Blank Canvas: 2019

I was a young adult when I first heard the proverb “begin with the end in sight”. With this wisdom at my fingertips, I could will myself past the discomfort of reaching for my goals.

Each winter, my family would head into snow-covered woods in search of a Christmas tree. My mom would forge the way, shortening her stride so that we could step into her footprints and keep dry a little longer. Even when the going was tough, our shared history kept me confident that by the end of the day, our tree would offer memory, light, and the smell of the forest we had labored through.

This experience played out many times – my goals in focus because someone else forged the path and confidence that I could get there too.

When I apply this to my journey to abolish white dominance, I’m left with discomfort. My end goal is not in focus. This hope I carry in my heart to abolish white dominance does not have the luxury of a known path.

“…at no point in America’s history did all white people come together to correct racial injustice. At no point did all white people decide chattel slavery should end. At no point did all white people decide we should listen to the freedom fighters, end segregation, and enact the right of Black Americans to vote. At no point have all white people gotten together and agreed to the equitable treatment of Black people….the march toward change has been grueling, but it is real. And all it ever has taken was the transformed – the people of color confronting past and present to imagine a new future, and the handful of white people willing to release indifference and join the struggle” – Austin Channing Brown

The blank canvas of 2019 reminds me of uncharted snow and calls me to forge a path which “confronts past and present to imagine a new future”. This will take intention, innovation, and the will to “release indifference and join the struggle” in even deeper ways – personal and communal. What will this canvas reveal at midnight on December 31, 2019? If like me, you struggle to bring that vision into focus, look down and take another step; no matter how hard or how cold…just keep going. I’m with you and midnight is coming.

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Rebecca Greenidge (she/her)

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