Watching what’s unfolding across the US with the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality can feel surreal and as though it’s not our place to speak up, but you’d be wrong about that. Blackout Tuesday shouldn’t be another social bandwagon to display a blackout square because everyone else is. It should be accompanied by actions or a willingness to listen and educate yourselves if you haven’t done so already.
It’s not enough to just condemn what’s been happening to the Black community in the US, so I wanted to put together a few resources that could be helpful to those here in the UK who might not know where to start helping and supporting.
Where to donate
- Black Lives Matter is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities
- I Run With Maud – This GoFundMe page was designed to assist Ahmaud’s mother; Ms Wanda Cooper-Jones and her immediate family with financial support during this extremely difficult time
- Official George Floyd’s Memorial Fund – This was set up by George’s brother in order to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counselling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings. A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund.
- The Legal Rights Center provides criminal defence and legal services for low-income individuals around Minneapolis.
- The Liberty Fund and The Bail Project are both organisations that work to prevent incarceration and combat racial and economic disparities in the bail system.
- Stephen Lawrence Charitable Fund was set up to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in the career of their choice.
Petitions to sign
There are a number of petitions going around demanding action be taken following George Floyd’s death as well as other victims lost to violence.
- Justice for George Floyd aims to “reach the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to beg to have the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and for charges to be filed immediately.” Sign the petition here
- The NAACP is a US civil rights organisation also calling for the arrest of the three other officers involved in Floyd’s murder. Sign the petition here
- Belly Mujinga was a railway ticket officer who died of Coronavirus after being spat at in the face by a member of the public. This petition is campaigning to secure protection and support for those working at GTR. Sign the petition here
- Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police as they illegally executed a drug raid at the wrong address for a person they had already arrested. The aim is for a special prosecutor to be appointed to bring forward charges against the officers and oversee this case. Sign the petition here
- Make Black British History Compulsory in Schools – a petition to include the history of these communities in the school curriculum. Sign the petition here
Some useful articles
- How to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement that goes beyond posting an Instagram image – by Nyome Nicholas-Williams, Stephanie Yeboah & Ateh Jewel, Glamour Magazine
- How to confront anti-blackness in the South Asian community – by Sofia Ahmed, Brown Girl Magazine (A very important one for the South Asians)
- How Latinx people can fight anti-black racism in our own culture – by Angie Jamie, Teen Vogue (Another community-based article)
- Teaching Black history in a consistent and nuanced way is a solution to institutional racism – by Lavinya Stennett, iNews
- Nine books to help you understand race and dismantle racism – Listicle from Penguin Books
- How the Murder of George Floyd Should Remind us of the Existing Racism Within Indo-Caribbean Communities – an article I wrote for Brown Girl Magazine
- What the data say about police brutality and racial bias — and which reforms might work – By Lynne Peeples, nature.com
Books to read
- Between The World And Me – by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
- Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments – Saidiya Hartman
- Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
Other social resources
Below are a few posts that give advice/tips on how to talk about race, and other materials available online.
Finally, the obvious, call and check in on your friends from Black communities. A phone call can mean the world to them.
I’ll be updating resources and articles. For now, I hope this is a helpful start in understanding the Black Lives Matter movement and what you can do from the UK. This isn’t just a trend for a couple of days, but a movement that aims to save countless lives.