I particularly liked this weeks viewings and readings about the Black Lives Matter Movement for a few reasons. First off, I feel that the issue is incredibly complex and often times difficult to parse out and pinpoint where the action is being called. “White Like Me”, Michelle Alexander’s piece and Inside Bedford Stuyvesant were such wonderful introductions. I felt (as an ally but without proper understanding) last year prior to taking the class The Visual Politics of the African Diaspora I had such a limited grasp on the system injustices being carried out daily in this country. Little by little I began on my dig to sort out this sordid history I was recently being told about. I went through a process of first rejection, then denial, then flat out anger. I couldn’t believe I had grown up in a country that for so many years decided to hide and subject millions of it’s population to a life in prison. I couldn’t wrap my head around the depths of the injustices, I felt I personally was being lied to my whole life and in turn went on to hate the country that allowed this to happen. My relationship to America this year has been…difficult to say the least. Especially after spending a year abroad and outside of these walls, seeing the intrinsic and sneaky ways the US gets around telling its citizens even a somewhat true history about how ‘we’ve’ risen to power is baffling. Day after day, I uncovered more and more and felt further away from my homeland than I ever knew possible. Sure we are on the land of the free and the brave, but who is free and who do we deem free? Not saying that Europe is better, they’re incredibly racist, but at least they’re honest. The thing I have struggled in coming to terms with the hypocrisy with which this country goes about educating and creating visual culture that completely excludes it’s true past. That is something that I am still working through, and I hope to use this class to find outlets with which to educate and empower those being systematically disenfranchised and those implicitly benefiting from the system.