So the summer is over. And with that, you might think, are the Black Lives Matter protests. You haven’t seen many posts about them on social media, so you assume they’re dying down, right?
Unfortunately, that is not the case. People are still protesting every day against police brutality, racism and more. Just because something isn’t as prevalent on social media doesn’t mean it isn’t still happening, and if you’re tired of hearing people talk about racism, imagine actually having to experience it. [bf_image id="qfzbz6-7gseb4-e4tjl8"] Resistance isn’t a one-lane highway. Protesting doesn’t have to be the only way you show your support, though it is an incredibly effective tool sometimes. Here is how you can show your support while also continuing to educate yourself on the important issues at hand.
Continue educating yourself whenever possible. A compilation of free texts was made by @burn_all_books on Instagram with amazing resources and literary knowledge for your learning pleasure!
Support black-owned small businesses like restaurants, boutiques, bookstores and more. This is an easy way to give back to your community while simultaneously showing support.
Make sure to support black-owned bookstores rather than buying from Amazon as one issue with the company is that authors and publishers don’t get fairly paid. There are a plethora all over the country and Ohio you can order online from and get your books shipped directly to you. [bf_image id="q58sph-embnqo-dgoaqd"] For educating yourself on Black oppression, intersectionality, the prison industry and more I recommend the following books.
“White Fragility” by Robin Diangelo
“Racial Formation in the United States” by Omi and Winant
“The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin
“On Intersectionality” by Kimberlé Crenshaw
“Sister Outsider” by Audre Lorde
“Women, Race and Class” by Angela Davis
“The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander
“The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein
“The First Civil Right” by Naomi Murakawa
If reading books isn’t exactly your style, have no fear! Films like 13th, If Beale Street Could Talk, The Hate U Give, Selma, American Son and I Am Not Your Negro are films you can watch from the comfort of your couch! There are more amazing series on Netflix to educate yourself on Black oppression such as Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, When They See Us and Who Killed Malcolm X? [bf_image id="7tvn8tvx39pwc8xvtmn9btm8"] If you’re a podcast person, there are also plenty of podcasts to listen and learn from. Some include The New York Times’ 1619, NPR’s Code Switch and Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw (the original developer of the theory of intersectionality!)
“Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on.” -Scott Woods
In the end, remember that being an ally means not making the situation about yourself if you come from a place of privilege. This isn’t a time to feel rewarded or content for doing the bare minimum of what every single person should be doing. You should not be praised for being a decent human being. Remember to not speak over Black voices and those who are telling you there is a problem.