How To Be An Ally For The Black Community

I’ve seen a lot of people express interest in being an ally for the Black community, but unsure how to go about it. It’s not enough to say “I’m not racist.” You must actively practice anti-racism and unlearn years of systemic micro-aggressions. It’s shocking how many ‘influencers’ with thousands of followers went back to posting their outfits as soon as it seemed ‘acceptable’ again. Not surprisingly, it’s the same ones who shared a performative black square & called it a day. We (talking to my white & fellow non-Black POC followers here) all need to let go of whatever we thought was ‘normal’ before because this historical revolution is about checking our privilege, educating ourselves, & consciously making an effort to fight systemic racism.

Allyship isn’t a trend. As we slowly return to integrating our usual content on social media, we can still keep the momentum going & speak the truth. I understand how uncomfortable it’s been & many are scared to post or say the wrong thing, but silence is willful compliance to the oppressor. Now isn’t the time for white tears or a projection of white guilt, but the time to step TF up for your audience & ‘influence’ them. I’ve had no problem cutting off a number of ‘friends’ & acquaintances because it’s clear their values don’t align with mine. Don’t be afraid to hold those you look up to on social media accountable, especially people/brands whose content you regularly consume. No matter how big or small your platform, you have a voice & it matters. 🖤

LEARN WHAT RACISM ACTUALLY MEANS

Systemic: These are the policies and practices established in institutions that promote designated groups. Think about laws and societies. How many are promoting an elite group, while giving an unfair advantage to minority groups because of race, gender, religion, or socioeconomic status.

Individual: According to the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Center, “refers to an individual’s racist assumptions, beliefs or behaviours and is ‘a form of racial discrimination that stems from conscious and unconscious, personal prejudice’ (Henry & Tator, 2006, p. 329).” Examples include telling racist jokes and pushing micro-aggressions under the rug by claiming it’s ‘personal opinions.’

RECOGNIZE WAYS YOU’VE BEEN RACIST

One of my favorite social resources is The Conscious Kid Instagram. This chart does a great job showing all the ways we may unknowingly or covertly be racist. How many of the things under the black line have you done in the past? It’s uncomfortable to ask ourselves these questions, but they’re the first steps to unlearning racism.

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White supremacy is a system of structural and societal racism which privileges white people over everyone else, regardless of the presence or absence of racial hatred. White racial advantages occur at both a collective and an individual level. We just updated this chart, which presents *some* of the ways people practice and reinforce white supremacy that they may not be aware of, or even think of as “white supremacy”. If you are unsure of what any of these terms mean, please feel free to look them up. There is an abundance of scholarship and research on each of these things. Image Source: Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (2005). Adapted: Ellen Tuzzolo (2016); Mary Julia Cooksey Cordero (@jewelspewels) (2019); The Conscious Kid (2020). #AntiRacism #AntiRacist #TeachersOfInstagram #WhitePrivilege

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LEARN WHAT WHITE PRIVILEGE IS & CHECK YOURS

It doesn’t mean your life hasn’t been hard, it just means the color of your skin hasn’t made it harder or been a factor in any kind of oppression. Don’t mention your white guilt, your white tears, and leave the white savior complex at the door. As true allies, we do not center the conversation around ourselves, but instead pass the mic and help amplify Black voices. And do not expect your Black friends to educate you, take the initiative!

STOP BEING PERFORMATIVE

Don’t post or share something because it seems like the right thing to do. Social justice and human rights aren’t a trend. Make the effort to be anti-racist and actively share resources and be open to dialogue. Scroll through these slides to learn more.

 

EDUCATE YOURSELF ON #BLACKLIVESMATTER

Continuously! A true ally takes time to learn what #BlackLivesMatter is, stands for, and wants to achieve. The slides below break it down.

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IMPORTANT: TEXT JUSTICE TO 668366 NOT 66836!! We apologize for the error!! STILL WHY ACAB? CHECK OUT OUR ACAB POST! FOR OTHER QUESTIONS YOU FEEL HAVE NOT BEEN ANSWERED: CHECK OUR STORY HIGHLIGHTS FOR A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF WHAT WE BELIEVE TO BE THE MOST INFORMATIVE POSTS i have taken the time to educate myself and involve myself more into the black lives matter movement. as an asian-american and non-black poc, i recognize my privilege and i want to utilize that privilege in speaking up. this graphic was created with the intent of educating those who may not understand why people in the #BlackLivesMatter movement do what they do, and i hope that it will make an impact on those who read it. — #blacklivesmatter #blacklivesmatter✊🏾 #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforahmaud #justiceforfloyd #justiceforbreonnataylor #blmanhua

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THEN EDUCATE YOURSELF SOME MORE

Read books by Black authors, watch documentaries from Black filmmakers, listen to podcasts by Black experts, and have discussions with other allies. CLICK HERE for antiracism resources!

EDUCATE YOUR COMMUNITY

It’s hard, but use your voice and have those uncomfortable discussions. If you’re hanging with your friends and hear a micro-aggressive comment, CALL IT OUT! Be the change.

DONATE & PETITION

CLICK HERE to about ongoing petitions to sign and places to donate.

SUPPORT BLACK CREATORS

Watch films from Black filmmakers, read books by Black authors, and support as many local Black businesses in your community!

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Did you know black women-owned businesses represented the highest rate of growth over the last 5 years? Or that 42% of new businesses were started by black women? *According to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. On the blog today we’re shining a spotlight on 30 black female business owners we admire. Swipe left, follow and support them, and please keep your recommendations coming, as we will continue to grow this list! @lalahdelia @foodheaven @tonya.rapley @trinitymouzon @golde @shontay_lundy @blackgirlsunscreen @mattebrand @kashmirviii @cakeandcashmere @beautybakeriemakeup @melissarbutler @thelipbar @codieco @blacklove @camillionz @kit @victoriafaziopb @propabeauty @mentedcosmetics @sheneilmonique @basebutter @harperimandolls @treefairfax @sonshinebath @aliyawanek @zouxoushoes @beadsbyaree @heysharonc @uomabeauty @thecupcakecollection @iamlisaprice @carolsdaughter @curlbox @kristennoelcrawley @kncbeauty @klur.co @briogeo @nancytwine @iambeadixon @thehoneypotco @ouithepeople

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USE YOUR VOICE & DON’T STOP, EVEN IF YOU’RE TIRED

If you feel nothing is happening, if you’re fatigued, if you still feel you got it wrong or feel guilty… check your privilege. The Black community has been tired for over 400 years.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBfbDnvAw8J/

 

Remember, this is a movement, not a moment, that we must continue. If you can’t donate, and you can’t protest, you can still use your platform to educate. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 followers or 10,000—change begins with one person. This is a revolutionary time in history. These are the chapters your children will ask you about. How will you answer them? Can you say you stood on the right side of history as an ally?

Bookmark this post, I’ll continuously update it!

XoXo,