Thank goodness for internet friends, you guys.
Channing Brown is a leading new voice
on the intersection of racial justice, faith, and black womanhood.
I recently read her book
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for
and let me tell you, it is covered with notes, highlighter,
underlining, and all the things. It also made it to the top of
Amazon's Top 20 Best Sellers list! Austin
invites others into a dialogue through her
writing, her speaking, and her workshops.
Beyonce and Faith
• The first time I stalked Austinon Instagram
and saw that she hosted a workshop on Beyonce and faith, I
we would be best friends. (Anyone else bummed they
missed out on this?)
•She hosted this workshop at a music and faith
conference after realizing how much Lemonade was packed with
• The visual album also shared the story of black
womanhood in a major way.
•"She didn't just kind of feature black
women. She went all the way there."
I'm Still Here
•When her book first came out, it
went out to Amazon reviewers and the reviews were not pretty.
• After her husband told
her "Austin, would you change
one word? Is there anything you would change to have this reviewer
like the book?"she realized the answer was no.
•The book allows white readers to confront some of
their own behavior and allows black readers to maybe identify with
parts of Austin's story.
•People play a numbers game with people of color,
using them as "sprinkles" instead of bringing them in to the
•This creates a guise of diversity when it remains
wholly lacking in diversity where it counts.
•"We are whole human
• The key to stopping the "token" behavior is
bringing in black people who can change the culture that is catered
to white people.
•Austinremembers the chapel
services at her university lacked the music and influence of other
cultures. Instead of introducing a single black hymn, they brought
in a pastor who could bring power and influence to the
"There are places. There are moments.
There are institutions. There are people for whom I'm hopeful. But
if I broaden it out to the entire country, I have zero evidence
that by the time my son is grown he won't have to deal with
•Even in the absence of hope for the
country's eradication of racism, she puts in the work to bring
•She looks at photos of ancestors, some of
whom were enslaved and feels a duty to them.
•"I have work to do whether I feel
great or not. That is my privilege. My privilege is being
On Being a Spokeswoman
•There is an immense pressure put on black people
to be the spokesperson for the entire community.
•Her book focuses on her personal story as a black
woman, but it invites others in the black community to share their
•"It gives people a starting place as
opposed to 'this is how it is'."
•She is grateful for the way he expected the white
students who filled the class to unpack the poem, and it's themes
the way she had been expected to do the same for white
•She remembers being engaged in the work and
feeling understood by the work, but her teacher never put on her
the responsibility of sharing her thoughts with the class.
•"He didn't make me the temporary
substitute teacher on race."
•"We don't suddenly become all about
our race because you decided to introduce diversity into the
I'm Still Here
•We, as a nation, place so much importance on our
history, but fail to give everybody'sstory the same
"All of our stories are tied together
at one point or another. When we go back to the beginning, it helps
us understand how we got here."
•We talk about the fear white people have being
called racist. Years ago, they saw that as perfectly normal.
"When we embrace that we are still
learning. That's the journey. We point out areas where we can go.
We commit to it and we laugh that we haven't realized it