You posted a black square on your Instagram, but police brutality is still a thing! What now?

If this is your first time working through antiracism, this could be a hard moment to navigate. It’s been a month since George Floyd’s murder and Black Lives Matter hit the mainstream, and things seem to be slowing down. People who had been posting in solidarity are now back to beach pics. Cities with mayor-commissioned BLM murals see no real change aside from street paint.

If you feel like taking a step back to enjoy your summer, please remember that black people don’t have this luxury. The last couple of weeks we’ve seen so many people step out of their comfort zones and get things done, but there is still so much more we need to do.

This past RTW newsletter we focused on amplifying black voices and sharing anti-racism resources. I’ve added to it and posted it here as a guide for those who want to keep the momentum going in a sustainable and un-performative way.

Read and Educate

ARTICLES

  • What does seeing black men die do for you? This article was written over five years ago, and it’s a powerful reminder of why we can’t afford to slow things down. The last sentence reads, “I tremble to think what act, or accompanying footage, will be required for the powers that be to finally see what is going on.”
  • You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument. Read this if you think tearing statues down crosses a line. “I have rape-colored skin. My light-brown-blackness is a living testament to the rules, the practices, the causes of the Old South. If there are those who want to remember the legacy of the Confederacy, if they want monuments, well, then, my body is a monument. My skin is a monument.”
  • American Policing Has Always Been About Enforcing White Supremacy. Wonder if people are being too mean to cops? This interview discusses the start of modern policing as a way to control the slave population in 1790, increased militarization, and why we desperately need to defund the police.
  • Cops Are Always the Main Characters. “Police procedurals have become so much a part of American culture that when Donald Trump tweets ‘LAW & ORDER’ as a call for even more police control, his followers will recognize what he means, and they will also, of course, recognize the name of a TV show about cops.”
  • Of Hoodies and Lost Time. Written at the start of the BLM movement. “I specifically remember one night walking [my dog] with the UO hoodie on. It was raining… I realized — suddenly — that I was a black man wearing a hoodie at night, while walking a pit bull… It was the week that the Trayvon case was finally starting to get major national press. I pulled down the hood. And got soaked.”
  • White Americans, your lack of imagination is killing us. The director of Harriet and Eve’s Bayou writes this opinion piece for the Washington Post, “Rage can be useful, necessary even. It fuels our pride and lubricates our resilience. With discipline and unity, rage can change the world. So be enraged with us and for us. If you’re unwilling to do that, know this: You can look away all you want. But we see you.”

BOOKS AND GUIDES

  • “If you’re a white woman who is watching the world burn because of police murder against Black people, and you don’t know what to do,” this white woman’s guide to anti-racism is a good place to start. Send it to all of your friends. Pick a recommended book and start a book club. Bring it up during your brunches and ask yourselves the questions.
  • This Critical Race Theory resource drive is filled with PDFs, lessons, and essays on Black, Indigenous, Latin American, and Asian and Middle Eastern studies. It’s like a free college level course on race.

*If you’re going to buy a book, let’s avoid Amazon. Research to find local book shops you can support instead. Here is a list of black owned book stores to start you off.

FREE ONLINE COURSES

Support Black Businesses

Your faves are problematic. The multimillion/billion dollar companies we give our money to (hi Target) have benefited from white supremacy, police brutality, and mass incarceration for years. And don’t forget about our yoga studios, beauty lines, and health brands that actively exclude black women and reinforce racist micro-aggressions into our day-to-day. Be a better ally. Closely examine the businesses you support, and maybe try going for a black-owned business instead.

Call. Write. Sign. Donate.

Racial bias training is not going to erase the years of white supremacy integrated and reinforced into American police forces. We need real change. It’s time to defund the police and hold them accountable. Call and email your officials, representatives, and senators. Then, if you can, donate. These are some causes that will need your support:

JUSTICE FOR BREONNA TAYLOR

JUSTICE FOR ELIJAH McCAIN

DEFUND THE POLICE PETITIONS

Use the Black Lives Matter website as a resource for more ways to help and to stay on top of who has been charged and who needs more nudging. They have email templates to help you contact your representatives, ask how police are being trained in your city, and demand reform.

BAIL FUNDS

MORE PLACES TO DONATE

MORE PETITIONS TO SIGN

I definitely missed some things. Check out this Google Doc for links to hundreds of petitions, where to donate, and how to protest.

Listen. Watch. Share.

PODCASTS

FILMS

Have a movie night with your white friends/family and pick one of these films to watch:

  • The 13th (Netflix): This “examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.”
  • I Am Not Your Negro (Prime): “Director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished – a radical narration about race in America, using the writer’s original words. He draws upon James Baldwin’s notes on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. to explore and bring a fresh and radical perspective to the current racial narrative in America.”
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu): A black couple’s future is derailed when one of them is arrested for a crime he did not commit.
  • The Black Power Mixed Tape (Prime): “Featuring candid interviews with the movement’s most explosive revolutionary minds, including Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, Stokely Carmichael, and Kathleen Cleaver, the film explores the community, people and radical ideas of the movement.”
  • Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas (YouTube): This series “follows comedian and writer Wyatt Cenac as he explores America’s most pressing issues. Traveling to different parts of the country, Cenac brings unique perspectives to systemic issues, while tackling more benign everyday inconveniences with comedic solutions.”
  • Whose Streets? (Hulu): “An account of the Ferguson uprising as told by the people who lived it. The filmmakers look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement.”
  • You can watch more powerful films focused on black lives for free here.

VIDEOS


The words “I can’t breathe” have once again rallied the BLM movement, spoken by another dying man in a nightmarish repeat. This time it isn’t being ignored. George Floyd’s death has become a catalytic moment. Don’t let it pass you by. Join the movement. Commit to standing for justice, not just this once, but continually.

“THE MASTER’S TOOLS WILL NEVER DISMANTLE THE MASTER’S HOUSE. THEY MAY ALLOW US TO TEMPORARILY BEAT HIM AT HIS OWN GAME, BUT THEY WILL NEVER ENABLE US TO BRING ABOUT GENUINE CHANGE.” – AUDRE LORDE

Written by Victoria Marie Ward

Photography by Crystal Anne Photography

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