May 23, 2009

This morning on National Public Radio, I heard Professor Robert Hinton say “we created each other.” Hinton is professor of Africana Studies at NYU. He was referring to the relationship between slaves and slave owners, Whites and Blacks.

“We created each other.” What an insightful and powerful statement.

We create each other every day, always — and in all ways. As a white, heterosexual, well educated, affluent woman…how does my experiencing of life relate to the life experience of a Black lesbian or a well-educated, affluent, heterosexual male or… How does my life affect their lives and theirs mine?

How do the ways we all experience life differently relate one to the other…and create the dynamics and the opportunities and the tragedies? How do our differences in privilege – so often invisible – compromise or reward the lives of others?

How did slavery affect, define — and yes, create — the slaves and the owners? How does gender socialize and create man and woman and their relationships? How do Judaism and Islam create each other?

What do we owe this mutuality, this linkage? Acknowledgement at least? Awareness of our mutuality, the nature of being inextricably linked? Respect and responsibility, perhaps?

We create each other over and over, every day, always.

Filed under: Social Commentary

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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