2020 has shone a light on the reality of racism, in all its forms.
Sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests, which stemmed from horrific injustices such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (to name a few) we are informing and educating ourselves on the wrongs of a nation, (well I hope you are) with regard to black lives and their treatment. People are educating themselves on black heritage and culture… and learning all about black history is such an important part.
‘A genuine change must first come from within the individual, only then can he or she attempt to make a significant contribution to humanity.’
This is why educating and informing ourselves is so important and Black History Month is the perfect opportunity.
Black History Month began in 1987, in order to celebrate and bring a focus to the history and contributions that black people have made to the UK.
Black history is almost completely forgotten in most traditional history curriculums.
One of my favourite mediums of information is of course print & books.
I have been purchasing some books over lockdown and in the recent weeks. These books were recommended by many people that I follow on my blogs Instagram page.
They touch on the stories and injustices of black people and they are certainly eye opening.
I would particularly recommend ‘Just Mercy’ by Bryan Stevenson, (although this is focussed on the American Justice system it is still such an important read)
Amazon have a great Black History section that offers book suggestions for both adults and children.
•Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga •Black British History: New Perspectives, Edited by Hakim Adi •Black Poppies: Britain’s Black Community and the Great War by Stephen Bourne •Black, Listed by Jeffrey Boakye
& for children..
•Bedtime Inspirational Stories – 50 Black Leaders who Made History: Black History Book for Kids by L A Amber. •Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison •Black Heroes: A Black History Book for Kids: 51 Inspiring People from Ancient Africa to Modern-Day U.S.A by Arlisha Norwood. •Coming to England: An Inspiring True Story Celebrating the Windrush Generation by Baroness Floella Benjamin.
I have also been listening to Podcasts on Spotify, a brilliant resource. There is a Black Lives Matter & Black History Now playlist.
This playlist is brilliant and I’m enjoying the ‘Inspirational Black Life Stories’ And the ‘BLAM UK: Black History Bites.’
‘Well I’d never do that’ or I don’t see those things’ isn’t enough. The fact is you could, as a white person, and get away with it. Its disgusting.
White privilege is an unseen, unconscious advantage.
You are automatically one step ahead because of the pigment of your skin.. because that is the only difference, we are all part of the human race but our skin pigments vary.. everything else is the same, literally everything.
ℝ𝕒𝕔𝕚𝕤𝕞 & 𝕤𝕪𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕞𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕔 𝕣𝕒𝕔𝕚𝕤𝕞
Racism is usually carried out by individuals or groups.
Systematic racism is when groups use their power to instill biased values.
(These definitions are adapted from online research.)
This bias within the very systems and fabric of society create a culture of privilege and biased views. When this racial bias results in actions this is when racism becomes a active part of society.
If you are biased you may believe that a black person is more likely to be the culprit of a crime. When you use your position to emphasize this view you are actively being racist, eg: you call the police when a black person is doing nothing that is illegal, but you call anyway, because of the colour of their skin.
This systematic racism within institutions such as the police means that once you’ve made that call that person is unlikely to be treated fairly.
We all know the tragic stories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless innocent people. It’s sickening.
Can you imagine being terrified everytime you see a police car? No, white privilege.
If you committed a crime and it was between you and a black person, would you be deemed more trustworthy, more innocent regardless of the evidence? Yes, white privilege
𝑫𝒐𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒕 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍 𝒖𝒏𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆?
That is nothing really is it! The least you can feel is uncomfortable. Because it’s nothing compared to actually being subjected to it.
You don’t get it?
It’s because you dont have to shout to be heard.
It’s about fighting for a right/s that most people already have as basic human rights… why aren’t black people afforded the same rights?
The system twists these rights so that they aren’t applicable for everyone. Especially in the US. They seem like they apply to everybody, that everybody is free, but they aren’t, not if those in power don’t want you to be.
The Thirteenth Amendment (to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime) being a prime example… you are free unless we can pin a crime on you then you are at our mercy.
So stop and think about how you would feel if you knew you were always going to be on the back foot.
Wouldn’t you want to fight against that?
Yes riots can turn to property damage… I suppose it depends if you equate property damage to human lives? If a bit of rioting is all it takes for people to not care about the ‘Black Lives Matter’ then they were never really on board with it in the first place and thats part of the problem, it’s all too easy for people to walk away from it, black people don’t have that luxury, it’s literally their life.
𝔹𝕝𝕒𝕔𝕜 𝕃𝕚𝕧𝕖𝕤 𝕄𝕒𝕥𝕥𝕖𝕣
All lives cannot matter until black lives matter.
The voices that need to be heard at the moment are that of black people because they are increasingly being targeted. I’m talking about the ‘all lives matter’ debate here; If a house on your street was on fire, would you expect the fire service to arrive and point their hoses on all the houses? Of course not. While they would, rightly, argue that all homes matter, in that very moment they’ll focus their attention and expertise on the house that’s burning down.
All lives cannot matter until black lives matter.
So, what can you do?
Educate yourself. Speak up. Stand together.
Here is a link to the petitions, sign, sign, sign. It’s so easy.