Just Mercy

5 Mar

Just a plug today. But a sincere one.

If you haven’t yet read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, please check it out. I wasn’t looking to make it a competition when I read it last year, but it was simply, without trying my most important read of the year. Hands down. It took me back to my years teaching To Kill a Mockingbird (which was a must-read for many middle school curricula at the time, and may still be, although why and how it’s taught are fraught with issues), it took me back to the beginning of my career to remember what motivated me then… and to reflect on what motivates me now: why I do what I do, how it matters (or not) and what potential I may still have. And it brought me to a reckoning with institutionally perpetuated and even sanctioned racial and economic injustice in the US: not just in abstract terms, but measurable in lives, particularly of poor people of color. Injustice that may seem distant and far-removed from my work in the elite world of independent schools but is, I believe, diffused in the same air we all breathe.

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