Risë Kevalshar Collins graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University with a drama degree and has a history as an actor, including on Broadway. She did her graduate studies at the University of Houston, earned a master’s degree in social work, has been licensed and has worked in Texas, Oregon, Washington and Idaho, and has served in mental health, oncology, hospice, the prison system and in extended care. She is a student in the creative writing department of Boise State University where her focus is creative non-fiction and poetry.
With All the Love that I Am, and More
“I am Risë Kevalshar Collins, an American woman of African ancestry born in Texas, where my sister, my mother and, to my knowledge, my maternal grandmother were also born. During the last days of May and first days of June, in the midst of a pandemic and in the aftermath of George Floyd’s wrongful death, I feel as if my steps are shackled, my movements weighted. I’ve been stumbling. It’s hard to sleep. My head throbs. I’m afraid to check my blood pressure. I take frequent breaks while writing this. Everything hurts…”
Leaning Into the Fire of White Supremacy with Love, and More
“White supremacy did not end in the Confederate South, or with the hooded KKK. It propagates within modern terrorist groups; it lives in the collective unconsciousness of the benign and neglectful mainstream, in its widespread ways and means; in its actions, reactions and inactions; in its patterns and processes. White supremacy has been internalized, even in the well-meaning; it has been normalized by the unwitting. It has been inked into our laws, etched into our American DNA…”
“Repeatedly, white people say to me, “You and I have different perspectives. I haven’t had your experience.” Right. In an apartheid system, different groups of people do have a different experience and a different perspective. This is because of racism—the structural discrimination, institutional discrimination, systemic discrimination that has been built in, driven in, and that is held in place by power, policy, and practice. That is the issue. And, due to American white supremacy and the resulting apartheid, discrimination has, so far, bled into and through my black American life. Racism is so normalized in American culture that it is seemingly unnoticeable to many white people. Now is the time for systemic American apartheid to be brought to light of day, flushed out, cleared out, rooted out. It will take work…”