The black community is frustrated. Tired. Upset. Mad. All over the above. The brutal killing of George Floyd as he begged and pleaded for his life, was just too much. But then again, we’ve seen this time and time again. Eric Garner, anyone? The murder of George Floyd, on the heels of others like Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the viral video showing Christian Cooper being falsely accused in Central Park by a white woman who took offense to him asking her to adhere to park rules by leashing her dog, has just been a lot to endure.
Protests and outrage expressed this past week have shown the depths of anger, frustration, sadness, anxiety and dread, across the U.S. Charging the main officer in the Floyd case, along with the other three officers, is a first step towards justice. But the road ahead is long. As our non-black brothers and sisters have expressed shock, we’ve sighed and educated because this isn’t the first time this has happened and sadly, it won’t be the last time.
Unfortunately, the lives of blacks in America are still seen as less valuable than whites. Hence why there was the need for the black lives matter movement. This society has placed a low value on black lives and so the mistreatment and killing of black lives is not taken as seriously. In certain instances, animals are even more valuable than black lives. Real talk.
While each person’s experience is different, there are common threads to the black experience in America. My black girlfriends and I can relate to being seen first and foremost as blacks and then women, before the other dimensions are known…Professional, wife, mother, sister, daughter, music lover, great cook, scared of horror movies, hates working out but does it because of the benefits and so on.
We also have the mindset that we have to work twice as hard as everyone else to get promoted and excel in a corporate environment. Especially where you sometimes see others with less experience and fewer credentials moving up the ladder ahead of others who may be more qualified and accomplished. We’ve also experienced situations where we were mistakenly thought to be administrative assistants [no disrespect to administrative assistants] in the office.
And as a woman married to a black man, and also a sister to three black men, aunt to three black boys, I worry about them. When we gather in the kitchen for holidays, kitchen table talk includes topics like racism, ensuring my 17 year old nephew knows how to behave in public/when out with friends and in the event he ever gets pulled over by police, keeping his hands where the police can see them and not making any sudden movements.
I’ve also had to tell my 7 year old daughter that she is fearfully and wonderfully made and a pretty brown skin girl after another student [in the first grade!] told her she was ugly because of her skin color, in a predominantly non-black school.
In spite of the collective pain we all feel when these incidents happen, and the frustration when justice is usually not served, as a child of God, I have to keep praying and hoping for change and reform. It was encouraging to see the support that swept across the nation and beyond, in other countries. EVERY SINGLE STATE in the U.S. protested this week. To me, change is in the air and enough is enough. But even as we hope and pray, faith without works is dead. And as friends have checked in and wondered what to say and how to get involved, I have gathered a number of resources to share. Here’s how to support the black community.
How to support the black community
1. Buy black: Support black-owned businesses and small businesses.
- For Black-owned restaurants across the U.S., check out this list, courtesy of OpenTable.
- Check out more Black-owned businesses here.
- Check out some fashion and boutiques here.
- Here are some others here.
- Explore the 77 here.
- See more fashion and beauty brands here.
- For more on how to support black-owned small businesses, click here.
- Some of my local favorites in the DC-Maryland area are:
- Wear hair extensions or need your hair or makeup done? Check out Hair care center, also in Maryland.
2. Sign a petition.
- Color of Change has two petitions you can sign:
- Change.org also has one: The “Justice for George Floyd” petition. Find it here.
3. Donate to organizations fighting for social justice.
- Here are 15 to support here.
- Another source here.
- Verified bail funds listed here.
- Bail fund: Some Twitter users are crowdsourcing lists of local organizations that help bail out arrested protester. See lists here.
- National Police Accountability Project: A project of the National Lawyers Guild, they help people find legal counsel. See here.
- Campaign Zero: You can support this police reform group focused on policy solutions “informed by data and human rights principles.” See here.
4. Be an ally and check on black friends and colleagues.
- Speak up when you see racism in action.
- Mentor a woman of color at work or be an advocate.
- Be an agent of change in your office by helping champion efforts in support of more diverse hires and promotions.
- Find more info on how to be an ally here.
- See these books, podcasts etc. to help be a better ally here.
- Help amplify melanated voices by sharing content from black creatives, artists and so on and giving credit.
- Get educated. Check out some tools and resources here.
- Check out some accounts to follow:
- Huff Post Black Voices
- Ava DuVernay (Twitter)
- Brittany Packnett Cunningham
- Franchesca Ramsey
- The Grio
- More here.
- Listen to these podcasts to learn about black history.
- Ways to check in on colleagues and friends without feeling awkward here.
5. Got kids? nieces? nephews? Educate them about racism.
- No one is born a racist.
- All parents have a responsibility to teach their kids and have candid conversations about racism.
- That way, kids are taught not to hate those who are different from them.
- Check out these books for kids here.
6. Register to vote
- Voting is super important, sis!
- It is very important for everyone who can vote to register to vote so you can help vote for candidates who aren’t tolerant of racism and will help bring about systemic change.
- You can register to vote here or send the link to friends and family who need to register to vote. It takes 2 minutes to register!
7. Consume black content and media.
- Explore books, movies, music created by black artists and creators.
- This can help broaden perspectives while supporting black content creators.
A quick recap: how to support the black community
Have additional ideas or stories you’d like to share? Would love to hear from you! Please include in the comments.
As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Don’t be a stranger! We will get through this crazy year and season. Check out other posts here. See you soon!