Our approach to anti-racist education is one beyond heroes and holidays (remember our reflections on Black History Month?). In Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance, bell hooks critiques this extractive approach to multiculturalism: “The commodiﬁcation of Otherness has been so successful because it is offered as a new delight, more intense, more satisfying than normal ways of doing and feeling. Within commodity culture, ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture.”
That said, we also know the power of building energy and awareness around an identity, community, or issue throughout an officially acknowledged month. It can also be a way to hold our communities accountable. How can we leverage these months for dialogue and action?
We offer questions and resources for further exploration and honoring of these months.
Arab American Heritage Month
Autism Awareness Month
National Poetry Month
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
This interview with Cheyenne Taylor Jacobs, a Black writer and filmmaker, about poetry as activism and about gender-based violence, reminds us of the connections and intersections between these acknowledgements and months. Follow her work here.