I’ve been grappling with how to navigate the right way to speak up when there’s an entire community of people in fear for their lives and outraged at the systemic injustice that stems solely from the color of their skin. And then I realized… This isn’t about me. It’s not about what I say or don’t say, or how eloquently I do or don’t say it. This is about THEM. About their voices, stories, and messages, and ways white people have sorely needed to speak out and stand up for the inequality all around us, even if we don’t have all the right words.
No more Black men, women, or children should worry and wonder whether they might die in the streets, or in their homes. No more white people can simply shrug it off and say, “It’s not my problem. I’m not a racist,” because it’s not enough to be non-racist.
Racism isn’t just the angry, violent acts from one skin color to another. Racism is complacency. It’s silence. It’s not sticking up for our brothers and sisters in humanity. THAT is racism, and so instead of pushing the work off onto people it “actually affects,” realize that this truly trickles down into each and every one of our lives. It’s ingrained into our society, into politics, into school systems, into neighborhoods. So, the bottom line is that, unless you’re actively learning how to be anti-racist, how to be an ally, you’re contributing to the pattern that hurts, and kills, innocent Black people.
Action I am Taking
While this isn’t about me, I do want to share the actions I am taking since I know many will ask. I am still learning. I am not a perfect ally. This week, we had been planning a launch that was months in the making. After a weekend of much thought, heartache, and transparency, we decided to continue with the launch on Monday in collaboration with nearly 100 other female entrepreneurs involved in the project.
However, as soon as we began promotion, it became clear that this campaign was not marginally as important as the discussion about race, alliance, and supporting the Black community. In an effort to show our solidarity, we pulled our messaging, emails, and social posts scheduled for the rest of the launch on Monday morning. It’s important for me to own up and share that we made the mistake of initiating the launch in the first place. And I hope our decision to step away from active promotion and to instead continue sharing resources and speaking on the importance of Black Lives Matter shows where our true alliance lies.
In the hopes to continue this conversation and to continue providing information for my audience (that my team and I are also actively working through), I wanted to create this post to share ways for you to get involved and learn WHY this matters, for all of us. You’ll find below lists of podcasts to listen to, courses to take, books to read, accounts to follow, and organizations to donate to in order to expand your perspective and learn how to dismantle the biases you have and be an ally to the Black community.
I hear those of you challenging me to do more, and I don’t take that challenge lightly. We are continuously polling our audience to see how we can bring more diverse experiences and stories on to my platforms and the Goal Digger Podcast. If you or someone you know would be a good guest to discuss and teach further on the topic of anti-racism and Black Lives Matter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What you can do
Many of you are asking where you can begin, many want to confront the biases you hold, and many of you are ready to learn. First: Check in on your Black friends, support them, be there for them, but please do not text them or dive into the DMs of an anti-racism leader and ask how you can learn or become an ally.
Our Black sisters and brothers are grieving, they are tired, and they know that if you scroll through their content or hit that Google search bar, you can find answers to those questions. It is NOT their responsibility to educate you; you must first start educating yourself.
I am not an expert, but I am someone who is on the journey with you learning and leaning in. The resources are there — they have been there — it’s time for us to dig in and do the work. I’m doing it here with you.
Podcasts to Listen to:
Courses to Take
Trudi Lebron: Show Up and Serve
Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History
Accounts to Follow
Books to read to understand anti-racism on a deeper level:
This Bridge Called My Back Edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
Divided Sisters by Midge Wilson & Kathy Russell
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad
Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeona Oluo
I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Race for Profit by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Stamped by Ibran X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
Organizations to Donate to:
Let’s keep the discussion going.
Leave a comment with any helpful resources, blogs, books, shows, podcasts, etc. for us to continue to share and to continue our learning along side of you.