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It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

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Doyin Richards

Doyin Richards started off as "the dad guy talking about fatherhood" with his blog, Daddy Doin' Work. He spent several years sharing his fatherhood experiences, had a photo of him combing his 2-year-old's hair while wearing his baby in a baby carrier go viral in 2014, and published a book about dads empowering moms that same year.

"Then the world changed in 2016," Richards says. "It's not that the world changed—this stuff has always been bubbling under the surface—but then it just exploded."

Richards had always been an anti-racist activist, but when the Black Lives Matter movement pushed anti-racism into the mainstream, he started using his platform more and more to help move anti-racism education and activism along.

It hasn't been an easy road. Richards is open about his mental health struggles and the depression that took him to a "dark, dark place" a couple of years ago. When he found himself seriously contemplating suicide, he recognized he had a problem and got help. Now, he writes about all of it—fatherhood, mental health, racism, and even his new puppy—on his Facebook page.

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An analogy about expectations for my fellow white folks just diving into anti-racism education:

Imagine showing up to a class an hour late. How would you expect the professor to respond to your entrance?

Would you expect them to greet you at the door, tell you how happy they are that you arrived, walk you to your seat and make sure you were comfortable? Would you expect the teacher to ask you if you have everything you need or thank you for showing up? Would you expect them to take time away from the class to do that—would that even feel appropriate?

Or would you expect them to say, "Hi, take a seat." Or perhaps nothing at all—maybe just give you a glance while they get on with the class as you find a place to sit?


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This immigrant wanted Americans to talk openly about politics. So he made a space for it.

Busboys and Poets serves up delicious food with a side of activism.

When Busboys and Poets first opened in Washington, D.C., in 2005, restaurant-goers had no idea how much the establishment would shape the city.

All photos courtesy of Busboys and Poets unless noted otherwise.

Home to a bookstore filled with literature from writers of color alongside Middle Eastern and soul food, this restaurant-bookstore-spoken-word-activist-safe space-cafe hybrid is anything but ordinary. And for D.C. residents, it totally works.

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