I hesitated to write this post.
I’m a white woman, and I don’t want to center myself in the antiracism space. At the same time, I value transparency and accountability. Consider this post my receipts.
Let me back up.
When police officers killed George Floyd in my neighborhood, like a lot of people, I did not know what to do. At first, I mostly talked. I explained what was happening to my children, and I processed everything with friends. Even though I’m a writer, I did not once think about writing about this topic. Anyway, what would I say? Who was I to say it?
Then I talked to my friend Kate. I told her about the conversations I’d been having with my children, about how I was trying to make sense of things for them. When I told her what I said, Kate told me I needed to write about it. By this point, I had also been hearing from Black people that white people needed to do the work of educating other white people about antiracism. So when Kate said, “I really believe your words could help people,” I listened.
Boy was she right.
Within about a week, I had written three essays about racial justice, the uprising, and police abolition. As I sometimes do with my essays, I put them up on Medium.
You have to understand that, usually, I get a few hundred views on what I publish on Medium.
This time? These essays ended up with over 22k views.
You may not know this, but Medium pays for views. Not much, but when you have 22k of them, it adds up. I knew I needed to pass that money along to organizations that support Black Lives Matter, so I committed to donating the earnings to Black Visions Collective.
Then, the requests for syndication started coming. When Motherly emailed me asking, “Could we syndicate your essay,” I had to look up what syndication meant. In journalism, it means to publish a piece again. “Sure,” I said, “If you think it will help people.”
Then I got an email from Scary Mommy. They wanted to syndicate the essay, too. But this time, they were paying. I shared my plan to donate the money and accepted their offer.
Minutes later, Scary Mommy emailed me back and asked if they could syndicate my follow-up essay as well, for an additional fee. I accepted again.
Then, a few days later, Scary Mommy asked to syndicate the third essay (though could not offer payment this time). It was wild.
While I waited the weeks for the money to come through from Medium and Scary Mommy, Black Visions Collective received an abundance of donations. So much so that they asked folks to move money intended for them elsewhere. They even created a list of organizations to donate to instead.
So, after confirming Black Visions Collective’s consent via email, I rounded up the $488 of earnings from the essays and made a donation for $500 to one of Black Visions Collective’s partner organizations, the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association’s Renter Support Fund. I am honored that these antiracism essays could actually make money to support a social justice-oriented cause.
At the beginning, I said that this post is a way to be accountable and transparent. And I hope it is. But it’s also a way of saying, thank you. Thank you to everyone who read these essays. Thank you to everyone who shared them. Your time has helped people in real ways.