130: Celebrate as a form of protest; anti-racism with Lori L. Tharps

130: Celebrate as a form of protest; anti-racism with Lori L. Tharps

Anti-racism work is not about saving the unfortunate; anti-racism work is about saving all of us, improving the lives of all of us.

~Lori L. Tharps

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One of the themes to emerge from the not your typical self-care series is connection. Specifically, the idea that pursuing practices that require greater inward focus or offer less obvious immediate gratification creates a ripple effect. 

Anti-racism is self-care on a global scale.

If you’re thinking, “Um, Andrea, that’s a bold claim and an unconventional discipline to add to my routine,” let me counter with this: it’s all about mindset. Lori L. Tharps – yes, of Kinky Gazpacho fame – believes that each individual action chips away at a towering problem until our collective efforts topple the entire system.

There’s one critical catch.

“If people look at anti-racism work, particularly white people, if they look at it as ‘well, you know, this is charity work for Black people and Brown people and I should just do it because it’s the right thing and they need my help,’ that’s not the right mindset to go into,” cautions the blogger and host of My American Meltingpot.

Continued below…

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Article Continued

I want to use celebration as a form of protest.

~Lori L. Tharps

On her podcast, Lori approaches the practice of anti-racism with clear-eyed directness, especially in her “Don’t Be Racist” series, recorded in the last half of 2020. In it, she offered some different ways of thinking about how we view the subject through a broader lens, how we incorporate these efforts into our lives, what that may look like – and allowing space for what that may not look like. Lori’s creative non-fiction style transitions seamlessly from her writing to her show which makes the prospect of dismantling this whole fabricated story of race totally doable. 

Lori’s own self-care routine is shifting. In the wake of last year’s racial reckoning, she’s tired of talking about race. “I finished 2020 and I was like, I’m done.” Instead, she’s focusing her activism on celebration as a form of protest, beginning with a move to Spain (where her husband is from), a brand NEW podcast launching this summer called Meltingpot Stories, and highlighting solutions instead of the problems.

Chip, chip, chip! 

Connect with Lori


My American Meltingpot



Mentioned in this episode

Get Lori’s books from Bookshop.org!

Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain

Same Family, Different Colors: Confronting Colorism in America’s Diverse Families

Substitute Me

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America

Podcast Episodes

My American Meltingpot e48: Don’t Be Racist

My American Meltingpot e50: Don’t Be Racist – Take Action

My American Meltingpot e51: Don’t Be Racist – Decolonize Your Mind

Special Music during our stretch break: Glass bass by Frankum & Frankumjay on Freesound.org. Licensed under the Creative Commons.

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