Art by @sacree_frangine
I’ve done a lot of self-reflecting this week. I’ve thought back on my childhood, my college years, and my post-college life. While I’ve always thought of myself as “not racist,” I now realize that’s not enough. I now realize that I need to and will be anti-racist.
Not only have I reflected on situations that I’ve been in where there have been racist jokes made, and I’ve remained silent, but I’ve also reflected and learned a lot about systemic racism in our country. I found this cartoonish video really insightful in showing how, over years and years and years, our society has been systematically engineered to suppress Black people.
It’s not enough to “not be racist” – we have to actively be anti-racist. I will listen. I will learn. I will fail, but fail forward. I will take action.
Like most White people, I can say that I feel embarrassed that it took the horrific murder of George Floyd for me to really step back. In the past, I’ve been saddened and appalled at unwarranted police brutality against Black people and murders of Black people by police, but I haven’t been the ally that I vow to be moving forward.
I know I’m going to mess up, and when I do, please, call me out! Send me an email, DM me, send a text.
Where do White people start?
At Home // For me, first and foremost, it starts at home. Michael and I have had a lot of conversations this week. Some tough ones, but mostly eye opening and a lot of learning together. My mom and I had a great conversation too. She shared her experiences as a young girl growing up in rural Louisiana and the overt racism that was present in the 60’s.
What does starting at home mean? I will no longer remain silent when racist remarks (often labeled as “jokes”) are made by family or friends. That’s how the cycle continues. I will consciously acknowledge how my decisions on where to live, where to send my future children to school, where to shop, and where to dine impact societal systemic racism.
In Business and At Work // I own two businesses, Cobalt Chronicles and Contracts for Creatives. I’m working on putting together a thoughtful and concrete game plan on how I can do better in both businesss.
For this blog and my associated social media channels, to start, this means collaborating with Black influencers, supporting Black creators, and partnering and supporting more Black owned businesses.
For Contracts for Creatives, this means taking a look at my referral network to ensure that I am sending Black professionals business and supporting Black businesses with my services.
This is a great resource that I saved for future reference: Anti-racism Resources for White People
What can we do right now to help?
Sign a Petition // These three take only a few seconds to sign:
- colorofchange.org Justice for George Floyd (originally to demand the arrest of the officers involved)
- colorofchange.org Justice for Breonna Taylor
- 15percentpledge.org A call for major retailers to pledge 15% of shelf-space to Black owned businesses
Diversify Your Feed // I shared 8 Black influencers on Stories this week that I love following. I’ve also added so many Black influencers and creators to my feed this week thanks to others sharing. Please only follow these ladies if you want to follow and their content resonates with you. It would be disingenuous to follow just to follow. But with that said, there are so many amazing creators and influencers of color – diversifying social media feeds shouldn’t be too difficult.
Support Black Owned Businesses // I’m making a conscious effort to seek out Black owned businesses, including restaurants and for my everyday shopping. Grace and Julia both have roundup posts of amazing Black owned businesses to shop. For restaurants, I’ve been saving Insta posts I’ve seen this week sharing lists of restaurants in Houston that I’m looking forward to checking out.
Donate // To start, I donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Find an organization that resonates with you to support.
Register to Vote // Lastly, PLEASE register to vote and VOTE in primaries and the upcoming general elections. Registering to vote is SO EASY. If everyone uses their voices to vote, things will change at a broader level. Remember the feelings you have this week on Election Day.
Lastly, I know we (myself included) are all works in progress. Progress is better than perfection. Let’s all move forward and be the positive change.
Black Lives Matter.
Art by @stuffgracemade