Racial inequality has come to represent an American norm for centuries. Social institutions have dealt their cards differently, but the outcome of this twisted game remains the same: black Americans and other minorities have been subjected to inequality and violence simply for their skin color.
I will truly never understand the struggle black Americans face in this country, but what I do understand is the need for change and the importance of amplifying black voices. Change comes from making our voices heard, and who best to share their thoughts and experiences than the people facing racism and anti-blackness every single day?
There are many ways to make a change, but the first step is to amplify black voices. Here's how:
1. Pass the Mic
This phrase is commonly thrown around in the activism sphere, but it simply means to hand over your platform and let lesser-known voices do the talking. That can be seen in a variety of different ways. For example, if opportunities to speak with the media arise or social media messages need to be shared, give black Americans that platform and a way to make their voices heard.
Another great example was that Selena Gomez used her platform and celebrity status to share the stories of black individuals throughout the course of a week. She spread a message of perseverance and an important call for change, all while amplifying black voices.
2. Understand Privilege
Privilege can come in many ways, so it is important to understand what yours is and how to use it. For me, I am aware of my white privilege and take steps to ensure the message of racial equality is spread. Additionally, I use the privilege I have been given to share resources with others and drive them to take action.
Privilege is an uncomfortable conversation, but we need to talk about it. Many people don't want to acknowledge this part of themselves or feel shameful and awkward. It is meant to be uncomfortable, yet it is also meant to be spoken about.
3. Educate Yourself
You can't amplify black voices without first understanding racial justice and the fight for it. Although you may never be able to put yourself in the shoes of black Americans – or, on the other hand, you know the struggles all too well – education is the basis of change.
This means researching about the topic, listening to what black Americans have to say, and find ways to understand the messages of black organizations. We must also confront the long history of racism this country has seen – and continues to see every day – before we can effectively end it.
These are just three ways to amplify black voices, but the fight for racial equality is far from over. There are plenty of ways to get involved, whether that be donating, signing petitions (which you can do anonymously), and contacting legislators. This is a long fight, but one that will be worth it in the end.