The past couple of days have been extremely hard for many of us. The news / media has been very taxing on our psyche and we are emotionally spent. The stagnancy COVID-19 has created in our current lives as well as the disproportionate number of Black lives the virus is taking, is painful. And to add salt to injury, witnessing fellow brothers and sisters being murdered at the hands of the police in various states in the US is deeply disheartening. The anger, pain and brokenness is vast. We are thoroughly exhausted. We’ve had enough.
In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist. — Angela Davis
Non-Black friends – I’d like to implore you to please do better. Those who are silent during this time – your silence is complicity. READ, listen, do the introspective work of understanding your discomfort when it comes to conversations surrounding race. Call out your racist friends and family members (especially during ‘kitchen table talk’). Don’t just perform antiracism online by typing the generic – ‘I’m shocked’ or ‘I’m appalled’ at what is currently happening. Actually take action in trying to dismantle white supremacy, instead of performing fake sympathy online.
Evaluate your own internalized racism – how do you interact with your Black co-workers, classmates, essential workers, even Black strangers in grocery stores, public transportation etc? Be that non-Black friend / ally who’ll tell us to sit at home while you go protest. Be that non-Black friend that insists on walking by our side as we all go out and protest. Put your time, money and resources where your mouth is.
Below are some resources for ways we can all help in *our liberation, especially for those who aren’t able to protest. These are twelve (12) organizations and victim support platforms where we can help fund racial justice:
- George Floyd Memorial Fund – the official GoFundMe to support the Floyd family.
- Minnesota Freedom Fund – A community-based nonprofit that pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for individuals who have been arrested while protesting police brutality.
- Black Visions Collective – A Black, Trans & Queer-led organization that is committed to dismantling systems of oppression & violence and shifting the public narrative to create transformative, long-term change.
- Campaign Zero – An online platform and organization that utilizes research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.
- Reclaim the Block – A coalition that advocates for and invests in community-led safety initiatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods.
- Unicorn Riot – A non-profit organization that is dedicated to exposing root causes of dynamic social and environmental issues through amplifying stories and exploring sustainable alternatives in today’s globalized world.
- Run With Maud / I Run With Maud – We all know and saw what happened to Ahmaud Arbery, in Georgia. Sign the petition, donate and help make calls to demand justice for Ahmaud.
- Justice for Breonna / via Change.org – Breonna Taylor deserves accountability. Take action by donating and signing the petition. Details on what the petition entails are on the websites.
- Black Lives Matter – Founded in 2013 as a response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, #BlackLivesMatter has been working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.
There are also a ton of city Bail Funds available to bail protestors out of jail. Google your city’s Bail Fund to donate. Please give what you can, if you can.
There are many other organizations working tirelessly in demanding justice. Several Black lives have been humiliated and/or lost to white hate and police brutality. We remember Emmett Till, Rodney King, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Sandra Bland, Korryn Gaines, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Nina Pop and so many more, including countless Black women and Black Trans women. ALL Black lives that have been lost will never be forgotten. We are human and we matter.
Nearly all the books celebrated on this book blog are great places to start for anyone trying to do the personal work of dismantling white supremacy. But below are 17 book recommendations (mostly non-fiction) of old & new reads that are pertinent to the current unrest.
If you have access to these books (and others, obviously) please READ them. Help be part of the change.
In the meantime, Black friends – make time for yourself and do the things you love. COVID-19 has already created an atmosphere of anxiety and uncertainty. Disconnect from the news and social media for a while – I plan on taking a social media break for some time. The constant images of Black bodies being hurt and killed takes a toll on the psyche. Make time for yourself. Be still and regroup.
*our – meaning ALL Black lives – Black women, Black men, Black LGBTQIA; Black – African American, African, Caribbean, Black British, Afropean, Afro-Latinx, Afro-Asian – any and all variations of the spectrum. All of us.