I posted a black square last week on instagram, for me it meant I am NOT OKAY with racial injustice against black Americans and that police bias and brutality against black Americans is WRONG. I knew it wasn’t enough. My place at that moment was to listen and absorb. It had no meaning other than to show my support. I know I should have spoken out on what TO DO, but I felt I should have the right words and to not be impulsive and spread misinformation. Those first few days I kept thinking: I just need a minute to think on this, to learn and to think about what I can do. I need to catch my breath, until I figure out the right thing to DO. Acting in haste would be reckless. And then my head was filled with the thought of how fortunate I am to have the luxury to stop, and think, calculate and organize my thoughts and BREATHE. I have that privilege, while Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Michael Brown (for a very small example, to name just the most recent, and hitting close to home for me) did NOT have time or a minute or even a fucking breath to catch to survey their situation and assess their next move. It was taken from them, by people meant to protect them. I am aware that this is a gift, a privilege that I have: to be given time to think and not react. Time is a basic human right, that black Americans do not have.
So now I’m thinking how do I use this gift wisely? It’s the middle of a pandemic- what do I have to give in the middle of financial depression?
Well to start off, I can use my TIME.
I can sign petitions, I can read, read and read more, and then keep reading, and never stop reading. I can listen. I can widen circle, and I can speak up and encourage. (see below!)
And I then it came to me and I realized I should do what I do best, what I can do and what I know how to do: MAKE BLANKETS. So we made this one, I’m calling it Hearts of Change. 100% of the profits from the sale of these throws will go to Color for Change.
YOU GOT TIME? HERE’S SOME RESOURCES I FOUND MYSELF GOING TO.
\\ SIGN //
PETITIONS: I started HERE. (this is easy and just took a few minutes)
\\ READ //
BOOKS: I started HERE, the African American Literature Book Club is an awesome resource. Other books to read, and next up on my personal list after How to be Anti-Racist:
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Women Race & Class by Angela Davis
They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowry
Take a moment and support black owned bookstores when you buy too!
\\ READ //
\\ READ //
This super simple straightforward one, but here’s some more I found myself referencing:
\\ LISTEN //
\\ WIDEN //
I can open my circle of collaborations to include more black designers and design firms and black owned shops.
Rue Magazine has been posted a great list of black designers/creators on Instagram, Luxe Magazine too. Still workimg on the black-owned shops. In the meantime, Shoppe Black is a great resources for all black owned businesses. Found some awesome decor/art there. Black Pepper Paperie’s art caught my eye from that site. Make time to go down the rabbit hole there— you won’t be disappointed.
\\ WATCH //
ON NETFLIX: Just watched LA 92, actually watched that one with my kids, some of it a bit graphic, but I have tough kids, followed it up with Let it Fall— same 1992 riot history, told different. Also watched 13th, and started When They See Us (cleary I have no social life in coronavirus times). Adding these to My List :
Becoming, documentary following Michelle Obama on her book tour
WATCH WITH YOUR KIDS: See you Yesterday, where ‘Back to the Future’ meets systemic racism
I realize this is not at all a comprehensive list, I am no expert, it’s a start and I’m sharing along the way some things that I personally have been looking at. I welcome suggestions of other resources as this will be an ongoing process for now and future. I plan on continuing to use my gift of time to be an advocate for Black Americans, speaking up when it’s uncomfortable, standing up when I can, and standing in between if I have to.
While listening the last week, some ideas that stood out to me:
And side note: to be completely transparent here: I am NOT profiting off the sale of this throw or any of the links here. I do not participate in affiliate marketing.