As the fight for racial equality and justice marches on both throughout the United States and all across the globe, many people are curious about ways in which they can contribute to the cause. As we continue to push for positive change in our society, it’s crucially important to uplift the voices of the Black community. Here are some ways in which you can do your part to learn, listen, and be a better ally to your Black peers.
Support Black-owned businesses.
Take the time to research Black-owned businesses in your area, whether they’re food and beverage outlets, salons and barbers, fashion boutiques, or any other type of venue. Then, start visiting these establishments when you’re out and about. Not only is this a great way to directly support small business owners and your local economy, but you just might discover a new favorite restaurant or shop along the way! Supporting Black-owned businesses helps close the racial wealth gap, paves the way for the creation of new job opportunities, and allows you to vote with your dollar. This means your purchases directly invest in Black families and their livelihoods, and your money is guaranteed to circle back through the local economy.
For our friends in California, here are some of the many Black-owned restaurants you can support in Los Angeles as well as the Bay Area. Many of these restaurants offer takeout or delivery when dining in is not an option!
If you’re an avid online shopper, you can also seek out Black-owned businesses who offer their services through digital mediums, from yoga instructors to tarot readers and everything in between. There are also numerous Black business owners who run online shops through brand websites or mediums such as Etsy, featuring stellar collections of handmade jewelry, divine bath products, cosmetic lines…you name it!
Help fund crucial resources.
Directly providing organizations with the funding they need to provide much-needed resources and support to members of the Black community is another way to show your support. To start, study up on the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, ACLU, Color Of Change, and The Bail Project, and if you have the means to do so, consider donating. Each and every dollar makes a difference and allows these organizations to continue seeking transformative justice for the Black community.
Whether or not you’re able to provide financial assistance to these organizations, there are other ways in which you can use your voice to stand up for what’s right. Sign your name on petitions, reach out to your local representatives, and stay updated on proposed legislation. Petitions like these, crafted on behalf of the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, serve to seek justice for the victims of police brutality and ensure that the ongoing execution of innocent Black individuals comes to an end.
Listen, educate yourself, and share what you’ve learned with others.
Take a moment to think about the content you consume during a typical day. How many Black artists, authors and writers, musicians, commentators, and influencers do you follow? Introducing yourself to new perspectives is one of the best ways to learn about experiences that differ from yours, allowing you to gain further knowledge, empathy, and understanding of the struggles faced by communities other than those you belong to. Take a trip to your local library and borrow some new works, whether they’re books, albums, or films. You can also find numerous free articles, lectures, and podcasts online from activists all over the world.
Try reading pieces by Angela Davis, bell hooks, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Cornel West; watch films by Ava DuVernay and Spike Lee; listen to the New York Times’ 1619 or NPR’s Code Switch podcasts. There are countless activists, historians, educators, and community members whose stories are worth listening to, and these are only an extremely small sampling of the sources who have dedicated their time to educating and enlightening others.
Dedicating oneself to a lifetime of continuous learning, amplifying Black voices, actively listening, and sharing resources and knowledge with others is the responsibility of a true ally. It is our duty to stand up for those who are treated unjustly and fight for change.
ZOOO INC stands with the Black Lives Matter movement and forever strives to connect people with their communities and empower small business owners.
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