Strange Fruit

We’ve all heard the childhood rhyme about sticks and stones breaking bones, but in reality the seemingly-innocuous words and phrases we use to describe one another can hurt.

Words can affect our sense of self-worth or subconsciously reflect the value we find (or don’t find) in others. This week writer and world traveler Renée Cherez Wedderburn points out how hearing phrases like, “you’re so pretty for a dark-skin girl,” from other Black women causes unintentional harm. It’s the topic of her essay “How the Language We Use Perpetuates Oppressive Systems.”

Later in the show, writer Jonita Davis revisits the podcast to discuss the challenges she faced as a Black woman and adjunct professor teaching white college students at a conservative Midwestern university.

Listen to the show: