I don’t think I need to brief you on what is happening in the United States right now. But if for some reason you’ve been turning a blind eye or living under a rock, go google George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, or police brutality, then come back to this post. It’s okay, I’ll wait.
Many of us might feel as though we are helpless during this fight for justice due to the ongoing pandemic. Some of us are still working and supporting our families, while others remain quarantined or in self-isolation due to exposure and/or a high-risk status. It’s okay if you can’t attend a protest in person. Successful demonstrations need people at home to do important work, too. That’s where we come in. Please continue to read this post for more information on how you can do your part to fight injustice from home.
For the Black LGBTQ+ community
- The Black Visions Collective is a Minnesotan organization focused on dismantling systemic racism and building a world with equity for all Black lives.
- The Black Trans Travel Fund provides resources to Black trans women to ensure that they can travel safely and without harassment.
- The LGBTQ Freedom Fund posts bail for LGBTQ persons in jail or in immigration facilities.
- The Marsha P. Johnson Institute works to defend the rights of Black transgender people.
- The Okra Project provides meals and resources to Black trans people.
For the continuing fight for civil rights
- The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, better known as the NAACP works to ensure the wellbeing of communities of color. Donations aid in furthering political, educational, and socioeconomic equality across the United States.
- The ACLU, or the American Civil Liberties Union, supports civil rights for all causes, from juvenile justice to disability rights. Donations support legal battles and urgent advocacy efforts, particularly for defending the right to protest and ending police brutality.
- Black Lives Matter fights to end white supremacy and finally liberate Black Americans from injustice and racism.
- The Bail Project combats disparities in the bail system and works to restore the presumption of innocence. 100% of donations are used to bring people home.
Observe and share
- Look for social media coverage from people on the ground at the protests and share responsibly.
- Follow more Black content creators, and share social media posts from Black content creators (with credit given!). You should especially do this for those in the Black LGBTQ+ community because historically they have been the most often silenced and marginalized. Here’s a good place to start: this is Indya Moore’s poem “Can I come too?” Give it a watch.
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Poem by Indya Adrianna Moore (downloadable link in bio) This poem is based on just a small part of black trans/queer sentiment. At each point that I say I, please imagine every black trans or queer face you can think of. (Don't watch if you don'twatch the whole thing.) This is a poem i wrote based on my response to a young black cis man who told me that I was causing harm to the black liberation movement by centering the violence black trans women are experiencing In our community. I wrote the poem, and expanded it for an amazing youtube program hosted by a powerful black man in hollywood which is coming out soon that I am so honored I was thought of to be included in. I just can't wait any longer for the world to see and hear it and I don't believe this is exclusive content. I am 100% breaking the rules by posting early, but this isnt content you can contract because its made out of my spirit, my heart, my mind, my pain, my pain, my pain, my LOVE, my anger, my hope, my desire and my future and nobody owns my voice. I am so grateful for @nonamehiding who released a new track called 33 (link in her bio) , because it was that track that inspired me to share this poem early.
Use your platforms and privilege
- If you have white or white-passing privilege, use it to help educate the people around you (i.e. social followings, family, friends, and co-workers). Bring up difficult conversations. It will be hard, but growth isn’t always easy.
- Don’t be afraid of “ruining” your social media presence with “political” posts. This isn’t about politics, it’s about common human decency. Sharing your support online is crucial, especially if you have a large following.
- Learn to truly listen, both online and in person. Don’t talk over Black people or make the situation about yourself. Instead, listen and hear them, then use your privilege to amplify their voice.
- Find podcasts and YouTube channels from Black creators, such as 1619. And this can extend beyond the revolution to support Black influencers in various fields such as hair care, fashion, art, and more.
Books of any genre by black authors
- Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley
- Native Son by Richard Wright
Books about systemic racism
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- When Police Kill by Franklin E. Zimring
- Pose (2018-present, Steve Canals, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy)
- Selma (2014, dir. Ava DuVernay)
- 4 Little Girls (1997, Spike Lee)
Here is a clip of Spike Lee discussing creating the documentary.
- The Hate U Give (2018, dir. George Tillman Jr.)
- Watchmen (2019- ,free on HBO this weekend!)
- Mr. Nancy’s speeches in American Gods (don’t give the show your attention; they fired Orlando Jones after season two for being “too angry”. F*ck them. Just watch Mr. Nancy’s scenes on YouTube).
- 13th (which is currently available to everyone on YouTube—see below)
The point of a protest isn’t to show other people who think like you that you also think like them—protests are meant to show a wider audience the issues at hand and emphasize that you aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you can’t attend a protest in person, you can still have a similar effect virtually, by employing hashtags typically used by the opposing side. Check out this handy guide from sa.liine.
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Tag a friend! I am not an activist, I don’t know much about politics but I am a designer. When designing we have to think about who our target audience is. Who are we designing for and why? . . This made me think about how we’ve been using social media, we’ve been targeting our posts towards BLACK PEOPLE. Sharing trauma and stress to BLACK PEOPLE. Ranting and screaming to more BLACK PEOPLE. . . So the question is how can we continue sharing but do it in an effective way? We have to think about our target audience (the oppressor) and where they hang out virtually. We have to use their hashtags to meet them virtually. . . Thank you so much to @clouddkenzie_ and @docangieluv for helping me to bring the idea of Virtual Protesting to life. . If you feel helpless this is a way to make some shake. My heart goes out to the people that are risking their lives in Minnesota. We may not be able to join them physically but we can join them virtually. #blacklivesmatter #blm
If you have the privilege to vote, use it. If you’re not already registered, don’t wait! Use the voice you have, and remember that not all citizens have the opportunity to do the same, thanks to voter suppression and laws about inmate voters (both of which disproportionately affect the Black community).
Perhaps the most important thing you can do, especially if you are white, is to continue to support Black people even after things die down. You may not have seen much about this in the news lately, but this isn’t a fad that you join on social media for a week—being anti-racist is a life long process. It won’t always be comfortable, especially when you have to reflect and fight racism within yourself. But just like Black people don’t get to turn on and off their blackness, you as an ally don’t get to turn on and off your support when it suits you.
Fire is catching,
The Collectress and The Collected Mutineer