I have a relatively small platform, but it’s a platform nonetheless. Therefore I feel it’s important to share a list of resources that we can use to take action against racism and white supremacy, and that will help us support and become better allies to Black people every single day.
This list is not exhaustive and is a starting point for me. I have seen a lot of incredibly powerful and insightful content – mainly on Instagram – and want to keep it all in one place to refer back to. Please contact me if you have any more recommendations or links; my involvement in the movement will not stop once I have consumed all of this.
Nor is this a performative post to state my dedication to Black Lives Matter. I will be doing the work behind the scenes and I will be sharing thoughts on what I have learned along the way, including by amplifying this in my ‘normal’ blog and Instagram posts, exploring books written by Black people and consciously sharing voices that are different to my own.
I am learning and always will be, but I will not stay silent just because I struggle with the ‘right’ words. For someone who considers themselves a writer, that’s pretty pathetic. I am open to criticism and will admit my mistakes as I know it will help me to do better. I’m sorry for not speaking out before.
The act of sharing a black square on Blackout Tuesday serves a reminder of the commitment I am pledging. If you’re white and posted your square, but haven’t yet donated, signed a petition, listened or read or watched, or challenged racist comments around you, please either delete it or take action. Definitely delete it if you used the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, as this proved counterproductive to the cause by flooding the haven of resources and becoming akin to censorship.
Black Lives Matter is not a trend, so we cannot treat it that way. Do not feel you have done your part and can sink into the background. It’s a practice that we need to implement into every aspect of our routines; a tool to change our white privileged ways of thinking. I will no longer use my white privilege to opt out when I am feeling fatigued by learning or feel uncomfortable with the topic. I will not support the systems that have benefitted me due to the colour of my skin and I will not ignore the injustice but actively fight against them.
It is my responsibility as a white person to learn and educate myself on black history and ways to support Black people in our communities and globally. I will never understand how it feels to be a Black person in society, but I stand with them. It is not up to Black people to teach us, so let’s follow and share, but do not ask for ideas on how we can support them. We can find those ourselves.
I will challenge racism in my household and in my community, I will not back down because I feel uncomfortable addressing it – my uncomfort is irrelevant compared to the fear that black people have to live with every single day.
Where to start
– Learn about Black Lives Matter and join the movement by adding your name and signing up for emails
– Check out Jane Elliott’s educational work
– Check in with Black friends / colleagues / family members to make sure they are okay & let them know you support them
– Acknowledge our white privilege and use it to help Black people: listen to what Black people have to say, amplify their voices on our platforms
– Understand that as white people we may get it wrong, but speaking out is more important than the fear of this
Police brutality in the US
This is a non-comprehensive list of black people killed at the hands of police in the United States since Eric Garner’s death in 2014.
Police brutality in the UK
It’s easy to think that the problem is purely happening in the US, but the truth is racism happens everywhere and we have a serious issue in Britain. This a non-comprehensive list of Black people who have been killed by police in the UK. Black citizens are more than twice as likely to die in police custody than their white counterparts.
According to the BBC, 13 Black people have died at the hands of the police in the last 10 years. Note: not a single police officer has been convicted in connection to these deaths.
– Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap
– Time: The Kalief Browder Story
– When They See Us
– Who Killed Malcolm X?
– What Happened, Miss Simone?
– Age of Rage
– Self Made
– She’s Gotta Have It
– Dear White People
– See You Yesterday
– The Death and Life of Marsha P Jo
Movies by Black filmmakers that confront systemic racism
– Get Out | Jordan Peele
– 12 Years A Slave | Sir Steve McQueen CBE
– Do The Right Thing | Spike Lee
– I Am Not Your Negro | Raoul Peck
– Fences | Denzel Washington (written by August Wilson)
– Fruitvale Station | Ryan Coogler
– If Beale Street Could Talk | Barry Jenkins
– Selma | Ava DuVernay
– The Hate U Give | George Tilman Jr (based on novel by Angie Thomas)
– Rapper Killer Mike speech
– The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
– Hidden Figures
– Let the Fire Burn
– How Do The Legacies Of Slavery and Jim Crowe Laws Still Affect Americans Today? | Get Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
– Anti-Racism Resources & An Author Special With Candice Brathwaite | The High Low
– Revisionist History | Malcolm Gladwell
– 1619 | The New York Times
– The Switch Code Podcast | O, DJ, & Tom
– The Diversity Gap | Bethaney Wilkinson
– Intersectionality Matters | African American Policy Forum
– Momentum | Race Forward
– Pod for the Cause | The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
– Pod Save The People | Crooked Media
– About Race | Reni Eddo-Lodge
– Say Your Mind
– Conversations | Nova Reid
– Growing Up | Gal-Dem
– Black Lives Matter playlist (Spotify)
– Protest Anthems
– Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race | Reni Eddo-Lodge (NOTE: the author has asked everyone now buying this book to also donate the equivalent cost to the Minnesota Freedom Fund -linked below)
– Girl, Woman, Other | Bernardine Evaristo
– Me and White Supremacy | Layla F Saad
– Queenie | Candice Carty-Williams
– Freedom | Jaiya John
– I Am Not Your Baby Mother | Candice Brathwaite
– Think Like A White Man | Dr Boulé Whytelaw III
– White Tears / Brown Scars | Ruby Hamad
– When They Call You a Terrorist | Patrisse Cullors & asha bandele
– Sister Outsider | Audre Lorde
– So You Want to Talk About Race | Ijeoma Oluo
– Road Map for Revolutionaries | Elisa Camahort Page, Carolyn Gerin, Jamia Wilson
– How To Be An Antiracist | Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
– Black Feminist Thought | Patricia Hill Collins
– Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpowers | Dr. Brittney Cooper
– Heavy: An American Memoir | Kiese Laymon
– I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing | Maya Angelou
– Just Mercy | Bryan Stevenson
– Raising Our Hands | Jenna Arnold
– Redefining Realness | Janet Mock
– The Bluest Eye | Toni Morrison
– The Fire Next Time | James Baldwin
– The New Jim Crowe: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness | Michelle Alexander
– The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century | Grace Lee Boggs
– The Warmth of Other Suns | Isabel Wilkerson
– This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Colour | Cherrie Moraga
– Their Eyes Were Watching God | Zora Neale Hurston
– When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth Century America | Ira Katznelson
– White Fragility | Robin DiAngelo
– Natives | Akala
– The Good Immigrant | Nikesh Shukla
– Between the World and Me | Ta-Nehisi Coates
– An American Marriage | Tayari Jones
How to challenge racism
Yes, it is uncomfortable, but while that fleeting feeling is not lethal, the risk Black people face every day is. In the past I have been guilty of believing that it is enough to be ‘non-racist’ by silently disapproving of comments or ignoring them. IT ISN’T ENOUGH. We must actively challenge people’s racism, call them out on it and help them understand why what they are saying is wrong.
Here are some steps to combat racism and white-supremacy everyday (credit: @jordanpickellcounselling)
How to tell someone they are being racist
– In the moment express that the comment is racist / offensive / ignorant
– Set a boundary to make it clear you will not accept racist comments – e.g. “Do not make a racist comment around me, if you do I’m leaving.”
– Make a note and refer back to the comment later – e.g. “What you said the other day really upset me”.
– Express your emotions towards this kind of behaviour – e.g. “That made me feel angry / upset / disgusted”
– Ask questions – e.g. “Why do you say that? Where did you learn that? How would you feel if you experienced that?”
– Offer stories and examples – e.g. “Imagine fearing for your safety when…”
Challenge our white friends to speak up!
If we know someone who hasn’t spoken about the movement yet, let’s help to educate and encourage them to support BLM.
Petitions to sign
– Make Black history mandatory petition (UK)
– Battle racism by updating GCSE reading lists petition (UK)
– Justice for George Floyd petition
– Justice for Belly Mujinga petition
– Justice for Breonna Taylor petition
– Justice for Tony McDade petition
– Justice for Ahmaud Arbery petition
Where to donate
– George Floyd’s family
– Tony McDade’s family
– Black Vision Collective
– Minnesota Freedom Fund
– Black Lives Matter
– The Bail Project
– Belly Mujinga family support fund
– Color of change
– Reclaim The Block
– Show Racism The Red Card
– Runnymede Trust
– Stop Hate UK
– Breonna Taylor’s family
How to donate if you can’t afford it
Understandably, we are not all in a financial situation to be donating significant amounts of money, so don’t feel guilty if you are not able to. Instead (or as well as) we can watch this video, INCLUDING the adverts, on repeat. It was posted by a Black woman called Zoe Amira and features art and music from Black creators. The revenue from the ads will be split between various BLM organisations.
Supporting Black people’s mental health
(Credit: Ethel’s Club)
– Loveland Therapy Fund for Black Women & Girls
– Black Earth Farm food donations
– The Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund for Black Trans People
– The Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund for Black Trans People
How to demand change
An easy and free way to demand change is to put the pressure on the government by emailing MPs. Make sure to include your address so you can prove that you are in their constituency and demand the changes below.
Please make sure you slightly alter any petition templates so that the receiver is more likely to read them than dismiss as automated and not reply. I have included the email I sent to my MP (some points adopted from other sources and some added myself) if you want to use that as a guide.
– Find your local MP here and then google their official email address (it should look like this: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am one of your constituents in [constituency]. I am writing to you in regards to the racially motivated police brutality, both within the UK and in America, and the violent reactions to the protesters campaigning against it.
I am sure you are aware of the Black Lives Matter movement that has been around since 2013, but which is gaining momentum currently – this is a pinnacle point in our fight against racial injustice and we must act now.
Donald Trump has actively encouraged the military and the police to use force against protesters. He has also publicly classed anti-facists as a terrorist threat. This is a threat to democracy and we take it very seriously. Protest is a human right.
White supremacy is a growing global threat and must not be taken lightly. The loss of real democracy is also a global threat and you must fight to protect it.
It is essential that our government makes it known that this is not acceptable. You, your fellow MP’s and Boris Johnson must make it clear that we, as a country, support the Black Lives Matter movement. There needs to be a public statement made. You work for the citizens of the United Kingdom, and you speak on our behalf. This is not a suggestion. It is a demand.
We also demand the immediate suspension of UK sales of teargas, riot shields and rubber bullets to the US.
I also would like to bring your attention to the significant gap in our school curriculum – particularly in history lessons. This failure to educate young people on race is detrimental to the way we move around the world and works to uphold systems of racial oppression. I have also sent an email to the Secretary State of Education, Mr Gavin Williamson, demanding that we make black history mandatory in the national curriculum, as black people have made vast contributions to this country yet we omit this in our classrooms. This is a topic you also need to help us raise awareness on.
We need to tackle the systemic racism that is found in every institution in our country – education, housing, police brutality, wage gap and healthcare.
– Support the Black Lives Matter movement in the US & UK
– Immediately stop the sale of rubber bullets & tear gas to the US
– Re-open the investigation into Belly Mujinga’s death
Secretary of State for Education
– Make Black history mandatory teaching in UK schools. Read about The Black Curriculum movement here.
Who to follow
– Watford | Saturday 6th June | 1pm
– London Parliament Square| Saturday 6th June | 1pm
– Manchester Piccadilly Gardens | Saturday 6th June | 1pm
– Newcastle (online) | Saturday 6th June | 1pm
– Tunbridge Wells | Saturday 6th June | 3pm
– Bristol College Green | Sunday 7th June | 2pm
– Nottingham Forest Recreation Ground | Sunday 7th June | 12pm
– Abergavenny | Tuesday 9th June | 6pm
Click here for more information & locations
What to bring/wear
– Face mask
– Banners / signs
– Layered clothing
Where to shop
– Original Flava | Craig & Shaun McAnuff
– Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen | Zoe Adjonyoh
– Hibiscus | Lopè Ariyo
– Ethiopia | Yohanis Gebreyesus
– Belly Full | Riaz Phillips
Which brands to boycott
These brands have pledged no support to the BLM movement (or rather have, but in a hypocritical and performative manner) and choose not to use their huge platforms to educate and raise awareness. (Credit @evagoesthrifting)
Do not spend your money here
– Urban Outfitters
– Ralph Lauren
– Dolls Kill
For white influencers
After seeing what L’Oréal did to Munroe, we have to make a stand. I have had very few collaboration opportunities, but if I do in the future these are the steps I will be taking to ensure the brands I work with are inclusive. It’s not an excuse to be excited to work with a company. If they are upholding systems of oppression and not including Black communities in their work, they do not deserve our platform.
Here is a list of criteria we MUST consider before any collaboration if we are to be true allies (credit @vixmeldrew)
What to do:
– Only go to events after ensuring there are inclusive spaces at the table
– Only accept collaborations after checking who else is being included and paid / gifted
– Feature guest posts and articles from people with different experiences to ours, including from Black people
– Ensure all voices are represented on panels
– Elevate those who need more representation
– Investigate what a brand stands for (or doesn’t) and who they have worked with (or haven’t) before committing to partnerships
Books about race & racism
– Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes | Mem Fox
– A is for Activist | Innosanto Nagara
– Last Stop on Market Street | Matt De La Pena
– All Are Welcome | Alexandra Penfold
– We March | Shane W. Evans
– Let’s Talk About Race | Julius Lester
In addition to this post, I have a highlight saved on my Instagram page @lilyroseking_ dedicated to the BLM movement, with more resources and ways to help.
Please excuse me for not sharing any of my usual blog posts for a week or so. They will eventually continue but taking time to educate myself is far more important than the outfits I have been styling up recently.
This list obviously barely scrapes the surface, but I hope it is helpful as an initial roadmap that will lead to the discovery of other content.