June 27, 2022
As part of the NEFA funded theatre project Gail Burton and I are working on about Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, we are reading this book, Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson.
This book is for anyone looking to understand the racial and hierarchical origins of the United States, but moreover how our system has been intentionally influenced by the Indian Caste System and how our system of Caste, originally based in slavery, was inspiration for what became the Third Reich.
I highly recommend this book. I started by reading it and then quickly realized that it would be better for me to digest it by listening to it. I’ve been absorbing it slowly, letting it sink into my body, taking breaks when I can feel myself getting upset or dysregulated. I want to understand what happened in this country not just with my mind, but with my body and my heart.
Our systems of hierarchy are not separate. This work is both rigorous academic research and contemporary storytelling. It is both shocking and not-so-surprising.
Run, don’t walk, to get yourself a copy to read or listen.
These hierarchies are deep, and old. And they are also invented.
For us to make the change in the world we want to see, we must imagine it. And in order to imagine a better future, we must understand just how much the system we are in was imagined by those who wanted to hoard power.