It started with the Baltimore riots in 2015. We lived in Chicago at the time. I was putting my kids to bed, feeling incredibly sad, trying to explain to them what was happening even though I myself didn't fully understand what was happening. My usual response of: "rioting is never the answer," didn't seem sufficient. I could sense that there was more to this than what I was able to see. This was the beginning of an awakening for me.
Beyonce's Formation and tribute to the Black Panthers at the Super Bowl, culminating in her powerful, significant film, Lemonade, followed. Hamilton then entered my consciousness, and in digging into the Revolutionary War and who the Founding Fathers were a bit more I realized what I already knew but never fully grasped: the Founders were fighting for freedom when they still condoned the practice of slavery. The irony of that hit swift and strong. I was listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Longform Podcast, and then read his essay My President is Black in The Atlantic, followed by his book Between the World and Me. A Tribe Called Quest released We the People. I started watching the OJ Simpson documentary by Ezra Edelman, which not only presents to us who OJ Simpson is and was, but includes the city of LA and the racial landscape at the time as a major character in the story. I was wondering about abortion and incarceration rates in the black community.