I'm tired. Weary. Feeling helpless + hopeless and I'm mad as hell.
While all of these feelings are completely valid, I know that it does not serve us to stay in them.
With the killings of two unarmed Black men by the hands of the police (ya know...the ones who took an oath to serve and protect) last week, I felt like I was completely done with no where to turn.
I watched as my social media timelines swelled with videos of the murders. I took in the many cries of pain from people trying to process to the trauma. And I noticed many people who are usually on top of their soapboxes become uncharacteristically silent.
For two days I tried my best to be present. And for those two days, I was drained. Sounds dramatic but scrolling past triggering images/video over and over again is painful and dehumanizing — weighs down your soul. It became even more so when I found myself in spaces where people seemed unaffected. They carried on with their day like any other...and that messed me up. So I took a break.
I made a decision to protect my spirit and I took care of myself so that I can continue the fight to dismantle systemic racism and oppression of all people. People of the African Diaspora are resilient. The best evidence is that in spite of it all, many of us are still here. We owe it to our ancestors to KEEP FIGHTING. A change is coming. So do what you got to do to mourn, grieve and heal so that we can continue to educate, inform and act.
Here are 5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Protect Your Magic.*
1. Unfollow brands/bloggers/people who are silent.
Ya'll. I'm well aware of the pressures that some folks might feel in sharing their feelings publicly for whatever reason. I get it. I also get that just because one is not expressing themselves on the internet doesn't mean that action isn't being taken offline. I get it. I'm referring to the folk who are silent and still posting and sharing like nothing happened. Folk who pick and choose their online activism. Folks who only want to bask in Blackness when its time to celebrate. "Your silence will not protect you." -Audre Lorde. If they aren't using their platforms to break the silence, then they don't have a place in your online space.
2. Find safe group healing spaces in your town for Black folks and other POC.
This one is very important. There is nothing wrong with unplugging and taking time for some self care. This can be done alone or within a group. Platforms like Black Girl in Om are an incredible resource. BGIO creates space for women of color to breathe easy. They also have a bimonthly podcast and even host occasional guided meditation calls. Get on their mailing list to stay connected.
3. Get active in local government. For real this time.
Beyoncé told us we can channel our anger into action and that we "must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes." And I know how much ya'll (*quietly points to self*) love Beyoncé.
- Contact your Congresswoman/man
- Find resources about the local government in your area
- Things you can do to stop Police Brutality in your City
4. Move your coins to a Black-owned bank.
A quick search on Google, "why moving my money to a Black bank is important" unearthed articles dating back to 2011 when outlets like BET asked the same question. "Historically, Black-owned banks were important institutions in the African-American community that provided loans and services to Blacks when white institutions refused." says the BET article. "Today, these banks remain relevant for many of the same reasons, but have been edged out by fierce competition from corporate rivals." Killer Mike started a campaign back in February urging folks to "make sure at least 1 account is with a Black bank...turning that dollar in our community!" Saint Heron and Watch The Yard published lists of Black-owned banks and Credit Unions in the U.S. And here's anotha one *DJ Khaled voice*
5. Follow/support living Black storytellers, makers, activists, artists, healers, and journalists documenting the reality, offering their art + services, organizing and sharing information.
"The battle isn't just in the rocks and stones. The battle is in the images. The battle is in the stories." - Khalid Abdalla, actor and activist.
Black creatives have been shaping the landscape of American culture (and beyond) for decades. Uplifting the output of their creativity and perspective helps us stay on top of what's really going on. Not only is supporting Black business is a major key but is often through the lens of a Black creative that we get the authentic story. Mainstream media is controlled by the same corporations who have large stakes in the private prison industry. And we know that a disproportionate amount of Black and brown folk are in prison. Why would we ever listen to what they have to say?
Quick list of some folks I'm loving right now:
- Plus the Creatives that I highlighted in this post.
*Protect Your Magic is a registered trademark and movement that Fadia Kadar started a few years ago.