How to start being anti-racist today
After the devastating and unjust death of George Floyd, more people are beginning to realise how serious racial injustice is in modern day society and people from all different backgrounds are coming together to fight back. At this time (and always), it’s important to consider how you can be most helpful to the cause.
The first thing to ask yourself is: are you being actively anti-racist? To be non-racist is to hold no prejudice against people of different races, but to be anti-racist is to actively stand up against racism in all of its shapes and forms- and this is exactly what we should all be doing. For that reason, here are 6 anti-racist things to do today.
1. Educate educate educate!
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society” – Kofi Annan
First step- education! Make sure not to rely on your Black peers to educate you and instead take it into your own hands to fill yourself with knowledge about Black history and anti-racism. A simple Google search will set you up with a whole array of resources but we’ve found a few to start you off.
Books – Anti-Racism
- This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell – Shop here
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi – Shop here
- Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi – Shop here
Books – Black History
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Shop here
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – Shop here
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander – Shop here
- The Marrow of Tradition by Charles W. Chesnutt – Shop here
- Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford– Shop here
When buying books, particularly ones regarding these topics, it would be great to shop with black-owned stores where possible, such as Roundtable Books, New Beacon Books, Seven Oaks Bookshop and Ayebia.
- Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter – Click here
- Police officers who have killed people in the U.S and not been convicted – Click here
- Racism in the UK – Click here
- White privilege – Click here
Not big on reading? Try one of these podcasts or films/series.
- About Race – Podcast
- CodeSwitch – Podcast
- Afropunk Solution Sessions – Podcast
- Mudbound – Film on Netflix
- Dear White People – Series on Netflix
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Film on Amazon Prime
- Hidden Figures – Film on Amazon Prime
- Self Made – Series on Netflix
Educate yourself on you
- This implicit association test will tell you if you have any conscious or subconscious biases towards race. You can then use your results to consciously challenge any biases you may personally hold.
2. Sign and share petitions!
This is an extremely easy yet powerful way of spreading the anti-racist message and supporting the fight for justice. Find petitions, sign them and then share them with your friends and family so they can sign them too. Here’s some to get you started:
- Justice for George Floyd – Click here
- Justice for Breonna Taylor – Click here
- COVID 19 race equality strategy – Click here
- Justice for David McAtee – Click here
- Justice for Rayshard Brooks – Click here
- Justice for Justin Howell – Click here
- We Can’t Breathe – Click here
- Charge the other Minneapolis Police officers involved for murder – Click here
- UK government must condemn Trump’s response – Click here
- Teach British children about the realities of British Imperialism and Colonialism – Click here
3. Use your voice
Once you’ve educated yourself, use your knowledge and the power of your voice to educate others and amplify Black voices. This can be done through social media, but also in real life in different scenarios. For example, use your voice to stand up against people who are being racist- challenge them and their behaviour and educate people who don’t seem to understand.
When posting on social media, make sure your post is meaningful and well thought-through. It’s also important not to flood the ‘blacklivesmatter’ hashtag with posts that have no depth or relevance because this can end up drowning out the more important posts- so just be mindful of what hashtags you use with each post.
4. If able- donate
If you’re not sure how to help right now, beyond signing petitions, showing support on social media and at protests, a really great place to start is with donating. We’ve found a few UK based donation sites to give you a starting point.
- Runnymede Trust – to visit their website and find out how to donate: click here – Runnymede Trust challenge race inequality in Britain through the power of research, network building and leading debates
- Stand Up To Racism – become a member or give a one off donation here – Stand Up To Racism tackle the influx of discriminatory rhetoric across the world and demand a society with no racism
- SARI (Stand Against Racism & Inequality) – donate here – SARI support victims of hate crime and work with businesses and organisations to help to provide quality training and education
- Southall Black Sisters – donate here – Southall Black Sisters challenge all forms of gender-based violence against women, primarily working to support black Asian and African-Carribean women experiencing violence, abuse and other forms of inequality
5. Support Black-owned businesses
Here is a small list of Black-owned businesses to start supporting now but we also recommend that you start looking online for Black-owned businesses to buy from the next time you’re looking for something specific and then make it a habit to continually support that brand in the future.
- UOMA – BEAUTY (in the UK you can shop through ASOS)
- Lapp the brand – ATHLEISURE
- Detola and Geek – HOMEWARE
- Liha – SKINCARE
- Anita Grant – SKIN AND HAIRCARE
- Kai Collective – FASHION
- Seven Oaks Bookshop – BOOKS
- Eat of Eden – FOOD
6. Use your vote!
Register to vote here. The government and the people you elect have the power to fight institutionalised racism!
Written by Sophie Corderoy