I don’t want to make this about me.
There has been enough space for white voices for centuries, and now is the time we must listen to our black friends, family, and colleagues. Over the past week or so, I’ve gathered a lot of information over social media sites (mostly Twitter, being the most informative platform) on where to effectively put my money, voice and actions. Below are just some of the resources available, to increase knowledge and awareness of institutionalized racism and white privilege, and increase the support which vital organisations require right now.
It wasn’t until I completed a module on Nigerian literature in first year that I realised that I had never studied any literary works by black authors, about black lives. Our entire education system has been ridiculously white-washed, but luckily there is a plethora of accessible literature which will teach you about white privilege, systematic racism, forgotten histories, and injustice.
Education on these topics should be compulsory. Some of my favourites (both fiction and non-fiction), and some that are on my to-read list that are vital for educating on these topics are below:
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Women, Race, and Class – Angela Davis
- Are Prisons Obsolete? – Angela Davis
- Black Skin, White Masks – Frantz Fanon
- Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
- White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo
- So You Want To Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
- I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem – Maryse Condé
Much of these works can be easily accessed as free PDFs online, if you’re struggling with money currently. If not, the rest can be purchased cheaply from independent bookstores online.
There a lot of places which require assistance and support currently. You can find some here.
Donating does kind of come hand-in-hand with education and awareness. Once you understand what’s happening, you can see where your money will be most valuable. Keep an eye out on social media for donation pages – that’s where I have found most of mine.
If you’re struggling for money, there are other options. One is to watch this video, allowing all ads to play out fully. All AdSense is going towards vital donations. Check the comments on how to watch and successfully donate properly.
Also, each ‘like’ on the Instagram post below is going towards donations.
It’s impossible to use Twitter and not come across at least one petition going around. It is the quickest and easiest way to support individuals, and put pressure on judicial systems, police forces, and governmental bodies.
Don’t donate to change.org. All the profits go towards the website, rather than the cause. Instead, share it around wherever you can. Once you’ve signed one, share it via Facebook, Twitter, text message, etc.
Let black voices be heard
Don’t lead the discourse on race.
Although white voices have been significantly more heard over the years due to the systematic racism present in every industry, we must be allies rather than leaders. I never used to think like this – I used to believe that every voice was as valuable as any other in such a vital discourse.
However, a really useful article I read which changed my mind was “5 Racist Anti-Racism Responses “Good” White Women Give To Viral Posts“. I have often fallen into the trap of saying things like, “I’m so ashamed to be white”, or “I hate being white”, in response to awful racist content I have witnessed. However, why am I making it about me? This does not make me a good ally – it makes me out to be someone looking to be praised by the black community for… hating racism. Which isn’t something to be praised about. It’s something that simply everyone should do.
White people need to learn to accept their privilege and authority, but take a step back. In protests, let black voices lead. In discussions online, don’t speak for black people. Instead, amplify their voices. Retweet, reblog, ‘like’ their comments. Add a comment in support, too, but make sure it does not take away from their original point. Oh, and don’t make it about you (unless it’s justifiably relevant).
Purchase from black creators/black businesses
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly led to a lot of smaller, independent businesses struggling and, in some devastating cases, failing. That’s why, especially during a time of racial injustice combined with the impacts of the pandemic, supporting independent black businesses is at upmost importance.
Avoid Amazon. Instead, support independent black businesses and artists. A few are listed below:
- Avila Diana (Greeting Cards)
- Aff and Jam (Fashion)
- House of Zabadi (West African fabrics, literature, stationery, and art)
- Dorcas Creates (Art prints and pins)
- Gal-Dem (Magazine)
Talk to your friends and family
Once you have educated yourself, it’s vital you continue to educate others who may be ignorant to the injustices the black community face.
Speaking to your family, particularly the older generation, is where to start. Spread this vital awareness and education around as much as possible. Call them out on their ignorance. Direct them to petitions, donation sites, and literature to enable their understanding.
I will never relate to the devastation, pain, and injustice caused by the colour of my skin – but I will stand with anyone who can.