In this week’s episode, David and Josh bring on Mel Watkins! Mel is a black woman educator who has been working in English language and social justice education in South Korea since 2013. She has volunteered for KOTESOL, the Seoul Migrant Arts Center and Teach North Korean Refugees, among other organizations, and she is currently involved as an organizer/writer for Black Lives Matter Korea.
You can find her recent work in the Hong Kong-published anthology Black in Asia ( also available on Amazon internationally), the 2014 Canadian anthology Trailblasian: Black Women in Asia, and on her blog about subtly, naturally decentering whiteness in literature, Equal Opportunity Reader.
Mel’s Recommended Books:
- “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
- “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” by Renni Eddo-Lodge
- “Minor Feelings” by Cathy Park Hong
- “The End of Policing” by Alex S. Vitale
Korean-speaking readers can also find her interview with Yonhap News about BLM Korea here.
- 2:07 Meet Mel Watkins!
- 6:30 Living as a Black Woman (/Minority) in Korea
- 22:33 Parallels between the South Korean and African American Experience
- 31:32 Differentiating between Ignorance and Racism
- 46:55 The State of Activism in Korea
- 54:55 The American Response to Racial Injustice
- 62:18 Deconstructing White Privilege and White Supremacy
- 87:25 The Future of the Black Lives Matter Movement
- 95:33 The Broader Black Experience
- 106:33 Is Equality on the Horizon?
- 110:51 Mel’s Closing Thoughts (and Call to Action!)