In an open letter to my young twins, I reflect on an open letter from the past and consider the context of this one: the historic moment of living through a pandemic anticipating a presidential election in 2020. In this reflection, I document the circumstances of our family’s life and turn toward what we are learning. My children have taught me to recognize my need for and commitment to Black feminist conceptions of love. I share a story and imagine letting go of conditional, enwhitened love that fears discomfort. Black feminist conceptions of love cannot coexist with fear and must promote freedom instead. I end with a manifesto and commitment to this way of loving.

Author Biography

Katie Harlan Eller

Katie Harlan Eller is an Instructor in the Teaching of English program at Teachers College, Columbia University and in the Department of Teaching and Learning at NYU Steinhardt. She is a PhD candidate at Teachers College. Katie holds degrees from Baylor University and Duke University. Her teaching and research goals are informed by 18 years spent in various classroom, professional development, and educational leadership roles. Her research and interests include critical literacies, culturally sustaining pedagogies, racial literacy and equity, and critical race and critical whiteness frameworks in literacy teacher education.



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