Ignoring Canaries in the Mine

I had the honor of being invited by Holly Kearl, author of Stop Street Harassment, to be a guest male ally blogger on her blog. This was the first piece that was published in March.

In days past, a canary in a coal mine was critical for safety. Miners would keep a caged canary in a mine and as long as they heard the canary singing they knew they were safe from the noxious gases that they were exposed to. If the canary stopped singing and/or dropped dead, miners also knew the mine was no longer safe to work in. Our neighborhoods are our mines and street harassment is a noxious gas that threatens our community safety and stability but goes unacknowledged. The time has come to notice the canary is no longer singing, our communities are getting less and less safe and if we don’t take notice, no one will.

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Filed under: Black Men, Black Women, Gender, Grassroots, Health, Masculinity, Public Policy, Youth

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