I’ve Learned So Much From Chenjerai Kumanyika

This is the second entry in the series Honoring Black History.

If you aren’t a podcast nerd like me, you may not be familiar with the name Chenjerai Kumanyika. My first introduction to his thoughtful and matter-of-fact approach to race relations, black history, and more came when I started listening to the Uncivil podcast.

I’m not a huge history buff, but the stories and perspective that Uncivil brings to America’s Civil War (and everything that grew out of it) is downright riveting. And the centerpiece of nearly every episode is Chenjerai’s methodical breakdown of why the particular episode’s slice of history is relevant to the issues we grapple with today.

Chenjerai’s sage wisdom pops up again in Scene on Radio’s “Seeing White”. In that series, which I also highly recommend—thanks for the recommendation Dave!—Chenjerai provides incredible insight into what whiteness is, how white privilege shapes society, and the amount of work that I, as a white person, need to do to counterbalance the effects of our society’s white supremacist institutions and behaviors.

Over the last two years, I’ve learned so much from Chenjerai and, though we’ve never met, I feel connected to him in that way you feel connected with someone who wants you to be your best self. I’m trying and will continue to do so… I know I’ve got a long way to go.

Thank you Chenjerai, for all that you have done and all that you continue to do. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the education.


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