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Bay Area Voices on Racial Injustice: "Breathing and black"

We continue with our series of essays by Bay Area residents reflecting on race in America. 

Following the police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the East Bay Express invited readers to submit essays on racial injustice. 

KALW reporters Justine Lee and Lucy Kang met with two mothers — Sheryl Lane in Richmond and Vicki Macchiavello in Oakland — who wrote about struggling to talk with their young sons about race and racism. Both have sons under the age of six, the age at which research shows children begin to become aware of racism.

SHERYL LANE: He's too young for me to say, 'Hey one day you're not going to be liked because people are going to think you're going to do something to them or that you're a threat or dangerous.'

Credit Photo by Justine Lee.
Vicki Macchiavello and her son
VICKI MACCHIAVELLO: I can do so little as one person but I will stand in my discomfort and I will say without exception that Black Lives Matter. I will say it, live it and teach it to my own sons until it is true.

Click on the audio player above to hear Lane and Macchiavello's stories. 

This series is a partnership between KALW and the East Bay Express, where the essays reflecting on racial injustice in America originally appeared.