2020 has been a year to remember for many reasons, but one significant reason is the day we decided to stand up against racism.
George Floyd suffered a tragic death on 25th May as a police officer knelt on his neck for 9 minutes as he uttered the words ‘I can’t breathe’ repeatedly. This was an eye opener for many white people across the world, who felt grief, anger and ultimately asked themselves how they can be better allies.
But the sad truth is, this has been a silent fight that Black communities have been facing for many years. The Black Lives Matter movement took off with great speed, there was #blackouttuesday, endless sharing of anti-racism social media posts and of course the protests that happened across the globe. Now it has been four months on and each day there are less and less BLM posts, less people asking the right questions and the movement is slowly being forgotten.
But I’m here to say, don’t be one of them. Fight to keep the momentum going. This isn’t a blip in the radar, that can go away but a constant injustice that we should all continue to care about. It won’t be an easy path and there is a lot of individual learning that we all must do to create an authentic allyship but ultimately it will be worth it.
As a start, there are ways listed below that we can continue to keep the BLM movement going:
Make a list of resources you want to read/watch
Teach yourself. Nobody is required to tell you what you should know about race and racism. There are endless podcasts, documentaries and books out there that will help you begin to learn. A few recommendations are
- When They See Us
- Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
These are literally just a tiny fraction of what’s out there! Let’s always encourage ourselves to continue to learn.
Tell a friend, to tell a friend
Sometimes the most uncomfortable conversations are the most needed ones to have. Yes, they aren’t easy but by starting with your friends and family it becomes easier to speak more openly about it. It isn’t easy to admit we have been misinformed or said things we shouldn’t in the past, but speaking openly about it will invite others too and we will be more inclined to challenge others too. Think of it as an exciting learning journey.
Share on social media
Social media is one of the most effective ways to get a message across and continue to show your support for the anti-racist movement. Continue to share articles or posts that you feel are relevant and interesting. Tag relevant accounts and hashtags, so there is a chance for it to be shared on a wider scale.
Check in on petitions
They are still going, so why not check up on them? See how they have progressed and if possible donate if you haven’t already. Continue to share them across social media, tell your family and friends. Change.org also recommends different ways that you can help and when you know how, help to spread the word.
Support Black Owned Businesses
If you haven’t already heard, Black Pound Day was initiated to support the growth of the UK black economy. This is a day dedicated to buying only from black businesses each month but why not make it a regular habit? There are many underrated businesses in beauty, fashion, food that are run by the Black community. Social media again is a great way to find out more by using hashtags such as #supportblackbusiness, #blackowned & #blackcreatives.
Remember it all starts with the first step and don’t be too hard with yourself along the way!