Black Owned Businesses: How Everyone Can Get Involved
During the onset of a pandemic (COVID19), another has taken our nation by storm and impacted the world.
The recent murder of George Flyod by a Minneapolis police officer has activated organizers across the world. As the CEO of Bomb Dot Com Hair, I don`t have the words to describe the enorminity of the suffering due to implict and explicit violence.
Being a black owned business is more than an honor and we will not be silent about the systemic racial violence that is prevalent amongst our communities.
As we grieve the lives lost and the families impacted there are many things that you can do to get get involved and make a difference. We are all equally deserving of life liberty, respect and dignity.
Support Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Since then, the organization has organized protests, petitions and other activism to eradicate white supremacy and fight against violence. Here’s how you can support Black Lives Matter:
Add Your Voice to a Petition
Petitions are just one tool we have to demand change and accountability from those who enable police brutality. You can find and sign some of the major petitions demanding justice here:
- Justice for George Floyd
- Color of Change: #JusticeforBre
- Black Lives Matter: #DefundThePolice
Get Involved With a Racial Justice Organization
You can join or donate to other racial justice organizations working to dismantle racism. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- 28 Organizations That Empower Black Communities
- Showing Up for Racial Justice
- Know Your Rights Camps
Educate Your Children
Dismantling racism can start from a young age. Teach children about racism and slavery as well as develop an appreciation for Black cultural figures. Seek out books, games and toys that include cultures other than your own and make diversity a normal part of your child’s everyday life. These teaching tools can help:
- Black History Flashcards
- 5 Black Children’s Authors and Illustrators You Should Know
- Teaching for Change
Support Black-Owned Businesses
As businesses are hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, now is a great time to reevaluate where you’re spending your money. In addition to paying attention to a company’s messaging about racial justice, you can directly support Black-owned businesses:
Contact Your Representatives
Your government representatives at all levels — federal, state and local — control the policy and money around policing in the U.S. You can write, call or email your representatives or the prosecutors in charge of a case and demand action. Keep in mind that state and local governments often control the police departments in your area. Here’s how to find your reps:
Combat Racism in Your Personal Life
Some of the most powerful work you can do to support Black lives starts at home. Petition for more people of color to be involved in your local groups. Those racist comments your family member makes? Call them out. Loved ones dismissing the experiences of people of color? Push back. Here are just two explainers to help:
If you’re not a person of color, one thing you should definitely be doing right now is get out of the way. Listen to Black people with an open mind and heart, lift their voices as opposed to speaking over people of color, and don’t dismiss their lived experiences. Start your listening here:
- How Many Black People Can You Mourn In One Week?
- The First Time I Realized I Was Black
- How Much Racism Do You Experience Every Day?
- First-person Stories of Everyday Racism
One of the first steps you can take if you’re not a person of color is to understand why these protests are happening get educated. Read about Black history from Black writers, your role as a White person in systemic racism (and how to dismantle it) — and take the initiative to do this work on your own. Here’s a great list to get you started for any one:
- A Timeline of Events That Led to the 2020 ‘Fed Up’-rising
- Reading List: Race, White Supremacy, and Anti-Black Racism in America
- The Case for Reparations
- The 1619 Project
The freedom to vote is one of America’s most important political right. Unfortunately it's not often exercised. Voting, especially gives you a voice in choosing politicians that stand for your views, represent change and share the same interests as you and your community. The presidential elections are NOT the only time we ought to be out voting. The primaries are happening now in several states and in NY it is June 23rd 2020.
Get connected and plugged into your local church. Use Facebook groups and websites to Visit www.TheExcellingChurch.com for a virtual church experience and to learn more and connect with other leaders and congregations who are making positive strides in the community for the advancement and support of Black people in a positive and peaceful way. Unifying with like minded believers in Jesus Christ coupled with prayer is one of the most powerful things you can do!