If you’ve opened Instagram, watched the news or had a single conversation with anyone this week, you’ll have heard the words ‘Black Lives Matter.’
It’s also likely you’ll have seen it used as a hashtag, written on signs carried by thousands of protesters across the world, screamed as a rallying cry, and voiced to trolls on social media.
But the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ is more than just a statement—it’s a movement.
An activist organisation founded in 2013 (by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi) in response to the death of Trayvon Martin, it’s become a massive human rights movement, fighting against racial inequality, police brutality and systematic racism in the U.S. and beyond.
Its name was evoked once more in June 2020 after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man from Minnesota, who was killed by police after an officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. As Floyd was slowly killed by police, he continuously cried out, “I can’t breathe.”
Floyd wasn’t the only black person to be killed by police last month. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Sean Reed.
In this time of horrific suffering and silenced voices, it’s up to all of us to use our own voice, our platform, our time, our resources and, yes, our money, to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Below, how you can support.
How to support the Black Lives Matter movement
Organisations to follow and support:
Decolonising your social media feeds and opening yourself up to new resources to keep you up-to-date is paramount. Seeking out these accounts and voices helps you learn more and challenge what you know.
Where to donate:
If you are in a place where you’re able to donate money—however much or little—we strongly encourage you to do so. Protesting, building, lobbying, paying lawyers and setting up businesses is expensive, and a little donation can go a long way.
Petitions to sign:
Lending your name to a cause is a simple and effective way to contribute and use your platform. It gives legitimacy and weight to organisations and families seeking justice, reform and change. Just a note, if you’re signing a Change.org petition, do not donate at the end. Petition organisers don’t get to choose where this money goes, and your money will be more effective donating directly to a bail fund, organisation or mutual aid fund.
Articles to expand your mind:
Articles offer a window into a larger issue. Offering thoughtful and critical perspectives that often get overlooked, they’re a great way to familiarise yourself with a topic, unlearn behaviour and open yourself up to new points of view.
Why You Need to Stop Saying “All Lives Matter” by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle for Harper’s BAZAAR
Remember, No One Is Coming to Save Us by Roxane Gay for The New York Times
Who Gets to Be Afraid in America? By Ibram X. Kendi for The Atlantic
White Fragility and the Rules of Engagement by Robin Diangelo
The Subtle Linguistics of Police White Supremacy by Yawo Brown for Medium
Killing Us Softly: Navigating State and State-Sanctioned Violence Against Black Men’s Humanity by Charles H.F. Davis III and Keon M. McGuire for Medium
Books to read:
If you want something longer, why not invest in a book? Investing in books touching on topics of racism, systemic oppression and police brutality enables you to think in-depth about these topics, as well as arming you with information when it comes to discussing these issues.
How to be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Unapologetic: A Black, Queen, and Feminist Mandae for Radical Movements by Charlene A. Carruthers
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper