Hi friends! I hope you all are doing well. It’s been about two weeks since I and many other content creators decided to mute our content to amplify melanated voices, and what an experience it has been.
I wanted to write about my connection to the Black Lives Matter movement, what I took away from my time spent turning inward and amplifying voices other than my own, and what resources I will be using (and you can too!) to continue this much-needed conversation.
My grandfather’s side of the family is African-American. My grandmother, however, is of Irish descent, making my dad and two uncles biracial. My sister, cousins, and I are all 25% African-American but we all look white.
When my mom first mentioned me not being completely white in conversation when I was about eleven, I said, “Wait, what do you mean?”
I never saw my grandpa as different from my grandma or my mom as different from my dad. I just saw my family as the way it is.
In theory, the idea of not seeing race is a good thing. But recent events have shown me that I didn’t take nearly enough of an initiative to learn about my own heritage and understand the hardship and oppression the black community has experienced.
As we have all have probably heard in the past few weeks, it is not enough to be non-racist, it is essential to be anti-racist. I didn’t realize how true this is until I turned inward and reflected on my own life.
I was raised to love all people, regardless of the color of their skin. But I recognize that I have not put enough effort into being anti-racist and educating myself about a key element of my family’s history.
I turned to others much more knowledgeable than myself for help to begin my journey of personal growth. This started with taking part in Rachel Cargle’s #DoTheWork course, listening to the 1619 podcast, making donations, signing petitions, supporting black content creators, and taking advantage of the countless resources circulating on Instagram.
My key takeaway is this: Racism has been lurking in the shadows of so many parts of my life. It makes me sad that it took people of color pointing out to me that, for example, black people are heavily discriminated against in the publishing community or black athletes are notoriously underpaid at some of the brands they represent for me to finally notice how deep my white privilege runs.
I always knew racism existed, but I never took the time to examine what that meant. This past week I have been forced to closely examine my own ignorance. It was uncomfortable and overwhelming. I cried a lot. But I learned so much more. I am now struck with the desire to contribute to widespread change.
As white people, we are late to the party. But it’s not too late. We can’t do this alone. Speak up and take action, whether that be on social media or with your family and friends. Keep in mind that standing up to racism can look many different ways, the resource I list below are just a few avenues you can take. Some of these are anti-racism resources and others are ways to support black creators!
INFLUENCERS to diversify your feed:
- @jessicainthekitchen (food)
- @sweetpotatosoul (food)
- @allthehealthythings (food)
- @beetsbybrooke (food)
- @rachelama_ (food)
- @plantbasedrd (food)
- @fitmencook (food)
- @edenthefoodie (food)
- @confessionsofacleanfoodie (food)
- @blackfoodbloggers (food)
- @rosalynndaniels (food)
- @feedthemalik (food)
- @iamtabithabrown (food/wellness)
- @balancedles (wellness)
- @kinkysweat (wellness)
- @ericachidi (wellness)
- @lightwatkins (wellness)
- @iamrachelricketts (wellness)
- @hellolaurenash (wellness)
- @shamandurek (wellness)
- Code Switch (anti-racism)
- Pod Save the People (social justice)
- 1619 (history)
- Hear to Slay (black feminism)
- Seeing White (history of inequality)
- Speak Out with Tim Wise (anti-racism/social justice)
- Black Girl in Om (wellness)
- The Friend Zone (wellness)
- Still Processing (culture)
- Go Off, Sis (culture)
- Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsey (current affairs)
- Behind the Brilliance (business)
- White Fragility by Robin Diangelo (highly recommended)
- How to Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (also highly recommended)
- Fatal Invention by Dorothy Roberts
- Locking Up Our Own by James Forman
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
- New People by Danzy Senna
- When They See Us
- The Hate You Give
- LA ’92
- Just Mercy
- Malcolm X
- Dear White People
- Fruitvale Station
- I Am Not Your Negro
- See You Yesterday
- Rachel Cargle’s Do The Work
- Rachel Ricketts’ Spiritual Activism 101 + 102
- Ericka Hart’s Racial and Social Justice 101
- Leesa Renee Hall’s Expressive Writing Prompts for Uncovering Unconscious Bias
- McKensie Mack’s Anti-Oppression Workshops
WHERE TO DONATE:
- George Floyd Memorial Fund (memorial fund)
- Justice for Breonna Taylor (memorial fund)
- I Run With Maud (memorial fund)
- The Bail Project (bail fund)
- National Bail Out (bail fund)
- Black Earth Farms Food Delivery Fund (supplying protestors in CA with food)
- NAACP (legal defense)
- Dream Defenders (incarceration reform)
- Equal Justice Initiative (incarceration reform)
- The Marshall Project (media)
- Sista Afya (mental health)
- Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (mental health)
- The Loveland Foundation (mental health)
- National Black Disability Coalition (health-care)
- Black Voters Matter Fund (political)
- Integrate NYC (youth)
- GirlTrek (Youth)
BLACK-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES to support:
- Golde (skincare/wellness)
- The Lip Bar (cosmetics)
- KNC Beauty (skincare/cosmetics)
- Mented Cosmetics (cosmetics)
- Camille Rose (haircare)
- Partake Foods (food)
- BLK & Bold (food)
- Melanie Marie (jewelry)
- Third Crown (jewelry)
- The Honey Pot Company (feminine care)
- Oh-Mazing Food (food)
- Mahogany Books (bookstore)
- Brave and Kind Books (bookstore)
- Black Girl Sunscreen (skincare)
- Hanahana Beauty (skincare)
- Shedavi (haircare)
- Halona Studio (ceramics)
- Lolly Lolly Ceramics (ceramics)
* I could keep going! There are so many black-owned small businesses/restaurants/creators out there to support. With a quick google/Instagram search I’m sure you could find some to fit your interests!
**This list is also a work in progress, I will do my best to update it when new information becomes available! I also share more resources on my Instagram story frequently. If you have resources you would like to share, don’t hesitate to reach out.