The murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has many Americans up in arms. We’re understandably shocked, angered, dismayed, and concerned for the future. For many of us, the protests unfolding on the streets of American cities has re-opened the conversation about racism in our country. We want to know how to make a difference but may feel paralyzed to act. We may be unsure of the most effective way to be an ally. The good news is that there are a plethora of resources out there to help us get started with speaking out about social justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless others like them. There’s even plenty of things we can do right in the comfort of our own homes. Here’s our roundup of 10 resources you can use to start making a difference today.
View this post on Instagram
Yesterday, in yet another act of anti-black police violence causing mass outrage, George Floyd yelled “I can’t breathe” and pleaded for his life as a white Minneapolis police officer violently pinned him down with his knee on his neck. George died after. He was murdered in broad daylight. His death is reminiscent of the death of Eric Garner. Even with a crowd yelling at him to stop and while folks filmed the murder, the cop did it anyway, showing the massive injustice, zero accountability and white supremacy embedded in the “criminal justice” system. Heartbroken, angry and disgusted. This must end. Much love and solidarity to Black communities grieving another beautiful life lost. May George Floyd Rest in Power. Text ‘Floyd’ to 55156 to demand the officers be charged with murder. You can also call Mayor Jacob Frey at (612)-673-2100, DA Mike Freeman at (612)-348-5550 and demand justice. #blacklivesmatter #georgefloyd #icantbreathe #justiceforgeorgefloyd
Unpack the Knapsack of Privilege
Want to explore what privilege is more deeply and why it’s a problem in society? This free article is a great starting point. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack is a quick read and a solid introduction to helping us examine the impact privilege has on our lives. If you’re already bought into the idea of privilege, consider sharing the article to open a dialogue with friends who aren’t quite “there” yet.
Instead of putting the onus on people of color to explain their experiences with racism to you, get started on your own with this information-packed Anti-Racist Resource Guide. It’s a detailed overview on how to get started will allyship, including a great list of books and articles to read, ideas about how to get active in your community, and reputable organizations you can begin supporting today! But don’t consider this a checklist to be done with when you’ve completed all the steps. This is an ongoing movement that will not rest until racism is dead.
Be A Friend
Gloria Atanmo has put together an info-packed Instagram guide on how to support your black friends at this time. It includes a feature called, “What Do I Text My Black Friends?”, that offers scripted ideas about how to open a conversation about how you can best support friends of color at this time.
Support Black-Owned Businesses
Supporting black-owned businesses is a simple change you can make to promote equity. Get started by downloading the Support Black Owned App. You can also check out Marie Claire’s list of 51 black-owned brands and learn more about organizations that support black entrepreneurs.
View this post on Instagram
Today, a disturbing video surfaced of the killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. Ahmaud was murdered over two months ago in Georgia when he was chased and gunned down by two white men claiming they were conducting a citizen’s arrest for a burglary. Ahmaud was simply just going for a run. I haven’t seen the video because I can’t get myself to. Just hearing the story of his murder brought me to tears. Tears of anger and sadness. No one deserves to be killed for running on the basis of their skin color. May Ahmaud rest in power. May he and his loved ones see justice somehow. Say his name. #ahmaudarbery #irunwithmaud #justiceforahmaud #blacklivesmatter
Screen a Movie
Netflix has plenty of content to dive into when it comes to exploring race in America. Why not start off with something lighter by giving Justin Simien’s comedic satire Dear White People a try? Learn about how the Black Lives Matter movement started with the documentary Rest in Power, the Trayvon Martin Story. If you’ve got tweens in your life, try streaming The Hate U Give on Hulu. It’s an important YA novel turned film about a young woman witnessing the fatal shooting of a friend by a cop.
Amp Up Your Reading List
Bookworm? Victoria Alexander has you covered with her Anti-Racist reading starter kit. She’s got books on a variety of subjects to pique the interest of any reader. From inspiring biographies on folks from Malcom X to Michelle Obama, to hard-hitting nonfiction on white fragility and mass incarceration, there’s something for everyone no matter what level of your anti-racist journey you happen to be at.
Think your vote doesn’t matter? Think again! Kat Tat gives you the skinny on why voting is important and why we can’t wait until November’s presidential election to make our voices heard. Why not share it with your friends? Learn all about registering to vote here.
Donate, Call and Text
The Minnesota Freedom Fund has an excellent list of justice organizations you can feel good about donating to. Short on cash? Afro Punk’s got a great Instagram resource pack of ways you can take action from home.
View this post on Instagram
In the past 24 hours, it’s come to media attention that Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was killed by police. At almost the exact same age, both #AhmaudArbery and Breonna were killed by senseless anti-black violence within a few weeks span. In the middle of the night on March 13 in Louisville, KY, two police officers and one sergeant entered the wrong home without knocking or announcing themselves. They claim they were executing a search warrant for a suspected drug dealer, but this person did not live at Breonna’s address and had actually already been arrested. Breonna’s boyfriend fired a shot when he thought people were trying to break in. The police then fired 20 shots, 8 of which hit and killed Breonna. This is angering and heartbreaking. Breonna selflessly saved many lives as an EMT, only to have hers taken away so senselessly by police violence. May Breonna get justice somehow. Rest in Power, queen. Say her name. #JusticeforBreonna #JusticeforBre #BreonnaTaylor #blacklivesmatter #blm #justiceforbreonnataylor #firstresponders
Say Their Names
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery. What do these names have in common? They’re all black folks who have been killed by police since March 2020 and all of their families are still awaiting justice. Honor their memories and share their stories.
Make a Commitment
Racism doesn’t end with a couple of donations or Instagram posts. It takes all of us buying in for the long haul. Recognize that change takes time and commit yourself to growing and learning as an ally. We’re all in this together and we can make a difference!
Featured Image Credit: Maria Oswalt on Unsplash