In the wake of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Nina Pop, and Sean Reed, it is vital that we talk about where society is going from here. I am white, and understand the privilege that comes with it. There are lots of black activists and educators you can follow, this is just my simple truth: to take action.
We would also like to invite you to spend today offline, not posting on social media and instead, reading and reflecting on the matter.
The modern manifestation of police brutality against the black community dates back to post-Civil war reconstruction and can be found specifically in laws prominent in the South.
As with most issues, we don’t believe hashtags and online discourse will change the narrative. #BlackLivesMatter is not, and will never be a trend. On smartgirltribe.com we have added a new category to only highlight these issues so you have information at your fingertips. Our dedication to racial justice will be a long road, and tough but if not now, when? Here are a few of the powerful ways you can show up.
Empower the voices of the most marginalised people
I am proud to say that Smart Girl Tribe is an inclusive hub for women everywhere. Our team is diverse, and treated equally. This doesn’t mean we cannot get better. In all conversations, it is important that we encourage the voices and experiences of those most impacted by these issues to speak up and share. Here are only a handful of the posts, written by our black female writers: Depression as a black woman , How meditation helps me and tomorrow our newest podcast episode will be on racial injustice. You can also listen to Forbes’ 30 under 30 alumnus Sarah Owusu’s podcast episode ‘Life as a black, female artist’.
Reading about police brutality, the justice system in the States and racism is pivotal. You can also turn to Abolitionist Futures and the African American Intellectual History Society. My personal recommendations include: ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race‘ by Reni Eddo-Lodge, ‘Freedom is a Constant Struggle’ by Angela Davis and ‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison.
Help your community
Even in the UK our work is critical, there are even local organisations to join, focused on making long-lasting change. Peaceful protests will take place at various locations in London this week, including Hyde Park and Parliament Square. Organised by London Black Lives Matter, all the details can be found by following the #LDNBLM hashtag on Twitter.
Change your own life
Sitting back and allowing racism to happen around you, is as bad as taking part. As you would with homophobia, body-shaming and sexism, call out racism. Fighting oppression is uncomfortable by its nature but the only way to change the system. We cannot change the past but we can change the future. Have open and honest conversations with your parents, boss, friends and peers. Ask questions in the office or at your school/university and ask the black community how you can help.
Again, being based in the UK we must also do the work. Show Racism The Red Card is an anti-racism charity in the UK. The charity provides resources and runs school workshops to educate people in Britain about ongoing racism.