I think we can all acknowledge that there’s a lot going on in the world right now. I have felt a mix of emotions – ranging from heartbroken to angry and sad – as I read the news stories, watched the videos and tried to take in all that’s happening in our country right now. In the span of a few days (and weeks) I have learned so much thanks to Black people who are speaking up, sharing resources and telling their stories. As always, I have so much more to learn, but it’s a start. And we’ve all got to start somewhere. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what I can do in this situation, what it means to be an “ally” and learning the difference between not being racist and being anti-racist.
One thing I know for sure is that I can’t stay silent while these injustices are happening. I think for a lot of us, myself included, it’s been a fine line of what to say and how to go about saying it. I know I struggled with putting my thoughts into words. I was scared I was going to say the wrong thing. But I finally realized that I will never have the perfect words to say. My words may not always be “right” and they will certainly fall short, but it’s a start. As a blogger and influencer I have a job that allows me to share things with you all every day and that includes sharing real issues that matter and influencing each and every one of you to be better. I can do better. You can do better. We can do better.
Today I really just wanted to jot down my thoughts and share some resources that I have found useful in the last week as well as books I plan on adding to my shelf. I have always been someone who looked to books to escape and to learn more, so I plan on reading books in order to help educate myself more.
I can do better
It is my goal to implement things in an effort to do better. We can all make changes no matter how big or small to help. Below are a few things I am implementing in order to do better.
I am going to hold myself & brand partners to a higher standard. I started implementing this in 2019 after attending a widely white press trip where no Black women or POC were in attendance. The group of girls and the brands were promptly (and rightfully) called out and it opened up a great conversation about diversity in the influencer space. Now before I join a campaign that I know will have other influencers I ask if they have a diverse group promoting the product, attending the event, etc. If the answer is no, I suggest a few of my Black and POC influencers to them! I will continue to do this and to speak up with brands.
I am going to continue to educate myself both online and off. I have been reading a lot of articles, saving a lot of posts on social media to refer back to & have written down a lot of podcasts I want to listen to in order to learn more. I don’t expect Black people to educate me, I know I must do that myself. I am committed to educating myself on white privililge, racism, and being a better ally.
I am going to support more Black-owned businesses, creatives & influencers. To be completely honest, I am disappointed in myself for not being more diverse in the businesses I support. I plan to research more Black-owned businesses (especially small businesses) and support them in the ways I can. I also plan on following (and sharing) more Black creatives and influencers. There are already many that I follow and love their content, but I know there are more that I’m missing out on! I’m tired of seeing the same cookie-cutter people in my feed and I plan to change that.
There are endless resources available to us in order to learn & listen. Below are a few that I have looked to recently. This Google Doc is a long, comprehensive list of resources and more are below.
On Becoming Anti-Racist
The Influencers of Color You Need to Follow
For Our White Friends Desiring to be Allies
What’s an Influencers Role Right Now?
@ckyourprivilege & @theconsciouskid & @ohhappydani on IG.
books to read
As I said above, books have always been a bit of an escape to me. But they are also the things I lean on when I want to learn more about something. For me, it’s a great way to learn while also supporting an author. Below are a few books that I want to read over the next few months. If you want to purchase these and support a Black-owned independent bookstore I suggest ordering from Mahogany Books, Semicolon, Source Booksellers or The Lit Bar!
–White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
–Me & White Supremacy by Layla Saad
–How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones
–How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram Kendi