Performative activism is not what is needed right now. Posting a black square on Instagram with just #BlackoutDay as the caption does nothing. Do not let it be the beginning and end of your support for the movement. We each have a responsibility to use our platforms to share information and resources. If you want to do more but are not sure where to start, here is a list of ways you can support Black Lives Matter.
1. Sign Petitions
This is one of the easiest things you can do. Signing each petition only takes a few seconds! I am linking this website that has a bunch of petitions you can go through and sign.
Of course, you should only donate if you are financially able to, but if you are, click here to be taken to a website that has organizations, Black-owned businesses, bail funds, and memorial funds that are accepting donations.
3. Stream YouTube Videos That Are Donating Their Ad Revenue
If you do not have the means to donate, this is a way you still can! I am linking a YouTube playlist that is full of videos where the creators will be donating money from the advertisement revenue to support Black Lives Matter. Make sure you turn your adblocker off when watching these videos and sit through the ads in their entirety! And make sure to watch the video in its entirety with your volume set to at least 50%.
4. Go To A Protest
Protests are happening all over the country and there is probably one happening in or near your city! Only go to a protest if you feel comfortable doing so. You can still support the movement without attending one. If you do decide to go, make sure you bring protective equipment with you like face masks and gloves. This website provides a lot of information for protestors like the names of pro-bono lawyers, first-aid tips, and lets you know what your rights are.
5. Educate Yourself On Systemic Racism
The internet is full of information regarding systemic racism, you just have to seek it out! It is not the responsibility of Black people to educate you. If you want to be an ally, you need to put in the work yourself. I have linked here a list of resources you can go through. I am also linking this Instagram post that has book recommendations for how to be anti-racist and this Instagram post with a list of Black films and television shows about racism. The Criterion Collection has also made many films that focus on Black lives free to watch on their streaming platform. Also, make sure to support Black artists in general, not just when their work speaks out about racism. There are so many films, shows, books, etc. that are being created by Black artists that are not explicitly about racism that still deserve your support!
6. Talk To Your Friends And Family About Systemic Racism
After you have begun learning about systemic racism and how to be an ally, it is your job to share what you have learned with your friends and family. Start conversations with them about Black Lives Matter and see what their thoughts are, and if those thoughts are problematic, take the time to explain to them why they are. Share the resources that have been helpful for you in learning about systemic racism with them. Correct them if they say something offensive. Change starts at home.
7. Be Prepared To Make Mistakes And Learn From Them
It is inevitable that as we educate ourselves about systemic racism and unlearn problematic ways of thinking, we will slip up and say something problematic. If someone calls you out on it and tells you that something you said or did was problematic, don't get defensive. Accept that you were wrong, apologize, and take the necessary steps to learn why what you said was problematic so that it does not happen again in the future.
I also want to highly encourage you all to follow these Black activists: Kenidra R. Woods, Mari Copeny (Little Miss Flint,) Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, Charlene Carruthers, Bree Newsome Bass, and Johnetta Elzie.