Where do I begin. Over the past few weeks I’ve taken time to gather my thoughts and am now ready to speak openly about racism, black lives matter and share more of who I am. I’ve recently taken to instagram to stand, but felt the need to explain further on the blog. My goal is to keep the dialogue going and provide a resource for those wanting to know the ways in which to support to the black community.
To start, people must understand that these protests and the movement are not just about one man. They are about the ongoing brutality, systemic racism and unjust mistreatment of black people in our country.
People in the black community have been speaking on this issue for years. Racism and brutality has been on full display dating back centuries. Videos have been shared across social media for nearly a decade. So why has it taken until now for people to notice and empathize? While I don’t have the answers, it is a relief see so many fighting for change and standing united to confront this ongoing tragedy in America.
Before explaining further, I’d like to share more of my background so you can understand the reasons this movement is so personal to me.
I am a black mixed woman with a long line of beautiful black men and women that make up my family. My dad was born in Arkansas in the 1940s. He lived through Jim Crow laws, went to segregated schools, was forced to drink from “colored fountains” and use “colored facilities.” He attended high school roughly the same year as the Little Rock crisis, (the result of the Arkansas governor resisting the supreme court ruling to desegregate schools.) He was a teen during the beginning of the civil rights movement, and eventually moved to California and then to Washington for a better life. In the early 70s he met my mom, where they settled down. My parents married only a few years after interracial marriage was legalized in 1967 and I was born in the 80s, in a predominantly white town, where I still reside today.
My dad made it clear to me and my siblings at a young age that we would be treated differently because of the color of our skin. This was hard for me to grasp and understand in childhood, but I realized it more and more the older I grew.
The first year I can recall experiencing racism was in 1st grade, by a friend who called me a “name”. I was also one of just a few black students in my school and recall erasing swastikas from my desk on several occasions. These experiences extended into my teenage years and also into adulthood, with more examples than I can count. As a result, I became more guarded and shy, but took to creating for a positive outlet.
Now it wasn’t long after I turned 17 that my dad passed away but I still carry the wisdom and teachings he passed down.
He is one of the major reasons I am so proud of who I am today.
And then there’s my mama! She deserves much of the credit as she has raised me and my siblings to embrace who we are and to be accepting and loving of all people without judgement. She’s the first person to instill resilience in us, stand with us and support every step of the way! She’s also a beautiful and incredible ally! Last weekend we rallied together in our city to support Black Lives Matter and it was such a special experience. I couldn’t be more grateful or appreciate her more!
MEETING MY HUSBAND
At 14 I met my now husband, who’s Canadian. We’ve been inseparable since high school days. Over the course of our 23 year relationship, we’ve faced many challenges together. In fact, we were able to build a strong foundation from the beginning, because of these challenges. From losing close family members, to dealing with racism and discrimination as a couple, and me nearly losing him in a severe work accident years later.
He was told he would never walk again, but didn’t allow that reality to stop him from staying strong and beating the odds. Finding out that we were pregnant with our first child was even more motivation for him to recover, 20+ surgeries later. The strength and courage my husband naturally possess makes him not only an amazing father and husband, but also an incredible ally. He’s had my back since day one.
Now as we raise our girls, we are determined to continue standing against racism, so that they and all people of color have a better future!
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Over the last few weeks, so many have come forward, but we must continue to take action against racism and oppression in order for real change to follow! Below are the many ways that you can keep doing the work, by being a strong support to the black community!
- Start by studying and learning. Take the time to read and watch educational movies that provide you with a better understanding of how and why the system has been against people of color since the days of enslavement.
- Take accountability and hold others accountable. Understand your own personal biases, and acknowledge how you and others can do better and no longer turn a blind eye to racism, discrimination and brutality. Own up to your own mistakes and call out others making them.
- Conversations at home. Having honest conversations with friends, family and children about racism and oppression can provide understanding, growth and action. It may not be easy, but in today’s climate, it is an essential step towards creating change. It starts in the homes.
- Be anti-racist. Do the work to understand the different levels of racism and the ways in which they work together to impact the lives of the people of color. Fight against racism, by taking a stand and making a conscious effort to consistently make the right choices and call out against those who aren’t.
- Sign petitions. There are many petitions currently in place to support the unjust murders and imprisonment of people of color. Make an active duty to sign petitions and pass them on to others. Keep up to date on the latest by following and subscribing.
- Raise awareness. If you have a platform, you can advocate for people of color by using your own privilege to raise awareness and amplify the voices of black men and women. Take to your blog, instagram, tiktok or facebook to make a lasting impact.
- Donate. There are so many black non-profit organizations that are doing amazing work within the community. Their operation relies on the support of donation. Think of new ways to raise funds and donate!
- Support. Take to the streets and safely join protests to stand in solidarity. Walk along with us and continue the fight. Also remember to support black owned businesses!
- Vote! The current administration in office have given racism and white supremacy a platform. That platform reignites old ideals and the people that are behind them. The reality is, that we will never see the change that we are all hoping for, if we do not elect the right members of office to help do the work for us. This happens at city and state levels too. Please exercise your right to VOTE this November!!
BLACK LIVES MATTER COOKIES
I was inspired to create these black lives matter cookies to direct attention to the black men and women whose lives were brutally taken at the hands of police. There are so many who haven’t made the headlines and sadly, this list goes on and on, which is why the black lives matter movement is such an important organization to understand and support.
BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT
The Black Lives Matter movement is a global organization that was founded in 2013 by black activists, after the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his murderer. The purpose of the movement is to eliminate white supremacy and police brutality, while amplifying all members of the black community.
The black lives matter movement is inclusive and encourages camaraderie. It is responsible for the heightened awareness of the brutality and unjust murders, by the men and women put in place in this country to protect.
Since the beginning of the black lives matter movement, “All Lives Matter” has been the rebuttal used by many, specifically of white orientation to disregard the movement. This is not ok!
The term, “Black Lives Matter” is used to support and amplify the voices of the voiceless, marginalized and brutalized. It directs attention to the tragedy taking place in society and is vital for change.
So let me just pose this series of questions. If all lives matter, then why aren’t people outraged when black lives are taken? If all lives matter, then why do innocent black men and women continue to be murdered? If all lives matter then why has nobody paid attention or cared until now?
Simply put, you cannot use the term “all lives matter” when the truth is that black lives haven’t mattered and won’t unless there is immediate change!
Below are some great resources that you can reference to show your support to the movement!
More links on history (Ben & Jerry)
I want to end this lengthy post by speaking on Juneteenth, which just so happens to be today! Juneteenth is often considered true independence day and celebrates the end of slavery in America. The date was June 19th, 1865, when many still enslaved in Texas were provided the news of freedom, 2.5 years after the emancipation proclamation. Today some states have designated June 19th as a paid holiday, celebrating with bbq’s and cookouts. While it is not a paid holiday in Washington, we will be proudly celebrating at home with our family.
Thank you for reading! Being vulnerable has been hard for me in the past. I’ve been fully focused on only sharing my work as a means to avoid judgement, but I see how coming forward can inspire others and I hope today I’ve inspired you to do the same. I’ll be sharing more resources over on instagram as I discover them! I’ll also be donating profits from my Etsy shop towards black organizations in the near future. More on that soon.
This post titled Black Lives Matter was seen first on Posh Little Designs. All Rights Reserved. 2020.