Caught by the River

Allies in the Landscape

3rd June 2020

Author and Willowherb Review Founding Editor Jessica J. Lee has announced that she is starting a reading group, which will run for June, July and August, in order to combat anti-Black racism in nature and the outdoors. Each month, a book and an article will be selected for reading, with discussions taking place on Twitter mid-month and at month-end under the hashtag #AlliesInTheLandscape. The texts for this month are TRACE by Lauret Savoy — available in paperback, hardback, audio and eBook — and this extract by Reni Eddo-Lodge.

Writing on Twitter, Jessica added: ‘PLEASE NOTE: This is not a space in which Black people will be asked to educate non-Black people about anti-racism. This task falls squarely on those of us who’ve benefited from anti-Black racism and allowed it to continue in our communities and structures. It’s a space for people who wish to learn more about how Blackness shapes experiences many take for granted: birdwatching, hiking, national parks. We’ll do so through reading & discussion. I ask everyone who partakes to please think seriously about their privileges as we go forward.

On eves of Saturday the 13th & 27th June at 8 pm (CET), I’ll post questions to spur discussion under #AlliesInTheLandscape. Discuss on Twitter, but better yet involve your family and friends. Have the tough talks in person, and don’t put that labour on the Black PoCs in your life.’

Jessica also recommended Mireille Cassandra Harper’s 10-Steps to Non-Optical Allyship — which explains how to make meaningful changes and provide support in the fight for racial equality — as a good resource to read and bear in mind when taking part in the group.

See you in the reading room.