Starting with I: Combating Anti-Blackness in Libraries
When millions saw the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota by the police during the COVID-19 pandemic where Black, along with Indigenous and Latinx, people had higher death rates, this led to a major awakening from white Americans that Black lives and Black bodies are treated differently. In response, many libraries issued statements supporting Black people in general and supporting their Black library workers. These statements were commitments to make change and to impact the inequities in libraries. As time passed after these statements, reading lists, LibGuides, and reading groups were created, Black bodies are still being harmed; so, where do we go from here? Start and end with I: This editorial details this concept and provides concrete steps for making change. Library workers must know the field’s anti-Black racist history and address its ongoing presence. As individuals and in institutions, library workers and library leaders must take concrete steps for combating anti-Black racism in libraries. The Black Lives Matter movement benefits all of the oppressed because its tenets, when applied, address intersectionality and combat bias and discrimination for all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. It is time to center the voices that have been dismissed and ignored for far too long. Are you willing to do what it takes?