A Letter from Zeena: Racial Injustice and Supporting #BlackLivesMatter
Posted on 03 June 2020
To the Zeena Community,
Now that it’s Wednesday, what happens after #blackouttuesday? What happens next Tuesday? If we're serious about bringing any real and lasting changes, we have to move beyond warm, fuzzy statements, and trending hashtags. Let’s not make yesterday the pinnacle of our work for justice, because it really should just be (yet another) starting point. We hate to say it, but it’s worth considering what would have happened if this same outrage was expressed by the influencer and corporate elites when it should have been - would George Floyd still have been murdered? We’ll never know, but we can’t ignore our shared responsibility to have spoken out sooner, or more.
Acknowledge that we won’t “solve” or “end” this anytime soon. It’s been 400+ years in the making and it's a stain on the intertwining fabric of American society. It’s insulting to our black family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and fellow citizens to think we can just wave a magic wand, or throw some money at this, and make it go away. We need to take active steps together. We need to get out the VOTE in local and state elections (How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change - Barack Obama).
Five years from now, what do we want to look back on and say we did after the murder of George Floyd (and others, of course)? Let’s educate ourselves, support black business owners, and vote in the leadership Black folks and the rest of us deserve at local, state, and federal levels. Let’s do this together.
If you follow us on Instagram, you may have noticed that our page @simplyzeena_ and sister page @uncovermodesty went dark on June 2, 2020 in observation of #BlackOutTuesday. The black square that appeared on our grid was a pause from our normal activity to take a breath for peace. Thank you for taking a moment out of your day to read this post to the very end. We have several resources listed, including booklists for adults and children so that you can take positive steps toward change and discover how you can respond to this social crisis alongside us.
Where to Begin: 5 Recommended Books on Race Relations in America
- So You Want to Talk About Race?
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
- Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
- From Superman to Man
- I Am Not Your Negro
Now is not the time to be a casual observer. #BlackLivesMatter is not a trend. It is a civil rights movement. History is in the making each and every day. In order to help build a bridge of understanding about why people are protesting police brutality, social injustice, dehumanization, false accusations, disproportionate imprisonment and institutional racism, we must learn about the Black experience and the communities that are writhing in pain as you read this. Educate yourself about the Black struggle and why you see your neighbors and friends standing unafraid in the face of danger. Learn as much as you can so when it comes time to have those uncomfortable conversations, you can empathize with your brothers and sisters. Change begins in the heart.
Books for Young Readers
It's never too early to start educating our children about diversity. Here are a few titles we love:
- Happy in Our Skin
- Malcolm Little
- Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice
- Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
- Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History
- My Hair is a Garden
Accounts to Follow on Instagram
Stay informed. Here is a list of ten recommended accounts to follow with up-to-date accounts, testimonials, reports and stories. Like, share, re-post or follow. Do your part in amplifying Black voices across our community:
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That’s Big Floyd and his baby girl Gianna. Don’t lose focus. Don’t lose sight of why we are in this fight. We aren’t going to let up until we get FULL JUSTICE for George Floyd AND until we see serious systemic change to make this violence and oppression stop. Period. Tomorrow, we are starting back up our fight for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Follow @GrassrootsLaw & @leemerrittesq
Black-Owned Business & Accounts of Note
Show your support for Black-owned small business owners, journalists and activists sharing their voices on social media:
View this post on Instagram
(Heads up on some harsh language in the background of this video) No one should ever feel lucky to have ‘only’ been pepper sprayed. And yet. When I see the images and video of what both protesters and members of the press have faced at the hands of police while out on the streets of our nation, I know the mist of mace I experienced in DC on May 30th outside of the White House was not as bad as it gets. And for that, I have no words. So, I intend to let my reporting speak for itself. #blacklivesmatter . . . #latergram #journalism #journalist #dcprotests #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforahmaud #justiceforbreonnataylor #pepperspray #whitehouse #mace #teargas #blackouttuesday
Where To Donate
Our hearts are deeply moved. Our eyes are moist with prayers. We invite you to participate in the conversation, to ask the tough questions, to hold yourself to a higher standard of moral and ethical behavior. Staying silent is not a solution. Please take action alongside us. There are several non-profit organizations where your contributions can make a meaningful difference:
- Grassroots Law Project
- Believers Bail Out
- Black Visions Collective
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
We believe that communities have the power to make this world a better place. Call out inequality whenever you see it. Take a stand against injustice. Help unite the human family. We are with you.