Hi, friends. It has been a while, hasn’t it? We’re like you nowadays: feeling the grief that’s spilling onto American streets. This moment is painfully vivid for us. In between roasting and farm work, we’re calling the black elders on Ralph’s side of our family. They grew up in the Jim Crow South and a segregated North, and they remember the brutality of the Civil Rights Movement. They’re frustrated that we must protest all over again.
We also have other talks that give us hope for change. Ones in which friends lean into Ralph’s personal stories. Like the sudden lockdown near the Specialty Coffee Association Expo in 2017. One minute, Ralph was on his way to make photocopies for the Hawaii Coffee Association. The next minute, he was on the edge of a police manhunt, thinking fast to avoid being mistaken for a suspect. Our non-black friends are taken aback. They’ve never had to take such precautions.
In our private conversations, we wonder: Will we settle for small changes, or follow through to real transformation? The answer to that question depends on how we act now. And part of that is learning how we got here.
To that end, we’re sharing a couple of links here that provide necessary history lessons. One is Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” the documentary that explores connections between race and our criminal justice system: https://www.youtube.com/watch…
The other is “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War.” It teaches us the conditions that led to the Civil Rights Movement. You’ll recognize a lot of parallels to the conditions of today: https://www.pbs.org/weta/reconstruction/
We’re heartened to see so many of you step up in this historic moment. Thank you for the letters and calls to your elected officials. For peacefully marching with masks and hand sanitizer. For the thoughtful conversations you’re having with friends and family. Keep leaning in. Keep learning. Keep going. #Onward