How You Can Support The Black Community Right Now

In our last article, we addressed the anti-racism and police brutality protests that are occurring around the world. At the end of the article, we briefly mentioned what you can do to support the Black community and anti-racism initiatives. Not everyone can participate in the protests; however, this does not mean that you cannot support the cause. In this article, we want to provide you with a more extensive list of the ways that you can support the Black community.

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Buy Black.

There are tons of Black-owned businesses that need your support to continue operating. Afrobiz.ca is a great website that you can visit is you want to see a list of Black-owned businesses. Their directory includes businesses in America, Canada, Europe, and Africa. They also allow Black business owners to add their businesses to their directory for free. This is a great resource to share with all Black business owners. If you are interested in looking for Black businesses in your community to support, this is a great place to start.

Eat Black.

Similarly to Black-owned shops, companies, and businesses, there are a plethora of Black-owned restaurants that need your support to continue operating. In addition to Black-owned shops, Afrobiz.ca has a list of Black-owned restaurants in the previously mentioned locations. @soulPhoodie on Twitter is another great place to start looking if you are interested in learning about the Black-owned culinary businesses, restaurants, distilleries, and other operations in the food industry.

EatOkra is a free app that you can use to find Black-owned restaurants in your area. They have listings for over 2,600 restaurants across in cities across America, including NYC, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, St. Louis, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, DC, Atlanta, Houston, and more. The app conveniently allows you to order meals from your regularly used delivery app, find restaurant contact information, easily navigate to restaurants, and use multiple additional features to make your meal experience so much more simple. EatOkra also has the option for you to list your Black-owned restaurant on their app. This is a great resource for Black restaurant owners, as well as those looking to eat from them.

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Sign petitions.

There are plenty of petitions that need signatures to enact positive change. Some of the fast circulating petitions include justice for Breonna Taylor, the abolition of prison labour, creating mandatory life sentences for officers who enact police brutality, and justice for George Floyd. These petitions are FREE! They are separate from making monetary donations to these causes. All they take is a little bit of your time.

A website was created that contains links to all of the petitions that are currently seeking petitions for anti-Black racism initiatives, victims of police brutality, and other social justice causes in America, Canada, and around the world. Below is a list of some of the causes that have petitions listed on this website. We encourage you to visit this website, blacklivesmatters.carrd.co, to see some of the initiatives that need your support.

Donate.

Websites such as gofundme.com and blacklivesmatter.com are currently seeking monetary donations from the public; however, these are not the only places that need your support. There are a ton of places and causes that you can donate to, including victim’s funds, important anti-racism organizations and initiatives, and protesters funds. Below, we have a list of some of the funds that you can access through this link. We encourage you to visit blacklivesmatters.carrd.co to see a list of the funds that are seeking donations.

Donate for free.

Not everyone has the means to give monetary donations. This is okay. There are other ways that you can give monetary donations without dipping into your own pockets. Plenty of YouTubers are using the ad revenue generated from their videos to donate to anti-racist organizations, protester bail funds, victim funds, and other social justice/anti-Black racism initiatives. We will place some of these videos below, and encourage you to search for other videos you can stream to make free donations.

Educate yourself.

Recent occurrences of police brutality, anti-Black racism, and anti-racial biases protests have opened the eyes of many people to the injustices that surround them on a daily basis. What we have realized is that many people are unaware of their own racial biases. A lot of people, regardless of race, are uninformed about how racism works, or how our societal structures are designed so that people of colour fail. We realize that many are unaware of their privilege or how they can use it to help Black people and other disadvantaged communities.

A lack of understanding about racism is unfortunately all too common. Western education systems fail to teach students about the true history of their country. The horrific realities of colonialism, slavery, and segregation are sensitized by talk of “explorers” or “settlers”. Society glosses over true historical facts and ceases to discuss the “why” and “how” of our history.

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It is up to each and every one of us to educate ourselves on the histories of our countries. Racism did not just appear overnight nor has it disappeared from our society. The policies of colonizers from the 1800s are rooted in our structural systems today. It is these very same policies that are permitting the Black people at the hands of police officers. Education is part of the solution to constructing a safe and just legal system. This is the key to building a system that does not allow officers who abuse the law to walk free.

If want to learn about the history of the American justice system, we recommend that you start by watching “13th.”

This documentary observes how the history of racial inequality in America contributes to mass incarceration today. Mass incarceration is a result of racially biased policing and justice systems, which the documentary does discuss. “13th” can be found on Netflix; however, YouTube has also uploaded the full-length documentary, which you can watch for free. You can also watch this documentary, for free, below.

There is also a wide selection of literature you can explore that discusses racism, it’s history, and how it is rooted countries around the world.

The literature on these subjects is widely American-based; however, we have created a list of various books and journals that discuss these topics in other countries. We have posted a list below and encourage you to look into the ways that you can educate yourself about these topics.

Join a peaceful protest.

We understand that protesting is not for everyone; however, if you do decide to join a protest, we recommend that you join a peaceful one. Firstly, rioting and looting is harmful to others, yourself, and the businesses that you destroy. Many of the businesses that are being destroyed are small businesses and local shops. The majority of the residents who live in areas where looting is taking place have little to no income. They depend on these small shops for employment and services. Many of these shops are barely thriving. They don’t have the funds to rebuild their stores. We want you to take care of yourself and to be mindful of how your actions affect others.

Secondly, engaging in reckless behaviour projects a negative light on the Black community. The media is portraying the Black community as angry looters when, in fact, this is not an accurate homogenous image of the community. This negative portrayal is what the government wants. They want an excuse to shut down these protests and forget about the racial inequality that is taking place right under their noses. By depicting Black people negatively, they have an excuse to bring in armed forces, use excessive force, and arrest protesters, most of whom will be people of colour.

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Finally, if you feel like joining your local protests against racial-biases and inequality, please protect yourself. Protests are dangerous not only because of aggressive policing tactics, rioters, and looter; but also because some people like to take advantage of the vulnerability and disorder that can sometimes unfold during a protest. Make sure that if you attend a protest, you are equipped to deal with any possible outcome.

Source: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter

How are helping the Black community during these difficult times?

Comment and share your thoughts below. We want to hear from you!

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