I’ve been blogging since 2009 and have learned so much managing two blogs. It has been a rewarding experience to share my thoughts, passions and love of books/technology. It has also helped articulate some of the inner rage I’ve felt over the last couple of years around education, the rights of black and brown children and school libraries/librarians. Over the years, the response to my blogs has been quite interesting. Sometimes my blogs were celebrated for touching on topics that were innovative or considered controversial. There were also times that my blog was ignored or dismissed by my colleagues in library information science or educators. Regardless of the response, this medium has and always has been mine and my sounding board to share some of my inner thoughts and feelings.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed my projects or written work has appeared on various social media platforms. It’s flattering that one would think so highly of what I have written to repost or comment about it. It’s disrespectful to remix my words and work hours spent working on projects, and use the material as original content on another person’s platform. Plainly stated, I’m tired of it; my words, work and ideas are mine alone and should not be used without permission. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve seen my work or attended a conference and saw my work on the conference hall projection screen and was not cited as the original source for the work. The main culprit of these such actions are librarians, and they of all people should know better and do better; sometimes that’s not the case. For my true White allies, (you know who you are) the following is not directed at you.
The Social Effects of COVID-19
Let’s shift for a moment….The COVID-19 pandemic forced all of us, in particular White America to stop and really analyze how African-Americans are and have historically been treated in this country. The deaths of brother Ahmaud and George and sister Breyonna forced us to look at our television sets and read news feeds, we couldn’t look away. We were and still in quarantine and their tragic deaths gave birth to something this country has not seen in its history, a laser focus on ‘Black Voice.’ For many White Americans, (including some of my dear friends) the police brutality and racial injustice that led to spirited protests over the summer was eye opening and shocking. This ‘awakening’ as I’m going to call it, now resulted in the development of ‘White allies,’ those who sincerely wanted to do the work to learn, understand and be respectful in working for change. I’m appreciative of these actions only if they are honest, sincere and work for good.
What bothers me are those, especially in the field of library information science and education who are still disrespectful and try to capitalize on ‘Black Voice.’ Using myself as an example, here’s some of the top 7 events that actually happened to me since March of 2020:
Believe me, there’s so many more stories that I could share that would make your eyebrows stand up. I’ve made the professional and conscious choice to be observant, rise above it and respond to inquiries with a firm ‘No.’ When working with others, honesty and integrity is what I seek out when engaged in a project. If it’s not present, I just can’t work with those individuals.
Let’s shift back, why January 4, 2021? This is a significant date on two levels, one it’s my late father’s 81 birthday and I often get a little emotional on this day because he has missed so much other the last 21 years of the successes of his children and births of grandchildren. My late father, a career educator, was also the person who convinced me to leave corporate America and work as a school librarian. I wish he could see in the physical sense the work I’ve done over the last 23 years. I wish I could hear the pride in his voice. What I can do now is uphold what he has taught me not just in education, but in life. I learned that you must continue to do better and always strive for excellence.
So today, is my relaunch of my new blog, “Boss_Librarian” through my website, KCBOYD.COM. I own this, I don’t answer to anyone and I control it. Through the Boss_Librarian blog, I will be able to do some really interesting projects that will include television production, advocacy, commentary, digital media and much more. Most importantly because #KC_SaidIt, I’m protecting my words, ideas and projects more closely, so word to the wise: Remixing or deliberate reproduction of my work without express written consent will result in legal action moving forward. This blog will also be different from my two previous ones because subjects I didn’t discuss previously on my blogs will be discussed here. My written work will probably cause some to unfriend me or stop reading my blog all together and I’m fine with that. I’m speaking truth to my rich-lived experience and if you can’t handle it, kcboyd.com or the Boss_Librarian social media platforms will not be a good fit for you. I refuse to conform to anyone or organization, I must operate as I only know how, by what is important to me and my interests.
Looking forward to engaging with you during the upcoming year.
K.C. - @Boss_Librarian