Before I swallow my valerian capsule and sleepily watch more Handmaid’s Tale, I wanted to reflect and remind myself to be proud of the job interviews I’ve scheduled this summer so far. I have a new contract with my previous job that I start next week, so these interviews are either practice or bonus. So, me, stop being self-deprecating. Go ahead and be smug.
This week I snagged interviews with the museum/archives in Kamloops, as well as with the University of Massachusetts. The second position has to do with creating an archives for underrepresented communities within an academic institution. The “questions to think about” that were emailed to me make me feel like this is the next stop in my quest to combat racial injustices through my work. I am not a social justice warrior or activist, but I want to help bring overlooked stories to the surface. I recently read an thought piece about an archivist quitting the profession because archivists (the implication was this, anyway) were complicit in the erasure of the histories of marginalized communities. I disagree, though—mostly. I acknowledge the role of record keeping in these terrible histories (and that certain narratives are favoured over others), but there is room in the profession to stray from convention and do professional archival work that brings other voices forward. History is history, and there is no one definitive version of it. I find historical context interesting to think about and don’t consider it “racist” to make accessible records as they were. I’m not articulating my thoughts clearly. More reflection time is needed. It’s not a topic I feel comfortable discussing in the open with my peers because I’m afraid of the “racist” label destroying my baby career.