Getting Educated on #Blacklivesmatter | A Round Up of Resources

Friday, 12 June 2020 Bath, UK

So these past weeks have been intense and eye opening. The world finally started speaking out to the fact that #blacklivesmatter, and that sadly, whether we see it or not, racism is still prominent. Yes, even in the UK. Before this week, in a lot of people's minds, racism was only conscious aggression and the KKK - but I really pray that we've finally started to understand (although will never completely understand) what racism and discrimination actually looks like. 

Image used with permission from Olive Letter - I would highly suggest you check out her work!

Two main things I have learnt this week:

1. It's not enough to just be 'not racist'. In fact, we've probably all done or said something racist in our lifetimes whether we've recognised it or not. Sadly, after listening to the stories from POC this week, I'm realising how ingrained discrimination and racism is in our culture.

Just the other day I happened to be followed by a police car for a good 20 minutes of my journey. I knew I had done nothing wrong - I wasn't speeding, all of the lights on my car work as they should, I hadn't had a drink etc - so I wasn't worried, and knew that the police car behind me would eventually turn off and carry on it's journey. I felt so privileged in that moment - that I didn't have to worry about being judged or unjustly treated because of the colour of my skin. I felt sick to think of how others would have been forced to feel in that moment - and how they might have been treated, even though they are innocent.

2. We have to be actively 'anti-racist' in order for the world (and ourselves) to change. Anti-racism is the conscious decision to confront and challenge racism on a daily basis. It requires ongoing self-awareness, and the ability to look inward and repent (by this I mean to 'change direction') where we've gone wrong. It is also calling it out if you see it in your families, your places of worship, your schools, your favourite brands etc etc.

So what can we do? (A non-extensive list)
  • Firstly, lets get educated. (Goes without saying that we should not just expect POC to teach us. Get off your butt and find out the information yourself, me included.)
  • Let's protest (whilst respecting social distancing).
  • Let's sign petitions (my top round up will be linked below but there are SO many to sign
  • Let's write to our MPs 
MOST importantly:
  • If you SEE something SAY something. Don't stand idly by waiting for someone else to speak up. Shut down racist jokes, especially when it's your friends and family members saying them. Call out non-inclusive marketing campaigns. If you see someone being treated unfairly, don't walk away. Stand up for justice. Paraphrasing Desmond Tutu, 'if you are neutral in times of oppression, you are choosing the side of the oppressor'. Watch this IGTV from Leona Lewis for why speaking up is incredibly important. 
I've rounded up a few of my favourite resources that have really helped me, as well as some of my favourite black content creators on instagram. I'll try and remember to add to this list as and when I discover more. 

Education - A very non-extensive list. So. Many. Resources. But these are my favourites.

1. Check Your Blind Spot -
2. Colour of Change
3. Black Lives Matter -

Petitions - There are so so so many we should all sign, but here are just a few varied ones. A quick google search will bring you the rest.

1. Justice for Breanna -
3. Include Afro Hair Education in the Hairdressing NVQ -
5. Introduce Mandatory Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting -

My Favourite Black Content Creators - again, so many more that I love and wanted to include!

My husband has created a Spotify playlist with all of his favourite music from black artists. You can find that here.

There is so much more I want to include, and as I said, as I discover new things I will try and keep this post updated. I have ordered books for Nova and some for PG & I to read in order to further educate ourselves, so once I've read those I will suggest the ones I like best too!

Thank you all for believing that #blacklivesmatter. 

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