July Mood ’20 – Black Lives Matter

Black Live Matter and How To Educate Yourself on Systemic Racism

All of these images and their original sources can be found here.

Typically I use my monthly “mood” posts to share what is going on in my world. From what I’m reading to shopping to what’s inspiring me it’s a quick update on what’s top of mind for me. The last few weeks of May and beginning of June I spent most of my time consumed with what’s going on in America right now. I’ve been reading, watching, and listening, and continuing to gather more information to better educate myself. 

I want to take this months post as an opportunity to provide resources and information on how to educate yourself, and take action beyond social media including why it’s important to invest in and fund Black-owned {and specifically Black women-owned} businesses and creators.  Now, more than ever, we have an opportunity to evolve and start to create a new system based on equality and social justice. However, in order to do this it requires us to be educated and informed about the issues and how we as a collective can make an impact.

Below I’ve curated a list of resources that I personally have donated to, watched, listened to, read or plan to do so in the future.  I’ve also included direct links to more robust directories and resources should you wish to gather more information beyond this.

While I hope this is helpful and if anything sparks curiosity and action in you, this is only a start. It is on each one of us to do the work and not rely on someone to spoon feed us how to respond, act, and evolve.

xo

-S

There is no racial justice without economic justice. And that means we have to step up.

The Helm

Educate Yourself

Read

  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
  • Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
  • So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad 
  • How To Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom by Beittina Love
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism by Daisy Hernandex
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelous
  • The Helm has a great reading list by Black authors

Watch 

  • 13th (Netflix)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)
  • Dear White People (Netflix)
  • Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap (Netflix)
  • Just Mercy (Amazon Prime)
  • Harriet (Amazon Prime)
  • Malcolm X (Netflix)
  • Becoming (Netflix)
  • Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (Netflix)
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Amazon Prime)
  • LA 92 (Netflix)

Netflix has also created an entire Black Lives Matter collection.

Listen

  • 1619 by The New York Times
  • Code Switch by NPR
  • Radical Imagination by Angela Glover
  • Seeing White 
  • Ear Hustle
  • Intersectionality Matters!
  • The #Groundings Podcast
  • Still Processing
  • Pod Save The People
  • About Race
  • The Stoop
  • AfroQueer Podcast

Act Beyond Social Media

Invest & Fund

One of the most direct ways in which you can support Black people, and specifically women, is by consistently investing in them, their businesses, and their skills. In 2017 only 2.2% of total venture capital funding went to companies solely funded by women of which less than half were women of color. Last year only 2.8% of venture capital funding when to companies solely founded by women, of which I have not been able to find what percent were women of color. {Girlboss and Inc.com have great articles that goes more in depth to the diversity issues in the VC world.}

“Look at the data and you can see how the lending gap contributes to America’s yawning income inequality: American Express research found that if revenues generated by minority women-owned firms matched those generated by all women-owned businesses, they would add four million new jobs and $1.2 trillion in revenue to the U.S. economy.”

Mission Investors

By shopping from Black-owned businesses {and more specifically Black-female owned businesses} and hiring Black people and people of color, on a consistent basis you are giving money directly to the people that are least likely to get it through our established systems and probably likely need it most. Take the time to find a Black-owned businesses and creators that you like and integrate them into your shopping.

A few ideas include: coffee, restaurants, bookstores, Black authors, Black designers, boutique owners, florists, wineries, clean bath and beauty products, home decor, interior design services, architects, podcasts, the list literally goes on and on. Let’s give Amazon a break and diversify where our money goes shall we?

Additionally, hold companies accountable. As consumers we have a tremendous amount of power. The more we speak up and seek transparency from brands the more likely we are to see change. If brands don’t meet your standards, then do they deserve your dollar?

Below are a few resources for finding Black-owned businesses that I’ve been referencing. Happy shopping!

Donate

Black Lives Matter has a wonderfully organized directory of ways in which you can donate to the victims, protestors, organizations, black-owned businesses, and other funds.  

*Due to overwhelming support and donations over the past week, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Brooklyn Bail Fund, the Northstar Health Collective, Free Them All For Public Health, Black Visions Collective, Reclaim The Block, Philly Bail Fund, NYC Bail Fund requesting donations be sent to other organizations.  

Sign 

**A note on donating after you sign a petition on Change.org – don’t do it as it goes to Change.org and not the petition.

Speak 

Implement what you have learned.  Don’t stay silent in the face of racial injustice, overt racism or covert racism.  This could look like talking to your friends and family about what is going on, talking to your employer about a lack of diversity on your team, in your office or at your company, correcting a friend when they misspeak or make a racist joke.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  As one of my friend beautifully put it, “change is uncomfortable”. Now is when we recognize the discomfort and move through {instead of around it} it to implement long lasting change.   

Check in on your Black friends and community.  This is not a call to text every Black person you’ve ever known, but rather a call to take the initiative to bring yourself and the topic to the table.  I personally have taken this approach and have found that these conversation have deepened my relationships. 

Vote

Vote, vote, vote.  If you are not yet registered to vote, please do so ASAP!  If you’ve registered to vote, spend some time educating yourself on the issues and policy changes that need to happen to dismantle system racism and eliminate racial injustice.  Encourage your friends and family to do the same. 

While the Presidential Election is November 3rd, there are still state and primary elections happening across the country.  For an updated list of those elections click here. 

Send a message to Congress to support Black voters

Protest 

You don’t need to physically attend a protest to support.  You can support protestors by providing supplies {think hand sanitizer, face mask, sunscreen, water, goggles, gloves, and first aid supplies}, opening up your home to those participating in the protests {as a safe haven from police, to meet up with friends, to take breaks etc.}, offer child care, or be an emergency contact. 

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