The Black Lives Matter movement is a new era for all. Similar to the death of Emmett Till, which kick-started the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s, the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, among many others, will not be forgotten. Even amidst the powerful movement in support of Black lives, I witnessed a 17-year-old boy, say a mere week ago, in a room full of almost all Caucasians “why are they making such a big deal about it?” It hit me then and there. No matter how many innocent people die and suffer for the colour of their skin, raising awareness is not enough for change. We need to educate not only those on social media, but be prepared to educate those close to us, regardless of whomever they are. In this article, I want to discuss three ways that YOU can bring about change by educating those around you constructively and safely.
A Black person should not have to inform or teach you about their exploitation. Start by researching out of social media- educate yourself by reading books*, watching relevant movies*, and looking into the various forms of racism prevalent in society today. Address any forms of prejudice you may hold- what led you to have them? How have they impacted your treatment of BIPOC (black, indiginous, and people of color)?
Understand Why A POC Feels Oppressed
When trying to explain the importance of the BLM movement to your loved ones, acknowledge their opinions and discuss their reasoning and thought processes. In order to educate them, it is crucial to try and gather an understanding as to why they feel that way and elucidate any misconceptions.
You can only do so much by talking to them. By giving them resources that educate, you are providing your friends and loved ones with the option to take the initiative* to further educate themselves.
The Colour of Law – Richard Rothstein
Your Silence will not protect you– Audre Lorde
Brit(ish)– Afua Hirsch
They Can’t Kill Us All – Wesley Lowery
Beloved – Toni Morrison