Black Lives Matter.
Updated: Jun 15
As a Black woman in America, I have never had the luxury of viewing police as a benevolent force for justice in this country. I tense up every time I glance in my rear view mirror and see the black and white of a squad car. I fear for my Black male partner when he drives around UCLA to his Beverly Hills apartment alone. I’ve never felt terror like when I watched him get pulled over by LAPD. He asked that I come make sure that he was safe, so I rushed over to where he was to make sure he was being treated humanely.
A white female onlooker came up to me and asked if he was my boyfriend. When I said yes she shook her head and said with a haunting smile, “Good luck with that.” My boyfriend was one of the lucky ones. He left that ‘routine traffic stop’ with his life.
It is a sad fact that Black people are 2.5 times more likely to be killed in a police interaction than white people. That is why we must assert that Black Lives Matter. That is why we are marching in the streets for the right to breathe in America.
As the Black community works through the pain of the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and too many others we would like to provide resources for Non-Black folks to join the movement in various ways. Remember what Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
I have broken down ways to educate yourself and others on the plight of Black people in this country into the following subsections:
What to Watch
13th a documentary that explores the history of racial inequality with a focus on the overrepresentation of Black people in the criminal justice system. Can be watched on Netflix.
Dear White People a series about Black college students at a predominantly white institution and their struggle against systemic racism, sexism and homophobia among other things.
If Beale Street Could Talk a story about a young couple in love, while Black. It explores how racism can turn even the most beautiful love story into a nightmare.
See You Yesterday an imagination of “Back to the Future” but with an all-Black cast. Interesting take on how Black youth see systemic racism.
When They See Us a miniseries about the exonerated five, the story of young Black boys who were wrongfully accused of a rape in Central Park.
What to Read
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
How to be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
What to Listen to: Podcasts
1619 a podcast by the New York Times
Intersectionality Matters! Hosted by Kimberle Crenshaw
Momentum a Race Forward Podcast
Pod Save the People
Hella Black Pod
Where to Donate
Fair Fight: Ensures fair elections and combats voter suppression
The Black Visions Collective Movement and Legal Fund, a Black, trans and queer-led organization, is helping lead the protests and advocating defunding the police in Minnesota. Donate here.
Contact your local Black Lives Matter Chapter to Donate or donate to the BLM Global network here.
Text FLOYD to 55156 to demand all four officers involved with Floyd’s death be charged and arrested.
Call DA Michael Freeman at (612) 324-4499 to demand all four officers involved with Floyd’s death be charged and arrested.
Contact your congress people and ask them to support Representatives Pressley and Omar’s resolution condemning police brutality.
Safely join one of the many protests around the country and make it a priority to protect Black people if the police get aggressive. The police are less likely to harm white bodies.
Check out the Movement for Black Lives to learn more ways to get involved.
I hope you learned something from the resources I have shared here. Please share them with any friends or family who consider themselves allies in the struggle against injustice in this country. Be sure to check in with yourself about how you’re feeling right now. Take breaks from social media and reach out to your loved ones. For more tips on maintaining your mental health in the wake of racial trauma check out this blog. Here at Ayana, we stand in solidarity with the Black community and we join you in calling for justice.
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” –Assata Shakur