On May 25, George Floyd was killed when ex-police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes, sparking outrage and protests over police brutality and police killing of black Americans. TechRadar affirms this truth: that Black Lives Matter.
We know the protests may bring out confusion and difficult feelings in our readers. We’d like to share resources that may help you better understand why millions have marched in cities across the US (and the world) to oppose a system that disproportionately targets, incarcerates, and kills black Americans.
We are exploring how we can support black lives and the Black Lives Matter movement as individuals and as a publication, through daily action and changes within TechRadar itself.
In the meantime, we’d like to help signal boost the cause with a list of black artists’ works, black voices to amplify, and several causes and non-profit organizations you can donate to.
What is Black Lives Matter?
Black Lives Matter is a human rights movement created to raise awareness of racial injustice, police brutality, and the unlawful murder of African-Americans in the US. The organization was founded in 2013 after Trayvon Martin’s killer was acquitted of murder, and it continues to advocate for black lives with petitions, resources, and programs.
BLM’s mission is to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes.” The inclusive group also “affirm[s] the lives of black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all black lives along the gender spectrum.”
Black media to watch and read
Just like the universal truth that Black Lives Matter, black voices and creative visions matter, too. Because a lot of what we see in film, TV, literature and more focuses on white experiences, it’s beneficial to focus on and put effort into supporting and exposing yourself to media and literature created by black people.
To that end, our global team has pooled together some recommendations for black movies, books, YouTubers and more.
If you don’t know where to start, Ijeoma Oluo’s lauded book So You Want To Talk About Race is a starting point to help you talk about racism, prejudice, and privilege.
Beyond that, if you want to educate yourself on the historic issues faced by black Americans, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s essay at The Atlantic makes the case for reparations, exploring how the US government could address the disparity in generational wealth caused by slavery, segregation and Jim Crow over the last few centuries.
@Jaybeware on Twitter has an informative thread about the movement to reform the police and criminal justice systems, and Angela Davis’ book Are Prisons Obsolete? mentioned above, is also a good resource on this topic. There’s also an excellent anti-racist reading list over on Bad Form specifically created to help curious readers educate themselves.
And if you’re a white person looking to be a good ally, check out For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies by Courtney Ariel over at Sojourners. Be sensitive to what your BIPOC friends and acquaintances are going through right now, and don’t ask them to take on the work of educating or explaining what’s going on.
How to support black-owned businesses
In the age of internet shopping, it’s easy to directly support black-owned businesses. Check out this Glamour roundup of fashion-oriented black-owned online storefronts you can check out, while SheKnows has a list of black-owned brands specializing in baby and kids products.
Many of these roundups will be regional, like this Bustle article listing black-owned UK businesses, so be specific when Google searching ‘Buy black ___.’ Or if you want to search through your mobile device, try the Black Wall Street app or Black Nation app. Online shopping platforms like Nile also direct shoppers to black-owned companies.
How you can help
Right now, protests are breaking out across the world, and the people standing up and defending black lives need as much help as they can get. If you’re not familiar with the cause, it can be genuinely hard to find a way that you can constructively help.
One of the most important things you can do is to reach out to black people in your life, whether it’s close friends, family, partners or colleagues, and check in on them. Things are difficult for them right now, and offering your support is critical right now. And, most importantly, listen to what they have to say. Listening is radical action, do it.
In times like these it's important to take care of your mental wellbeing. If you or people around you are struggling, check out this excellent list of African American focused mental health organizations over at Black Girls Smile. There’s also a similar post by Jesse Sparks over at Bon Appetit.
It’s also important to make sure you post your support on social media, but there are some things you should be aware of. Don’t identify or tag protestors without their consent. You should also avoid sharing images of protestors that don’t have faces blurred, as this could lead to people being identified and targeted after the protests.
And, in the face of curfews being put in place, please be mindful of your neighbors and don’t put anyone in danger. For instance, consider the safety of the employees of the services you use – protest dangers have led services like Uber and Lyft to temporarily suspend their services. If a food delivery service in your area is still operating, consider the safety of those who may be obliged to deliver to you through a dangerous situation.
You can also donate to a number of different organizations that will deliver resources where they are needed most. Especially if you’re not comfortable going out and protesting yourself, this can go a long way to supporting the cause. We’ve gathered some notable ones down below, but there are dozens of them out there for you to find and contribute to:
If you're in Australia and would like to support the First Nations People, you can donate to organizations like Bridging The Gap Foundation For Indigenous Health and Education or the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency.
Finally, there are a couple of petitions you can sign to show your support. A petition on Colour for Change is demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd.
Likewise, a Change.org petition is directly calling on Mayor Jacob Frey and District Attorney Mike Freeman to bring Floyd’s killers to justice.
We stand with all those affected.
TechRadar’s commitment: We know that actions speak louder than words, so rather than simply say we're going to diversify, we're actively making changes to do that on our team, and will have more to share in the coming weeks. This will begin with a regular audit on how diverse our output is, proactively seeking new and varied voices for the site, and looking into ways we can attract new and young BAME talent into our industry, offering them the continued support they need to thrive.
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