Learning How to Be a Better Ally Supporting Black Lives Matter
I’ve thought a lot about what I have wanted to share with this community during this pandemic and after the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. My delay wasn’t due to reluctance but rather enlightenment. I wanted to craft a blog post that would amplify Black voices and support the Black Lives Matter movement as I learn myself to be a better ally.
As a white woman, I needed to take a step back and actively do the work that comes with being anti-racist. That being said, I did show my support of BLM and against racism on my social media platforms.
In transparency and vulnerability, I decided to share the journey I have been on as an ally during this time and leaning into what God wants me to do while sharing resources and my commitment to the BLM. I know my words may not fully transcend my heart, but I have tried my best to articulate it.
At the end of May, I was quick to want to compose a blog post that would share all my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless Black lives that have been lost to police brutality and outright hatred in our nation.
I wanted to write all about my understanding of how Black people and other minority groups have been socialized as second-class citizens in this nation for hundreds of years and touch on how mass incarceration is the newest form of Jim Crow and slavery.
I wanted MY OWN WHITE VOICE to be added to the conversation without first respecting the needs of the community I was hoping to empower and lift.
Amplifying my own white voice before listening to Black people and their pain and reality would have been a great mistake that would have furthered reinforced my own privilege as a white person and the reign of white supremacy in our society.
But God gently reminded me with my favorite scripture, Pslam 139:23-24,
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
God humbled me. I was trying to speak over when my heart should have been to speak up, but not over.
What was my motive in speaking before listening and taking the time to learn more?
Was I becoming just another “preachy” white woman trying to assert myself into a conversation that IS SO MUCH BIGGER than me? Because the issue is that Black lives are in danger, and THOSE BLACK LIVES MATTER – not Sarah’s opinions about why Black lives matter…
In the first couple weeks after George Floyd’s death, I listened more, read more, watched more, and learned more about systematic racism and how racism is still a problem in our country despite all the years of fighting for racial equality. During this time, I also reshared a lot of information and content about the Black Lives Matter movement on my Instagram stories and feed. Below I have shared a video that explains systematic racism for your reference:
Over the past month, I started leaning more into God’s role for me as an ally by having hard conversations with my family and strangers on the Internet (always interesting…), acknowledging my privilege and leveraging it to support POC, actively signing petitions, sharing more content from POC, and realizing there’s always more I can be doing! Below is a video from Chelscaleigh’s YouTube Channel with 5 tips on how to be an ally:
Then another humbling moment happened for me…
I was doing all the “right” things to become a better ally and as an anti-racist. Then, God started revealing past mistakes I have made that have been discriminating and prejudice of others. This by far has been the hardest part of this journey so far – realizing how I have personally failed the Black community and marginalized groups of people.
My own past microaggressions and implicit biases were difficult to face. I felt a lot of guilt and shame about having ever done anything or saying anything so unkind to someone, because I was not even fully aware at the time how hurtful my past actions and words may have been. I have spent time in prayer and repenting to God to continue to change my heart in this season and continue to lean into this journey. Below I have listed a video about microaggressions for your reference:
My Commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement
Racism and its evils are WRONG. Moving forward, I want to be a part of the solution to end racism in our world and provide a safe space for every person regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. I stand with the Black community and people of color in solidarity and support. Each of you have my full commitment as an ally to continue to use my privilege as a white person to uplift Black voices and other POC’s voices on this platform and do the actual work that comes with allyship. I will make mistakes, but I will own them and respond to criticism with grace and understanding versus defensiveness. I am committing to exclusively working with brands and other bloggers who actively support BLM and celebrate diversity. My blog has featured several guest posts from Black bloggers and creators, but I know I could featuring more amazing POC. Going forward, I plan to further support Black creatives and businesses. Lastly, I wanted to reshare posts from amazing women of color who have already been featured as a Feature Friday guest bloggers and a few anti-racist resources.
Thanks for reading!
Feature Fridays with Women of Color
Included in each guest post are links to each woman’s blog and social media platform so you can follow these amazing women on their journeys!
New Year, Better You by Fallon Myers. She also owns the children’s clothing boutique, Connor and Cree, which incorporates modern, stylish pieces for little ones!
I’ve incorporated what documentaries, books, and articles I have personally read and watched and compiled comprehensive resource guides provided by other authors.
What to Watch
- 13th, a Netflix documentary exposing racial inequality within the criminal justice system
- When They See Us, a Netflix miniseries from Ava DuVernay about the Central Park Five
- Just Mercy, a film based on civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s work on death row in Alabama
- The Hate U Give, a film based on the YA novel offering an intimate portrait of race in America
- Becoming,a Netflix documentary following Michelle Obama on her book tour
- Dear White People, a Netflix series about being black at a predominantly white college
Books to Read
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Articles to Read
- The History of Race and Why It Matters by Audrey Smedley
- Mapping Police Violence by Mapping Police Violence
- The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons by Ashley Nellis, PhD
- Mass Incarceration, Stress, and Black Infant Mortality Rate by Connor Maxwell and Danyelle Solomon
More Anti-Racist Resource Guides
I want to encourage you to follow and support the women of color I shared above and lean into learning more about racism and how we can overcome it during this season. We need to each take action if we are going to see an end to racism in our world.
Did you find the resources above helpful? Is there anything else I could add?
Please let me know if there is anything else you would like to see me share with this community to help support the Black Lives Matter movement.
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