I hope you are all doing well.
I really wanted to address what has been going on recently concerning the BLM movement. I don't even need to explain how important it is for us to be talking about it because I feel like everyone should feel the same way, and I'm so amazed by what's been happening around the world - the modern Civil Rights movement is well and truly underway.
I'm sure most of you guys have been seeing a lot of stuff circulating on social media and have been engaging with it. If not, I really, really want to encourage you to do just that.
As a white woman, I will never truly be able to understand how racism affects the lives of black people. Despite this, I choose to both listen and speak up about it. If you're reading this and you're black - I stand by you. If you're reading this and you're white - I urge you to get angry and stay angry. Although the idea of being racist is an alien concept for many of us, the harsh reality is that it is ingrained in us and pervades our normalised behaviours. It can be extremely difficult to check ourselves because we have grown up as products of our environment. No-one is inherently racist - but as soon as you are born, from that very first day, you are being moulded subconsciously by other people and by society as a whole.
But I'm not going to digress. We need to talk about this privilege and we need to talk about it now. One thing I'm able to do is dismantle it for other white people, as well as educate myself as much as I can. We NEED to have conversations. I know it can be uncomfortable, but this discomfort is nothing compared to what black communities have faced over centuries. Please bear that in mind.
White privilege does not mean:
You have never faced struggles in your life.
White privilege means:
You are lucky enough to live without worrying that the colour of your skin will be a basis for discrimination.
Some people find this hard to grapple with. The sooner you begin to understand it, the easier it will be to start actively drawing attention to the oppression of black lives, because this is where we need to see real change. If you are not able to see that, continue educating yourself.
I am still educating myself. I've looked back on growing up as a white person and am now able to identify examples of my privilege. I never used to really think about it - and that just goes to show that it exists. I am so fortunate to have grown up with black friends who have highlighted more and more of these things. The most important tool in this movement is communication, in my opinion - we must let the voices of black people take centre stage. We must listen to their stories, their experiences. It is the most effective way of building bridges, creating solidarity and helping one another to understand. 'Anti-Racist' rather than 'Not Racist' It's not enough to be 'not racist'. We must be actively anti-racist.
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu Silence only highlights your privilege. Choosing to ignore discomfort goes to show that you are not affected by the discomfort. Just because you are not affected doesn't mean that you can't feel appalled by what is happening - if we can come together, this is where real change will happen. Resources I think one of the biggest worries people have about fighting injustice is feeling like you aren't able to make a proper impact. Although it can be incredibly difficult to infiltrate the system, there are other things you can be doing in your day-to-day life. As mentioned, educating yourself is one of them. Educating other people is another. I thought I would put together some resources that I've collected (I know there are tons on social media, and this is great.) There's always something to be done. PLEASE comment and offer more resources if you can. The more, the better. This is a combination of resources that I have found and put together but there is so much more out there. Some Broad History - European colonisation - Looting of African resources - Slavery - The Civil Rights movement in America - Windrush Some Specific UK History - The Bristol Bus Boycott - Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD) - Notting Hill Riots of 1958 - The Mangrove Nine - The MacPherson report and the establishment of the Police Complaints Authority in the 1980s Some Movies - 12 Years A Slave - Hidden Figures - Malcolm X
- If Beale Street Could Talk
- The Color Purple
- Fruitvale Station
- See You Yesterday
- The Hate U Give
- Queen & Slim
Some Documentaries & Series
- Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap
- Who Killed Malcolm X?
- Black Is The New Black
- Hidden Colors
- Bloods & Crips
- When They See Us
- Freedom Riders
- Dark Girls
- Soundtrack For A Revolution
- Let The Fire Burn
- Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
- Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
- And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
- Native by Akala
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch
- Me And White Supremacy by Layla F Saad
Non-Montary Donations on YouTube
- Zoe Amira - How to Financially Help BLM With No Money
- Revivemusic - Stream Hip-Hop Music to Donate to BLM
- Connor Krystyn - Watch to Donate to Small Black Owned Businesses
There are also petitions to sign, podcasts to listen to, social media accounts to follow, YouTube videos to watch and most importantly, people to talk to.
In the past two weeks we have seen an eruption of people speaking up about BLM. While this is fantastic, we can't let this become like every other piece of news. Black Lives Matter is NOT news - it is not something new; oppression has been going on since the beginning of time. We cannot speak up about this and then forget that it exists - this will not contribute to progression. We must be consistent.
Black Lives Matter.