My experiences thus far...
Updated: Apr 21, 2021
My name is Max Fulk, I have been an intern at Undone Consulting for the last month, and honestly, I couldn't have started at a better time. Black History Month has always been something that I recognized, but never in this manner. Making and posting the “On This Date” blogs has been eye opening because it has allowed me to truly educate myself about impactful people of color over the years. Over the course of the month, I became involved in things I never thought I would become involved with, not because I didn’t want to, but because I was always worried that as a white man, it wasn’t my place to have these types of critical conversations. Being a part of Undone Consulting and partnering with NNSTOY, I “came out of my shell” and started listening more, and understanding the true inequities that we have in this world. I have seen and listened to first hand experiences that I was appalled by, and moved more than I could’ve ever imagined.
It all started with the “On This Day” posts we posted every day throughout the month, just learning and researching about the different influential people of color was an amazing experience. These posts were dedicated to impactful Black people that’s events happened to land on the days of the month. We went through and found all sorts of events that happened everyday throughout the month of February and picked the ones that stood out the most to us, not forgetting the others that we didn’t choose to post about. I learned more throughout the course of this month about Black history, than school taught me in all my years. It always amazed me that in school districts, we were taught that racism ends when segregation ends, and we don't get taught anymore than that. The amount of Black people that changed America is far more than we ever discuss, and the fact that we don’t get taught this history has resonated with me ever since. It truly resonated with me when I realized how many things that impact me today were because of influential Black people throughout the years. Without these posts, I don’t think I would have every understood what the origin of these events were.
Listening to Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey was an experience I have never been a part of before, and I was honestly anxious to attend because I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a very inclusive environment of people who all wanted the same thing: EQUITY. Caleb sharing his pieces with such emotion and passion is something that hit me hard because I could see the passion and pain in face, and hear it in his voice, which ultimately became a consistent occurrence throughout these events. You never truly understand impactful these events people have experienced until you truly sit back and listen. After Caleb shared he allowed us to sit down and write and share them with a group, and being able to have that group to share opinions with was an amazing experience and I would recommend everyone try that.
Lastly, watching the film “Black Boys” featuring Sharif El-Mekki, and our conversation with him afterward had me speechless. First off, the movie was one of the best I have seen in a long time; I couldn't stop talking about it to my friends. The power in the people the director chose to speak, and the emotion and passion created through the cinematography made the film all the more powerful. The one part of the movie that really stuck out and hit me hard was when the man was talking about how White women are scared of Black men, and that makes it hard for Black men to go to schools that are predominantly run by White women. The pain, and the emotion in his voice when speaking about it was heartbreaking. Watching someone be so scared and mentally traumatized to attend school is something that we need to focus on as a community.
This month has been so powerful to me because I have had the opportunity to really listen to many different powerful people in the Black community that I am motivated even more to work towards the fight against inequity.
“It’s not enough to be not racist, you need to be anti-racist.”