Over the past week, we've seen the Black community and their allies rise up and demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor (killed in Louisville, where I live), and countless other Black men and women whose lives were taken from them. For the past couple of weeks, I've shared resources on Instagram, but I also wanted to make sure that I share here as well if anyone is looking for resources.
Black Lives Matter. I am listening, learning, and unlearning. I've always been someone who is terrified of putting my foot in my mouth, but I realize silence is what led us to this point in history. Allyship comes from action, not from declaration of support. You have to do the work, and show up (even if it's imperfect) every day, and as someone with white-passing privilege, that's what will do.
For the past couple of weeks, I've been confronting my own white fragility – the guilt, shame, and defensiveness when thinking about my role as a white-passing person and racism. I thought, “I'm not racist! I definitely know racism having been born in the deep south (Georgia), but I can tell when it happens and I hate it!” There's a distinct difference between being not racist and anti-racist. After dropping the defenses, I spent a lot of time consuming information: local news, national news, books, blog posts, and more. There's so much work I need to do, and I will continue to listen. I'm embarrassed that I didn't do this work sooner.
I've also looked for ways to help tangibly. My auto-immune issues are flaring up right now, so I don't feel super comfortable going to a protest with big crowds and COVID-19. Instead, I've made initial donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund (they're no longer asking for donations because of the outpouring, but there are more bail funds you can donate to here), the Louisville Community Bail Fund, #FeedTheWest (a group getting fresh food to West Louisville, which is already a food desert and is experiencing an interruption in food supply because of the protests), and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ.) I've also given supplies and money for supplies to friends who are providing protester relief. Sephora is allowing Beauty Insider points to be redeemed as donations to the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), so I sent those over as well. (To do that, you can head to the Beauty Insider redemption page donate them. If you have a lot of points, you can do individual transactions until your points are gone. My 4100 points that I always forget to use ended up being worth $80.)
I will continue to listen and learn, will set up recurring donations, and look for ways to be involved. There will be stumbles and mess-ups, I'm sure, but we have to start somewhere.
Resources for education and unlearning:
This Google Doc is a fantastic starting place for resources. If you're not sure where to start, try here.
Below are the specific resources that I've used so far and I've found them very eye opening.
Books: Many anti-racism books are sold out right now. If you can't find these in-store or online, you can use your local public library resources to get eBooks or Audiobooks on apps like Libby, by Overdrive. If you're looking to purchase, consider purchasing from a Black-owned bookstore. Activist and educator Rachel Elizabeth Cargle owns Elizabeth's Books, where you can shop her recommendations and a portion of the proceeds go to the Loveland Foundation.
- White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
- So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Code Switch by NPR: “We're a multi-racial, multi-generational team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.”
- 1619 by the New York Times: “An audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling.”
- The Opt In with Aurora + Kelly “…is an intimate, ongoing conversation between a Woman of Color and a white woman who are unpeeling their collective conditioning, exploring ongoing re-education, and stumbling on their traumas and blind spots, all while making more space for love, forgiveness, freedom, and truth.”
Thought Leaders and Activists:
- Rachel Cargle and her self-paced monthly program The Great Unlearn
- Sonya Renee Taylor
- Brittany Packnett Cunningham
- Giselle Buchanan
I have some more resources saved in my Instagram Stories highlights, under BLM. Here are a few posts that I've saved from others on Instagram that I've found really enlightening: