Black Lives (and Stories) Matter: Part I
This is the first in a series of weekly posts regarding Black Lives Matter.
At Firelight, we are committed to telling stories by and about the marginalized – people that have been recast as irrelevant “subgroups” in history, demonized in the media, and criminalized in our courts. For over fifteen years, we have affirmed that Black Lives Matter. And it is from that unequivocal foundation that we support rich and diverse storytelling toward a more just and equitable human experience for us all.
Stories are powerful. Stories can paint entire communities as threats, and those stories, when repeated over and over, have real consequences. Stories that dehumanize people, be they Muslim, gay, undocumented or Black, contribute to a culture that makes it unsafe to simply walk the street or drive a car. Those who seek power by playing on fear use stories, narratives and culture as weapons.
But culture is also a balm. When we tell our own stories we affirm our humanity and interrupt narratives that dehumanize our communities. Our stories can powerfully draw lines that connect us, reminding us that we share similar struggles, and that we have much to learn from one another.
Now more than ever we need strong storytellers. And we need to lift up stories that show our authentic selves – sometimes heroic, sometimes victimized, but always complex. Always human. Because our stories, like our lives, matter.