As of June 3rd, all fifty states (plus 18 countries around the world) have participated in Black Lives Matter protests, making it the “largest civil rights movement in world history.” By all means, if you are able to protest, go protest. We have only scratched the surface of what needs to be done however, and if you’re new to this and don’t know how else to help, this guide will help you with some ideas on how to get started.
Support Black-Led Businesses
Whether you realize it or not, how you spend your money is political. Below are just some of the many incredible Black-led businesses you should be supporting. In addition to these however, be sure to seek out and support the local Black-owned businesses in your own community.
Your donation to any of the below organizations helps so much. Any amount will help make a difference.
Support Black-Led LGTBQ Organizations
Promoting the power of Black trans and gay people to end systemic divestment from the prison industrial complex and invest in community support.
Stopping “the Aids epidemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV.”
The first-ever legally recognized trans district in the world, whose goal is to sustain, stabilize, and economically empower the trans community.
Promoting “healing justice, resilience, and organizing among our communities, particularly by and for transgender women of color, to remove barriers that inhibit our survival.”
“Community-led funding initiative to support grassroots trans justice groups run by and for trans people.”
A collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black trans people by bringing “home-cooked, healthy and culturally specific meals and resources” to the Black trans community.
Send a Card for the Breonna Taylor #SayHerName Initiative
Breonna Taylor’s birthday is Friday, June 5, and she would have been 27 years old. In her honor, @battymamzelle had the idea to “flood social media with love and remembrance” for Breonna using the hashtag #sayhername, as well as sending birthday cards that call for charges to be brought up against the officers who shot her in her own home, to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. There is also an online petition you can sign demanding that her killers be charged. As of Breonna’s birthday (June 5th), the afore-mentioned officers are on administrative leave, but have not been charged with any crime. There is still time to send your birthday cards demanding justice and accountability.
Address your cards to:
The Office of the Attorney General
700 Capitol Ave.
Frankfort, KY 40601
Being an ally when you are not a person of color begins with educating yourself. It is your own responsibility to seek out learning opportunities and NOT to expect a person of color to provide you with information. Below are some good books to get started.
So You Want to Talk about Race , by Ijeoma Oluo
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, by Brittney Cooper
An African-American and Latinx History of the United States, by Paul Ortiz
Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving
This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror, by Moustafa Bayoumi
The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy, by Andrea Flynn, Susan R. Holmberg, Dorian T. Warren, and Felicia J. Wong
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race, by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, by Safiya Umoja Noble
Post Online (In a Truly Helpful Way)
Instagram Activism caught some flack for #BlackoutTuesday, and rightly so. The hashtag and ubiquitous black squares (ones that specifically used #BlackLivesMatter) were well-intended, but buried helpful BLM information, making anything relevant hard to find. If all you can do right now is post however, Instagram is a huge platform, reaches many people, and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Do go ahead and repost educational posts that share info on allyship or covert racism, link to good places to donate, “pass the mic” by sharing posts by a person of color or experienced activists concerning protests, share posts by groups trying to reform our police departments.
Be prepared to defend these posts when family and friends bring up uncomfortable opinions in your comments. If you are not a person of color, having uncomfortable conversations with family members whose opinions differ from yours may be some of the most important work you do. Now is the time to have that conversation and gently, but firmly, assert your position as an ally. Below are some good Instagram accounts to follow and share:
Voting is more important than I can say – go vote. If you need to register, now is the time. Many states’ presidential primary elections run at various times from now until September. Keep track of your state’s primary date and VOTE.
Stream this video – Yes, for FREE - to generate actual money for BLM organizations (including bail funds for protestors)
On May 20th, Zoe Amira posted a one-hour YouTube video full of art and music made by Black creators. The content is also full of ads, and each time one of them is viewed throughout the video, the revenue (all 100% of it) is distributed to sixteen BLM organizations, bail fund organizations, and GoFundMe sites set up for the families of George Floyd and Regis Korchinski-Paquet.
Turn off your ad-blocker before you view it, and do not skip the ads. Please click on the link below, play through as many times as you can, and share the video with family, friends, and on social media. You can keep it open in a separate tab and enjoy the music as you work if you need to. However, do not put the video on repeat, as some have suggested, since this can make YouTube count it as spam – make sure to watch a few videos in between viewings of Zoe Amira’s video.
All proceeds from the ad revenue generated are dispersed to the following: the Brooklyn Bail Fund, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, the Atlanta Action Network, the Columbus Freedom Fund, the Louisville Community Bail Fund, the Chicago Bond, the Black Visions Collective, the Richmond Community Bail Fund, the Bail Project, Inc., the Northwest Community Bail Fund, Philadelphia Bail Fund, the Korchinski-Paquet Family GoFundMe, George Floyd’s family GoFundMe, BlackLivesMatter.com, Reclaim The Block, and the ACLU.