• Taryn Thrasher

Black Lives Matter.

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

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

  • About Race

  • Intersectionality Matters! Hosted by Kimberle Crenshaw

  • Momentum a Race Forward Podcast

  • Pod Save the People

  • Hella Black Pod

Where to Donate

  • NAACP Legal Defense Fund

  • The American Civil Liberties Union

  • Fair Fight: Ensures fair elections and combats voter suppression

  • George Floyd's siblings Philonise and Bridgett are raising funds for funeral and burial expenses, as well as to support his daughter Gianna. Donate to their GoFundMe's here and here.

  • 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.

Take Action

  • 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

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