“I’m trying to build a world where a black girl can be more than a symbol. Where a black woman can be more than a depository for someone’s guilt or a source of someone’s learning. Where you can follow me on Instagram and be just as excited about this Ivy Park picture as you are about what I said about Ronald Reagan and the lessons he teaches us about white supremacy. I’m trying to create a world where thriving is possible for all of us, because we can all be and be fully. That is justice to me.”
– Brittany Packnett Cunningham, episode 209 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
As we find our footing in 2021, activist and educator Brittany Packnett Cunningham is focused on the work ahead. She joins us this week to unpack the aftermath of the Capitol riots (6:46), her entry point into activism (11:00), unlearning perfectionism (19:38), grappling with imperfect allies (27:24), the consequences of using your voice (30:45), the enduring legacy of Toni Morrison (41:23), taking action under a Biden-Harris administration (46:03), rejecting objectification online (51:18), and, finally, how she keeps going (53:10).
- Follow Brittany on Twitter.
- Read Brittany’s full Instagram post on the insurrection at the Capitol.
- Listen to UNDISTRACTED’s episode with Tricia Hersey.
- Listen to the Portland State panel Toni Morrison spoke on in 1975. (Portland State University; Morrison, Toni; St. John, Primus; Callahan, John; Callahan, Judy; and Baker, Lloyd,“Black Studies Center public dialogue. Pt. 2” (1975). Portland State University Library Special Collections & University Archives: Oregon Public Speakers Collection. 90.)
- Watch the scene between Olivia Pope and her father on Scandal (Season 3, Episode 1).
- Learn more about Brittany and her work on her personal website.
- For more, listen to our conversations with Rep. Ilhan Omar, Claudia Rankine, and Janaya Future Khan.
Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.