Black Lives Matter: Resources & 7 Ways You Can Support
Hello everyone, I have returned from a small blogging hiatus! There is something about a worldwide pandemic and simultaneous uprising calling for necessary change in our country that can really drain a gal of her creative juices (which is truly the least of this world’s worries but it does affect the production of content for this micro-community).
With that being said, I am happy to put down my thoughts in digital content again and wanted to start with this important post. I was unsure initially how I could use this platform to support the Black Lives Matter movement and wanted to make sure I did so thoughtfully and respectfully.
After receiving helpful and much-appreciated feedback, I decided that providing a collection of resources that have helped me better understand and support BLM could maybe help you too.
My audience is predominantly composed of young women in similar positions as myself. Which is to say, if you are reading this, the statistical chances of you being white, female, and privileged are very high. While you have no control over your gender, skin color, or family’s socioeconomic status, you do have control over how you engage with social movements that may or may not directly affect you based on these characteristics.
As one of my favorite YouTubers, Lyn Allure, said in one of her videos speaking about BLM, “because you do possess any sort of privilege doesn’t mean that it's your fault. But acknowledge that you have it, acknowledge those who have been oppressed, and understand where they’re coming from”.
I want this post to be used to amplify Black voices and offer resources for tangible change. Therefore, my commentary will be kept to a minimum from here on out. Listed below are things that have helped me better understand and support the BLM movement:
1. If Black individuals are willingly sharing their experiences, listen intently.
Your work or school may have some sort of designated safe space for sharing stories and experiences, such as CSBSJU’s Instagram linked here. My college experience at a predominantly white university has been much different than other students; I did not understand in what ways until I read through these posts.
2. Diversify the influencers and content creators in your life.
To quickly clarify, I am not saying that content from Black individuals is inherently different in any way from content you would normally consume. However, all content creators produce content that has been shaped and filtered by their personal experiences. Diversifying the influencers you follow offers voices and perspectives that you might not see or hear otherwise. Additionally, many Black content creators are currently sharing an abundance of helpful graphics and information.
Listed below are some influencers/content creators I love that are Black:
I already mentioned Lyn, she is one of my favorite YouTubers. She creates videos focused on personal finances, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, making money, etc.
NYCxClothes by Shelcy & Christy
Shelcy and Christy post the coolest photos in the coolest outfits. There is really no other way to describe their style other than cool.
Morgan Harper Nichols
Don't even get me started on MHN graphics.. Her poetry and digital art is in one word: beautiful.
Danyele posts awesome fitness content focused on a concept I love: strength > appearance. Her posts are always positive & motivational.
3.Understand the history that has taken place in our country.
Educate yourself on the past and why that has so deeply affected the future. Research why there are inequalities today.
An important thing that Lyn mentioned in her video, “you need to educate yourself, black and not black, on the reasons why. And the burden mustn’t fall on black people to educate the rest of the world… a lot of black people are still learning for themselves”.
Education does't have to be just googling something, it can come in the form of podcasts, books, movies, ted talks, etc.
Some places I have found great lists of a variety of educational resources are listed below:
4. Read something that hits home on purpose.
Discomfort is good. It means you are learning valuable narratives you have likely long ignored. Educate yourself on the inequalities in your field of study/career/personal interests. If you are going to medical school, read about the biases of doctors against Black patients. If you are entering law, educate yourself on the lack of “justice” in the criminal justice system for Black individuals. If you are a teacher, research biases teachers have against black students and how this affects the educational gap in our country, etc. The resource lists provided above are a great place to search for specific topics.
For example, white feminism is an issue I have been reading about lately. As someone who values equality for women, it’s important that I understand the narrative of white feminism that has perpetuated racist ideologies against Black women and women of color. Through educating myself, I can better learn how to combat this issue as well as recognize how my past actions may have contributed to it. If this is something you also want to learn about, here are two informative sites:
5. Engage with things others are sharing about the BLM movement.
Read the social media graphics. I have learned and continue to learn many things I did not previously know from these graphics.
Exercise your ability to vote.
Share things that have helped you understand something better. Share them verbally, share them digitally, keep sharing! On my Instagram, I have highlighted resources I have found helpful and was thankful someone had shared on social media for me to learn from.
6. Donate to local causes or support local Black-owned businesses.
Many people are doing cool and helpful things in your communities, support them! Be it financially, through word of mouth, through sharing things on your platforms. Find a way that you can be of assistance to a cause that resonates with you.
7. Understand that you will be imperfect.
If someone offers you an opportunity to learn why something you have said is offensive or wrong, listen and thank them. This has happened to me many times and I expect it will continue to happen as I continue to learn. There are things your perspective has NOT taught you about the world. Everyone experiences life through a different lense, be eager in your pursuit of understanding someone else's.
Finally, something that is important to state is that you do not deserve applause, stickers, or cookies for standing up for Black Lives Matter. Reading some articles, donating some money, and sharing some stories on your Instagram is not impressive in any regard. In fact, it is part of your civic duty as a privileged person in this country to contribute to a cause that affects millions of individuals that share this country with you.
Many difficult topics to digest have been brought to the forefront of our conversations, have patience with yourself during these times and the many emotions you may encounter.
“It didn’t take one year for these prejudices to form, so it’s not going to take one year for all of this to be fixed”.
I hope these resources are helpful to you. Do not hesitate to reach out with any comments, questions, or concerns. If you have additional resources or ideas for how people could support Black Lives Matter, comment down below! Best of luck to all of you.