Over the last few years, the Black Lives Matter (or BLM) movement has picked up. The movement fights for racial equality and gained public media attention in 2016 following a very public case of police brutality in the USA. It has recently been welcomed into the public media again following George Floyd’s untimely death at the hands of a police officer in May 2020. Floyd’s death sparked outrage globally, and for what felt like the first time, everyone was aware of the group, and more people than ever were showing support. Recently, Floyd’s killer has been trialled and convicted of murder, alongside other acts of brutality in the US and the UK.
If you’re looking to keep supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, but you’re not sure what to do now, here are 8 crucial ways to keep supporting BLM.
1. Donate to causes that need your support
One of the best ways you can help anti-racist movements like BLM at the moment is by donating to anti-racist charities and organizations. Some of the best ones in the UK are:
Runnymede is one of the UK’s best race equality think tanks. They generate intelligence to challenge racial inequality in Britain, in order to work to build a country wherein all citizens feel valued and enjoy equal opportunities.
SARI is a service user-oriented group that provides support to victims of hate. They promote equality and good relations between people. SARI staff are experienced with dealing with hate-motivated behaviour and all staff have an understanding and are committed to the goals of SARI.
Begun in 1995 as a service for those victimised by racial harassment, the project was started as a response to the murder of Stephen Lawrence. The group works alongside other organisations to encourage the reporting of hate crimes and to support the communities and individuals affected by it.
BGB is an events organisation committed to empowering professional black women. Their goal is to raise money and host events which help women to feel less alone in their industry.
A national research and action group that works towards fair and accountable policing. They aim to disperse knowledge about the increase in stop-searches
Europe’s largest celebration for LGBTQ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern descent. They advocate, support and celebrate LGBTQ people of colour, and donations go towards annual celebrations, community outreach and hardship funds.
2. Educate yourself
Not being racist is not enough anymore, we need to make ourselves actively anti-racist. Step one in that is educating yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to read books by BAME authors. Our suggestions are:
This book is a necessary wake-up call to institutionalised and systemic racism. It explores issues like eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, touching on whitewashed feminism to the link between class and race.
Akala’s book covers everything from police, identity, sexual objectification and education. It covers the British denial and squeamishness when it comes to facing the history of racialised empires and systemic racism.
Mariam discusses the voices of Muslim women through an anthology of eye-opening essays. The book reflects on the life of Muslim women in the West, and the issues that surround their voices in Western culture.
Assata Shakur was a founding member of the Black Liberation Army, a former Black Panther and the godmother of Tupac Shakur. She became the first woman ever to make the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list. She was trialled in 1973 for the murder of a white state trooper, and her case quickly became emblematic of race relations.
This book covers feminism and the ways in which it is whitewashed. The book argues that feminism is destined to be unsuccessful if it does not embrace wider issues of race, gender and class. Waterstones called it an “urgently needed modern manifesto”.
Ibram X Kendi is the founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Center, and in this book, he shows that neutrality is not an option when it comes to racial inequality. Essentially, until we become part of the solution, we can only part of the problem.
Based on her previously critically acclaimed white supremacy journal, this book leads readers through a journey of understanding their own white privilege and unconscious (or conscious) participation in white supremacy. It adds historical and cultural context to the journal and shares stories, examples and resources for those educating themselves.
As well as books, podcasts, music and other resources by those in the BAME community can be extremely useful to educate yourself.
3. Sign petitions
One way to support BLM and anti-racism is to actively sign petitions that are supporting likeminded campaigns. For example:
- Anti-racism lessons should be made compulsory in schools
- Create more curriculum around diversity and inclusion within secondary schools
Petitions often get spread through social media, so keep your eyes peeled for any petitions that can help a minority group (or anyone – for that matter).
4. Attend protests
Again, these are often organised on Instagram and Facebook. Whenever there is an issue, or whenever there is something that needs fixing, one of the best ways to fight for it is through protest. So if you can attend, or help out in some way – do it.
5. Support Black creators and businesses
When looking at shopping, particularly if you’re shopping small, make the effort to find black owned businesses. Supporting industries is important regardless, but black businesses can sometimes struggle due to racial biases.
6. Stop supporting racist influencers and creators
If there are people you follow online that you know have done blackface, or have said the N-word, (yes – even as a joke), then unfollow them. Do not continue to support people who continue to oppress others!
7. Have difficult conversations with family and friends
Likewise, if you have family and friends who say things they shouldn’t, or even if they don’t quite get it – explain it. Even if that means having an uncomfortable conversation at the dinner table. Your 5 minutes of discomfort is nothing compared to being racially harassed, after all.
8. Write to your MP
The UK is not innocent, and a lot of our government policies are racially biased or are disproportionately applied. If you find something to be unfair – write to your MP. The website WriteToThem is built to make this easier.