Black Lives Matter
- By R. Coughlan
As a young person’s mental health charity we usually try to remain politically impartial in what we share online in order to be inclusive of all our young people and online followers. However, we do have identity based projects and groups, which in themselves could be viewed as political, because we know that oppression and discrimination can have a huge impact on the mental health of young people. Recent events including the death of George Floyd at the hands of American police officers have prompted us to speak out further and share this blog. Because living a life without the fear of racist attacks is not a political point. It is a basic human right.
Many of our staff, young people and groups have already spoken out against the attacks and in support of the Black community. Every single one of our groups is affected by racism because it pervades all areas of our society.
Reece Williams, our Film42 Young Black Men’s Engagement worker said ‘That the world had to see so candidly an unarmed Black man have his life taken away from by American Law Enforcement to be reminded that we do not live in a post-racial society speaks volumes of the work that we have to do. Many of the young Black men we engage with our work, exist in the intersection of poor mental health and racial inequality and at 42nd Street we are as committed as ever to addressing this’.
If you would also like to add your voice here are some of our suggestions…
Peaceful Protests to Attend
You can find a list of peaceful protests across the UK online and the Manchester protests will be this weekend.
- 6th June: Piccadilly Gardens from 13:00pm.
- 7th June: St. Peter’s Square from 14:00pm.
If attending protests please be peaceful, careful and observe 2m social distancing rules. Another thing to note I that an IFS report says number of UK deaths is higher in most ethnic minority groups so please do take this into consideration before attending with any vulnerable people.
Here are some tips…
- Wear a face mask
- Wear gloves and goggles
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes
- Don’t wear jewellery
- Tie your hair up
- Don’t wear contact lenses or anything that you would need to touch your face for
- Deactivate touch and face ID on your phone and wipe it with screen wipes in between use
- Bring bottled water and don’t share it with others
- Bring high sugar snacks like bananas and biscuits to keep energy levels up
- Bring hand gel and wipes
- Bring bank card not cash and a form of ID
- Bring sun cream and any required medication
- Have emergency contacts written on your arm
- Toilet availability will be limited so women are advised to bring tissues and wear pads rather than tampons
Actions to Take Online
- Sign the Justice for George Floyd petition demanding that the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder.
- Write to your MP. You can use this template but make sure to change it a little because identical ones can get marked as spam and ignored. And you can find your local MP here by searching for your postcode. Some points for UK citizens to include are:
- Immediate suspension of UK sales of teargas, riot shields + rubber bullets to the US.
- Condemn Trump’s use of force against his own citizens.
- Release the delayed report into BAME Covid deaths [the report has since been released, but we can demand that the government does more to tackle the death rate].
- Join the #blackouttuesday online campaign and for the next week only share content that relates to Black culture and the Black Lives Matter campaign. However, please refrain from using the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on Blackout Tuesday images because this will flood the hashtag with empty images and distract from content that shows why people are protesting.
- We should also remember that seeing graphic images and videos online can negatively affect people’s mental health. It is understandable that people want to bring injustices to light by sharing them but if you do please give a clear warning before hand for any viewers who don’t feel comfortable watching them.
Accounts to Follow
- @blklivesmatter campaign
- @rachel.cargle activist
- @sassy_latte political creative
- @candicebrathwaite author and presenter
- @mr1loveto reporter
- @donte.colley influencer
- @r.e.d_butterfly group
- @deray activist
- @MsPackyetti activist
- @nhannahjones journalist
- @KathleenNB writer
- @rgay writer
- @MireilleCHarper has a a thread on her Twitter account full of resources, advice and organisations to follow.
Places to Donate
- Black Lives Matter movement and fight to end state-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end white supremacy forever.
- The Minnesota Freedom Fund is a non-profit organisation that provides funds for protesters who have been arrested and need to pay bail in order to avoid being imprisoned.
- The Bail Project also provides funds to pay bail “to prevent incarceration and combat racial economic disparities in the bail system”.
- Black Visions Collective is a black, trans and queer-led organisation that is “dedicated to Black liberation and to collective liberation”.
- Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, is named after Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager who was killed in southeast London in 1993 in a racist attack.
Books to Read
- Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad
- White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Between the World and I by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Natives by Akala
- How to Argue with a Racist by Adam Rutherford
- Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch
- Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri
- The Windrush Betrayal by Amelia Gentleman
- Black and British by David Olusoga
- How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kandi
- Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- Space Invaders: Race, Gender and Bodies Out of Place by Nirmal Puwar
- So You Want to Talk About Race By Ijeoma Oluo
Films to Watch
- Selma by Ava DuVernay
- I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck
- If Beale Street Could Talk by Barry Jenkins
- Do The Right Thing by Spike Lee
- Boyz N The Hood by John Singleton
- BlackkKlansman by Spike Lee
- The Help by Tate Taylor
Podcasts to Listen To
- Still Processing, hosted by Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris (The New York Times)
- Pod Save the People, hosted by Deray Mckesson (Crooked Media)
- 1619, hosted by Nikole Hannah Jones (The New York Times)
- Code Switch, hosted by Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby (NPR)
- Code Black, co-founded by Renee Duncan, Bunmi Adeoye and Maxine McDonald (Code Black Communicator Network)
Places to Shop
Some brilliant black-owned businesses mostly from the UK that you can buy/follow right now thanks to Emily Ames for these suggestions.
- Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by @ghanakitchen
- Ethiopia by Yohanis Gebreyesus @chef_yohanis
- Belly Full by Riaz Phillips @Belly.full
Food & Drink
- Shweet and Sour @schweetnsour (who supply our groups with sweets)
- Armr Store @armrstore
- Grazing Boxes @berryandbrie
- Yard Confectionary @yardconfectionery
- Cabby’s Rum @cabbysrum
- Cham Cham hot pepper sauce @nimsdin
Beauty & Haircare Brands
- Liha Beauty: skin oils, shea butters @LihaBeauty
- BeautyStack: discover and book treatments @beautystack
- Bouclème: afro and curly hair products @boucleme
- The Afro Hair and Skin Company @afrohairandskinco
Fashion & Accessory brands
- Wales Bonner: menswear and womenswear @walesbonner
- Casely-Hayford: suits @caselyhayfordlondon
- Daughter of a Bohemian: upcycled pieces and workshops @daughterofabohemian
- Daily Paper: menswear and womenswear
Home & Lifestyle
- Prick: cacti and plantcare @prickldn
- Bespoke Binny @bespokebinny
- New Beacon Books : Specialists in African and Caribbean Literature @newbeaconbooks
- Bonita Vie Stationary @bonitaivieprints
There are some brilliant organisations across the country working to support BAME young people and here are two that are local to us in Greater Manchester: RECLAIM Project and Kids of Colour.
If you or someone that you know are feeling distressed by the events happening in the US and elsewhere, the Mental Health Foundation has some resources on looking after your own mental health, and a list of places to get help if you need it.