With everything that has happened in the last week since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the resurfacing of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I wanted to share some educational resources for those who may feel like they don’t know how to support the cause. Personally, I really struggled with my reaction to everything going on. I wasn’t sure how I felt, how I could help or where to start. I knew at the very least, I was completely uneducated about the situation so I figured that made the most sense to start with. Race is an issue I struggle to talk about and I know right now is the time to push myself out of my comfort zone by talking and learning as much as I can. Below are some resources I’ve found to help you get educated about racism in America and how it’s gotten us to where we are now. I’ve also included a few donation links to some organizations who’s missions are to fully support the #BlackLivesMatter movement and push for equality.
Books To Read:
I found an Instagram post last week that shared a ton of books to read if you want to learn more about how racism became so prevalent in the US and how you can work on changing your own thoughts and actions. The post is by Jane Mount and her Instagram is linked here for you and the image is below (you can click on it to be redirected to the original post). She recommends reading the three books right in the middle first if you don’t know where to start. These books are: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, How to Be Antiracist by Abram X. Kendi, and Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad. A lot of the hardcover and paperback versions are sold out currently due to such high demand, but the Kindle and Audible versions are always available for digital download. I personally bought a few books to get started on my journey of learning more about racism in America and how my own thoughts and actions can help. I bought the book Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, which is in a similar realm to the ones mentioned above as she discusses racism in Britain. I also bought the book Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, which is a nonfiction personal account of a white man in the 1950’s in the deep south who disguises himself as an black man using medication that deepens his skin color to get a first hand account of what it’s like to be black in the south before the civil rights movement. These are just a few books I’ve come across, but there are TONS of resources that you can search through to find the literary works that make the most sense for you.
What To Watch:
As I write this post, I am currently watching the documentary 13th on Netflix which discusses how America went from slavery of African Americans to the mass incarceration of African Americans that you see today. Truthfully, I’m about 20 minutes in and I’ve gotten a ton of information that I never knew before from this documentary. It’s incredible the things they don’t teach you in school. Some other things you can watch on Netflix include: American Son, When They See Us, He Even Has Your Eyes, American History X and Dear White People. On Hulu, you can watch The Hate U Give, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Minding The Gap. On Amazon Prime, you can watch Selma which is an incredible behind the scenes look at the march on Selma by Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement. You can also watch and listen to a documentary series directly on the Black Lives Matter website, linked here.
Places to Donate:
I also found a few places that you can donate money to help support their causes. The first is the Minnesota Freedom Fund who is currently using donations to help bail protesters out of jail after the brutal murder of George Floyd. You can click here for more information, as well as to donate to their cause. The next is a GoFundMe that is run by George Floyd’s brother for the George Floyd Fund. This fund is being used to help afford funeral costs as well as legal costs for the family to go to court against the policemen responsible for his death. You can click here to donate to this fund. You can also donate to the NAACP, linked here, whose work has helped people of color get the resources they need as well as supporting political causes to make changes in predominately minority communities. Their focus is equal rights for everyone and this organization has held true to their cause for decades. You can also donate to Campaign Zero who’s goal is to stop violent policing in America or donate directly to the Black Lives Matter Movement, linked here.
Influencers Who Are Doing Their Part:
I’m only mentioning two because I feel emotionally driven by their dedication to support the cause. The first is Rachel Cargle, who I’ve just recently found but have been truly moved by what she has to say. You can follow her Instagram here. She has shared her personal experience about being black in today’s society, as well as plenty of resources and knowledge about how to help and be a better person in general right now. She’s an excellent resource to follow along with to stay informed. Another influcencer that I feel proud to support is Danielle Bernstein. She has been focused on charitable causes since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and this is no different. She shares different resources every day of how to help, how to get educated and where to donate on her Instagram Story. You can follow her Instagram here. I’m also linking a few Instagrams of other influencers and authors that I’ve found in the last few days who are doing their part to spread awareness and knowledge of this situation. In no particular order: Elaine Welteroth author of the book More Than Enough, Layla F Saad who is the author of a book I mentioned earlier in this post called Me and White Supremacy, Chrissy Rutherford who shared a really important IGTV about doing the work to become antiracist, and Ijeoma Oluo who is also the author of one of the books mentioned above So You Want To Talk About Race.
I hope you find this helpful. I am still learning and figuring out what the best resources are so I am absolutely open to any other suggestions. Please feel free to include them in the comments or send me an email via the Contact tab. I’d love to keep updating this post with more resources as I find them. There’s so much work to be done, but the best place to start is with education. It’s hard to feel connected to a cause that you know nothing about, so that’s why I’m focusing there first, so I can do my part later to make a bigger impact.
P.S. Keep up with me on Instagram: @karenmauritzenn