Back in June, the Black Lives Matter movement was front-and-center in the media and, like many other people on June 2, I posted a black square to my Instagram feed. I made it a goal to educate myself on the racist structures in America and was on a mission to be actively anti-racist while educating my daughter on this as well.
I did a lot of things other people did. I ordered books about racism, I watched documentaries, I starting spending money at small Black-owned businesses to show my support. As time went on, life got busy. Life is always busy. My Kindle remained off for many months, I went back to my regularly scheduled television shows, and I resorted back to the easiest form of online ordering: Amazon.
Fighting against racism isn’t supposed to be a moment in time. It’s supposed to be an ongoing movement, one in which we continually work to dismantle the racist structures we’ve all been a part of for far too long. It can be easy to make it into a moment; you read the book and watched the Netflix documentary, you’re done. That’s not the case.
Admittedly, my dedication to the mission slowly started to fall apart. I acknowledge this is a privilege I have as a white mother, and I know I can do better.
Admittedly, my dedication to the mission slowly started to fall apart. I acknowledge this is a privilege I have as a white mother, and I know I can do better. If you feel the same way, it isn’t too late. Now is the time to get back to it. I want to make sure that I keep the movement going and continue to teach my daughter to be anti-racist.
If you are looking for ways to continue your education and action around anti-racism, here are a few ways to do it.
Continue Reading About Anti-Racism
Perhaps you started with one book about Black Lives Matter and anti-racism, then took a break. There is always more to read and more voices to learn from. Hearing one perspective and one story isn’t enough. It can be overwhelming, so take it one book at a time and not all in a row. Aside from books focused on anti-racism, you can also support Black writers by picking up novels and stories by Black authors.
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Follow Black Voices
While the small black boxes on Instagram faded into the feed, there are powerful voices on Instagram and other social media outlets that you can follow and learn from. Social media can be good or bad, but if you find the right people to follow, you can glean so much from educated creators sharing their stories. It’s important to hear from and support these voices. Follow and share these voices, those speaking from an educational standpoint, as well as those sharing recipes, fashion, stories of motherhood, and more.
Expose Your Children to Diversity Through Books and Television
In an ideal world, we’d be out on the playgrounds or attending music groups, experiencing diversity in real life. This isn’t necessarily possible for many families and children right now. If you and your kids are staying home, it’s important that they see not everyone looks like their parents, family, or close-knit circle.
Expose them to different cultures with books, shows, and toys that highlight diversity. We might all feel isolated and in our little bubbles at the moment, but there’s still an opportunity to show our children important aspects of the outside world around us.
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Support Black-Owned Businesses
It might take a little bit of extra work to specifically buy from Black-owned businesses, as opposed to going with whatever pops up first on Amazon, but your purchases make a difference. As the holidays approach, it’s a great time to put your money behind smaller BIPOC-owned businesses. This will help those businesses to thrive in an unpredictable year and is also an excellent way to find unique and memorable gifts for your friends and family.
Remember to Speak Up
Part of doing the work to become anti-racist is learning how to use our own voices. It can be hard to know how and when to use your voice, but speaking up can help spread the word of anti-racism, while also teaching your children to speak up for what’s right. If you encounter a microaggression or hear things that are detrimental, it’s important to speak up. Sometimes you may not get it just right, but we’re continuing to learn and try our best.
Donate to the Cause
If you feel helpless in the fight against racism, you’re not alone. It’s a big, long battle, but your contributions truly do still make a difference. Find a cause that you feel passionate about and donate what you can. If you need some inspiration, this list of where to donate to support black mothers is a great place to start.