An old friend from University just posted this on Facebook. It’s been over 35 years since Vicky Carr and I were at the Polytechnic of Central London. Vicky is white, I am black. She was studying media studies and I was studying Psychology. We came from very different backgrounds and yet our paths crossed and we have remained friends.
It makes me so happy to know that Vicky is reading my book. (see her comment below). Friends are there to support us and offer feedback. They are there to cheer us on and join us on a journey of learning and self-discovery.
Friends are also there to point out where there are gaps in our learning and to make sure we take steps to move forward on our journey. True friends do not look away or remain silent when we say or do things which do not serve us or those around us. Friends let us know if our actions or comments are biased, discriminatory or indeed racist. True friends also speak up when they see injustice.
The #SixStagesFramework reminds us that dealing with racism is everyone’s responsibility and it is important we stretch into the discomfort as part of our learning and our journey.
True friends have a responsibility to contribute to each other’s learning without upset or defensiveness.
How are your friends contributing to your learning and how are you contributing to theirs?
Vicky Carr wrote the following on Facebook :
“I am reading the chapter ‘Coming out of ‘caves of privilege’. I think this is a much needed book. I am reminded how you used to cheerfully encourage our early morning runs around Regents Park, when we were in student halls nearbye. Running was difficult at the beginning, I was often in agony with a stitch, but by the end of the journey we were fitter and happier. Your book has such clarity and wisdom and positive encouragement to move forward it will be easy to recommend it for others in fighting racism and promoting a more equitable world x”
My response to Vicky:
“Thank you so much Vicky Carr. I too have fond memories of our runs around Regents Park! You’re absolutely right, reading the book is like embarking on a journey and there will be discomfort along the way but so much to be gained at the end. Thank you for your positive comments and for reading the book.🙏🏾”