You may or may not have noticed that my usual content has been disrupted. Well, maybe disrupted isn’t the correct word, more that I’ve put my usual bookish content on hold in light of the current, escalating situation. Posting a book review or a light-hearted tag just didn’t sit right with me. Not when protests are taking palace all over the world. I needed to hit pause out of respect while I re-evaluated my thoughts and drafted my response.
The truth is, I have never been more disgusted, frustrated and disappointed by my race. If this revolution has taught me anything, it’s that nothing, nothing has changed during the past century. It’s 2020 and yet fear, racism, bigotry and hatred still poisons our society.
George Floyd’s unjust murder is not an isolated incident. Police brutality and race-related violence is constantly occurring every single day, all over the world. If you think for one moment that this is America’s issue then not only are you living in ignorance, but you are also part of the problem. Let me point out that Australia’s treatment of it’s indigenous, native people makes us as equally guilty. This is not America’s problem – it’s our problem. It is our responsibility to use our voices, to use our platforms to speak out and amplify the voices of the black community. It is our responsibility to take down an unjust system designed to oppress and segregate others who are different.
George Floyd’s death is a loss felt throughout the community but, with all due respect, the seeds of this revolution were sown long before. Enough is enough – let George Floyd’s death be the last. It’s time to check our privilege and use our voices to take a stand for our brothers and our sisters of color.
So I say this now: I hear you. I see you. And, I stand beside you.
I know that I will never fully understand the oppression and brutality you face daily, but racism is a learned behavior, handed down generation to generation. It’s about dang time this behavior was un-learned because black lives matter every day.
So here’s what you can do to help:
Don’t be afraid to take a stand and call out racist comments and slurs. Change doesn’t just happen over night or because something is “trending”. Be an ally everyday – have those difficult conversations with your friends and your families. Talk about the importance of tolerance and acceptance in the fight against systematic racism. Be the change you want to see in the world.
We are living in unprecedented times – what with the Australian bush fires and the effects of COVID19 on our livelihoods and economy. If you cannot afford to donate there are still so many ways to help.
There are many content creators on YouTube who have created videos that pledge to donate 100% of their advertisement revenue to Black Lives Matter. By watching these videos [without skipping the adds] you are supporting the cause and donating much needed funds to those Black Lives Matter associations who provide the bail for detained protesters. Better yet, you’re donating all from the social-distance-approved comfort of your own home.
How to make your views count?
- Temporarily disable any browser advertisement blockers
- Do not skip any of the advertisements before, after or during the video
- When repeating, make sure to click away and watch a couple of different videos before clicking the video again.
If you are financially stable and willing to donate, a great place to start is with Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter is a global foundation founded in 2013 as a response to Trayvon Martin’s murder. Black Lives Matter fights systematic racism, white supremacy and race-related violence striving for freedom and justice.
If you’re a little wary about joining a protest due to COVID19 another great way to help is to sign your name to some petitions. There are so many global and national petitions that are challenging police brutality and the injustice of the system. Below, I have listed a couple to get you started and, it only takes a moment of your time.
Being an ally of this movement starts with educating yourself. Understanding the history of white supremacy, privilege, the Stolen Generations and the future of black leadership is so important. There are so many incredible resources you can find but unfortunately, it’s impossible to list them all. Here are a couple, chosen across a variety of different mediums to get you started.
Documentaries and Series
☆ 13th [available to stream on Netflix]
☆ Whose Streets [available to stream on Amazon Prime, Google, Hulu and YouTube]
☆ Dear White People [available to stream on Netflix]
☆ Conversations in Black: On Politics, Power and Leadership by Ed Gordon
☆ 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
Support Black-Businesses and Artists
Another great way to help this movement is by supporting black-owned businesses and black artists. As a reader, make the choice to purchase your books from independent, black-owned bookshops wherever you can.
New Releases by Black Authors
☆ A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow
☆ A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
☆ You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
Now for the hard truth: I’ve barely even scrapped the surface of the Black Lives Matter Movement with this post. Really this discussion is merely a starting point on your own journey to becoming an ally. So, I hope this post might spark some hope, spread awareness and prompt you to do some further digging.
These protests cannot be ignored. The system has got to evolve. Alone, we might not have the power to change the world but we are stronger together and every little voice makes a big difference. Let’s all play our part in amplifying the voices of the black community and spread love and kindness, not fear or hatred.
I want to leave you with a few posts from around the community. These amazing posts delve further into the issue of racism and act as another great starting point to source resources.