black Lives Matter posters.
When I think back about these moments, they felt so minor, so piddly in comparison to bigger social injustice happening in the world. We weren’t marching, we weren’t writing our politicians, we weren’t volunteering to drive people to the polls. But, because of these seemingly minor activities and conversations, we now regularly and more organically talk about these things. Townes has a perspective. He knows how to form an opinion. He would vote if he could. He thinks a woman should be President and doesn’t understand why there hasn’t been one yet.
There is a discomfort that comes with recognizing the pervasive privilege we’ve benefitted from for so long. We can either lean harder into that privilege and choose not to cause a stir; to standby; to feign ignorance. Or we can lean into the discomfort to change and heal the oppression we are a part of. There are only two options. So today we chose discomfort (which time and time again turns out, kids can handle 1,000 times better than adults). Later, Townes said “thank you for today’s social studies lesson.”
- We explored: the Greenwood neighborhood, the Gilcrease Museum (specifically, the Native American art exhibit), the Gathering Place (five stars)
- We enjoyed: Andolini’s Sliced and Coop IPA
- Next time: the Woody Guthrie Museum