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Break. Curl. Slough.

I loved spending time as a child on my grandparent’s farm. One of my favorite trees had a thin, papery bark that would break, curl and slough off as the trunk expanded.

I remember feeling a sense of sadness for this tree that never seemed to be able to just get a break from this process. I wondered if it longed for a tougher exterior like other trees.

Break. Curl. Slough.

It’s become a familiar process for me.

What parts of me are still steeped in white dominance? How did I uphold white dominance in that interaction? Who am I hurting today by the way I’m behaving, thinking, believing and feeling?

Break.

How am I still doing the very things I’m fighting against? What is wrong with me? Who am I kidding? Am I really changing? Is it possible, this side of death, to stop the harm of white dominance?

Curl.

Breathe. Take inventory of the change. Identify the next area that needs growth. More self-reflection. Less knowing. More flexibility. Less intellect. More feeling.

Slough.

To abolish white dominance in myself requires a counter-intuitive thinning. A commitment to break, curl, slough – rather than developing a thick, protective layer devoid of emotion and humanity.

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Rebecca Greenidge

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