We can’t stop talking. We can’t stop listening. We can’t stop learning. We can’t stop fighting. We can’t stop hoping. We can’t stop moving forward. We can’t stop… WE CAN’T STOP! We. Can’t. Stop.
We can’t let the light on the Black Lives Matter movement be dimmed and moved back into the shadows now that we don’t see footage of protests on the nightly news. We can’t get burned out by the much-needed hard conversations that are or should be occurring with our family, friends, and colleagues about how the world needs to change for the better. Now that months have passed by, we can’t stop working to make the world a better place. When we don’t see horrifying images like the killing of unarmed black men and women, it isn’t time to be quiet. This isn’t just about police brutality. That is a huge part of it but not all of it. While the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor set the world on fire, there is so much work to be done to dismantle systemic racism. But many are asking what they can do. Here is a starting point.
1. Listen: Listen to black voices. Listen to the experiences of friends or colleagues, if they are sharing their perspective with you or in an open forum. You can also find a number of resources on television and online that are highlighting some of these difficult crucial conversations such as the two-night special on www.oprah.com
2. Learn: Yes, we can learn a lot by listening, but we also need to read about and even watch movies and television that depicts the collective experience of black people. You should read books about racism, discrimination, allyship, etc. But you should also learn about the full experience of black people. There is so much more to the history of black people than slavery and the great work of Martin Luther King, Jr. or teachings of Malcolm X. There is more to black history than what was taught in school. That is why I continue to educate myself.
Here are a couple of books and movies/television shows to check out and expand your knowledge of the black experience:
- Loving – A romantic drama about the true love story and Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which erased state laws that prohibited interracial marriage in 1967
- Self Made – A Netflix Series about the life of Madame C.J Walker, America’s First Self-Made Female Millionaire
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Both a book and film that follows the events that occur after a high school student witnesses a police shooting
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo – A book that examines how white people react when confronted with the topic of racism
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi – A book that discusses racism and the author’s idea of how to be an antiracist and the actions one must take to make systemic change
3. Act: In order to move forward, we must act. We have to work to eradicate racism. We have to teach our young ones not to hate…not to discriminate. We have to speak up when we see injustice. We have to fight for what’s right.
- Check out pbs.org for tips on How to Talk Honestly with Children About Racism and talk to your children about racism.
- Donate to causes and organizations that are working to bring about change such as the NAACP that is fighting to “ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination” or those working towards justice in different aspects of life such as Color of Change.
- Support black-owned businesses.
I hope you find this post helpful as we continue to move forward and work to truly bring about equality in this world. The list above is not all-inclusive but merely some of the resources and organizations I have become more familiar with myself. If you have any additional resources to share, please leave a comment.
Until Next Time
– Sizable Chic