culture & community

Black Lives Matter: Doing the Work as White Allies

by Myranda — June 19, 2020
White allies: "It's a privilege to educate yourself about racism instead of experiencing it!"

Check out my reading suggestions for white allies. We need to make space for “own voices”, listen, and help drive change. There is much work to be done.

There’s a lot going on in the world right now (forget the mysterious murder hornets), people are rising up to fight injustice and racism even in the middle of a global pandemic. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and I have a lot that I could say. Right now, however, I think it’s more important to make the space for “own voices” to speak about it, not just white allies, to use my platform (such as it is) to amplify the voices of those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC).

I’d like to invite you to read some of these resources I’ve pulled together, and to share other voices which you think I – and white women like me – should be paying attention. It’s not even close to an exhaustive list, but I think it’s good to pick a starting point to become a better ally and go from there. For those of us who are white, it might feel uncomfortable. But I want to encourage you to let yourself be uncomfortable and to grow from there.

Suggested Reading for White Allies:

  1. This list from Forbes’ First, Listen. Then, Learn: Anti-Racism Resources For White People has a number of resources for white allies to learn more about racism and how to be anti-racist. I’d like to focus special attention on 75 Things White People can do for Racial Justice by Corrine Shutack and this interview with Dr. Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility on The Conscious Kid.
  2. Chelsea Vowel, a Métis blogger from Alberta, writes the blog âpihtawikosisân, focused on law, language, and culture. She’s created Indigenous Issues 101 for those who are interested in an introduction to a number of issues affecting Indigenous people.
  3. Society tends to treat white people as the “neutral normal” and everyone else as “other”, so I’d like to recommend thinking about the media you consume and whether you’ve made space for BIPOC to take central stage. If you are on Instagram, consider checking out this list of Black Instagram Influencers to follow or check out these artists on Instagram who are Indigenous.
  4. If books are your jam, you might want to delve into some of these books about understanding and dismantling racism.
  5. Make sure to diversify your fiction bookshelf, too! Here’s a Goodreads list of Black Girl Magic books to think about adding to your to-be-read pile, or check out this list of Indigenous Reads.

There’s a lot of work to be done still, to get to a place of racial justice. So let’s keep our foot on the gas, and keep pushing to go in a progressive direction. Educating yourself is a good step, especially when we as white allies are taking up some of the work instead of relying on those suffering under systematic oppression to bear that burden as well. Do the work, stay safe out there, and keep fighting the good fight.

*Title photo by James Eades on Unsplash

You Might Also Like