"Inspirational Reads"

Great Reads to Inspire Affirmative Action - Planning

For me, the silver-lining of COVID is embracing my alone time and using it as a learning opportunity. I discovered the beauty of checking out audiobooks from the Hennepin County Library and I incorporated them into my daily hikes. I ended up reading (mostly listening to, actually) 66 books in 2020.

Scott Gilbertson
"Inspirational Reads"
"Say his name!...George Floyd!"
George Floyd Memorial -Minneapolis, MN

Being a history buff as well as a fan of different cultures, I needed to take a deeper dive to learn more following the murder of George Floyd, the protests and the discourse that followed. Here are the Affirmative Action-related titles that I read (not a ranking, only the sequence in which I read).

I know that I have only scratched the surface. If you have any recommendations or would care to discuss any of the above titles, please let me know. There were so many heart wrenching, jaw dropping, tear-stained stories. So much injustice.

Our country is founded on “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and that "all men are created equal" and yet African Americans, Native Americans, women, the disabled, and other historically disadvantaged groups have been treated as second-class citizens. Many have fought for liberty overseas only to return to fight racial segregation and lynching at home. Many were prohibited from access to good jobs, fair wages, loans to start a new business or own a home. The wealth that gets passed down from generation-to-generation is often due to home equity. Something many blacks weren’t able to benefit from in the post-WWII boom years due to restrictive and discriminatory state laws at the time. Plus, let us not forget that blacks worked under slavery for hundreds (the first colonists brought slaves in 1619) of years at no pay. The civil rights movement was pivotal in pushing for landmark legislation, but black people continue to face an uphill battle in virtually all aspects of life. There continue to be huge disparities in jobs, housing, income, health, wealth and incarceration rates. Affirmative Action is a step in the right direction but we need to go above and beyond “just checking a box.”

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