It’s been almost a week since George Floyd’s brutal death at the hands of law enforcement sparked mass rioting, looting, protests, and a permanent call for change.
While our social media timelines have begun to return to normal, and people have started engaging in “regular” life again, supporters of the Black Lives Matters Movement have been adamant about not letting the movement die this time.
In fact, beyond the Black Lives Matters movement, which was created in response to Police Brutality against Black people, issues pertaining to systemic racism in general have begun to spark dialogue across the nation.
As those with more privilege have opted to educate themselves on the social, political and institutional practices that perpetuate disadvantages in the Black community, hope has begun to permeate society and hearts have been transformed to the point that every part of society has been affected.
This is something we’ve needed for a long time. However, this is just the beginning.
As we recover from last week’s events and remove ourselves from the emotional and physical overwhelm of everything that’s happened, it’s important to continue taking daily and consistent strides toward dismantling racism and a better world for everyone. Here are some ways and resources we can use to do that.
1. Sign Petitions/contacting law enforcement officials
An easy and free way to do your part in the movement is to take some time to sign petitions and email law enforcement officials.
As you probably know, signing petitions is one of the first steps addressed at officials to pursue legal action.
It also helps to raise awareness about the public’s disapproval and demand for justice. In other words, it’s one of the most important steps to impact and change.
Here are some of the current most circulated petitions that have yet to reach their goals (courtesy of @ambivalcnt on twitter):
Note** do NOT make donations on change.org, they aren’t going directly to the petition organizer
Another way to support Black Lives is to donate to related organizations and families affected.
Donations typically go toward things like legal representation for the families of victims, accommodations for victims’ family members, rebuilding Black communities, and so much more.
Here are some of the current places people are donating right now
Don’t have the funds right now? Here are some youtube playlists that will be donating their ad revenue to the Black Lives Matters movement. Just stream them as much as possible without skipping ads.
3. Participate in local protests
Along with so many other things happening this year, the protests witnessed in this country and others will go down in history as one of the biggest movements we’ve seen.
Protests are a great way to be heard, create awareness, and unite with like-minded individuals to fight for a cause you believe in.
They can be both an emotional and joyful experience, and they help us to understand that we’re not alone.
With everything going on right now, such as Covid 19 and the dangers posed by protests in the last couple of weeks, it’s understandable that some may not want to participate in protests right now.
But if you can, definitely try checking out a local peaceful one, or even organize one yourself!
4. Support Black Businesses
Another way to support Black Lives moving forward is to buy and support Black. As many of us know, systemic racism perpetuates economic disadvantages in the Black community.
Therefore, when you support Black business, you encourage Black wealth, which in turn allows the Black community not only to catch up, but to work toward eventual economic equality.
Here are some trendy Black Businesses I thought you guys would be interested in.
In addition, here is a Black Owned Business directory
5. Educating yourself
There has already been a great deal of this going on, so I think this goes without saying, but it’s so important to continue to amplify black voices.
Allow the experiences of not just Black people, but POC, whether told passively, generously offered to you, or given in books and other educational resources, to guide your understanding of the Black experience.
The more those more privileged acknowledge and affirm these experiences, the more likely we will be to work toward change and eradicate racist practices altogether.
Here are some of the most known books/authors to start with
- bell hooks
- Toni Morrison
- Audre Lorde
- Alice Walker
- Octavia Butler
- Kimberle Crenshaw
Some of the books that have helped even me orient myself into the discourse of racism and white supremacy
- The Colonizer and the Colonized by Albert Memmi
- Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Netflix documentaries that I recommend
- When They See Us
- Dear White People
Additionally, here’s a list of Black Owned Bookstores I acquired from this instagram account
And here is youtube’s very own section dedicated to education on racism.
6. Keep Speaking up
Finally, one of the best ways to keep up momentum is to continue what started this: speaking up against racial injustices.
This means using what you’ve learned and deciding to no longer allow it to take place around you.
Acknowledge microaggressions made toward Black people and POC, have those hard conversations with friends and family members that may not understand, speak up in unfair institutional work and school situations, and continue to speak up and spread awareness on social media and in real life using the things I’ve mentioned.
This fight is far from over, and odds are, things aren’t going to return to “normal” anytime soon, if ever. I’m hoping for the latter.
It’s time for true impact and change.
Thank you to those who have and continue to speak out and support the BLM movement; right now, we need each other more than ever.
For an exhaustive list of BLM resources, places to donate, officials to call, and additional actions to take, please refer to this google doc
Feel free to reach out to me on social media @sabriasparrow or leave a comment below if you have any additional questions. And finally, don’t forget to take care of yourselves.
As always, with love,