Being black during the protests after George Floyd’s death may be a tiring experience for many black people. Our feed is or was filled with black screens, gruesome videos, or people just voicing their opinions. I am grateful for how many people are involved in getting the word out about the Black Lives Matter movement. I have often found that many black people are not taking care of themselves during this time. Some of them feel like they can not take a break because this movement is about them and this can leave a person drained and resenting social media in general.
One way you can help if you are not black is to research before you ask a question. Chances are you will find the answers online and it is also not their job to educate you on everything. Another thing you can do is ask them if they are taking care of themselves. During this time many of us do not feel like we can take breaks because this is our fight. It is important to remind your friends (and I mean all of your friends) that they are loved and supported during this time. One last thing you can do is recognize your privilege. Recognizing it is the first step to fixing the issues and without recognition, we can not fix the issues around us.
Another way you can help black people is to support black-owned restaurants and other black-owned businesses. Supporting small owned business are always good, especially during the pandemic. This can help them support their families and makes sure their small business is still around later. Someone could also ask before they start talking about everything that is going on. Because of how most of us have immersed ourselves in this, getting flooded with this can cause many people to feel overwhelmed. You can also sign potions and donate if you have the means to. If enough people show that they care about something and enough attention is brought to it things will change.
Amplify black people’s voices. One of the best things you can do to help is to listen to what we have to say. During marches follow our lead, this is a fight we have been fighting for longer than most people acknowledge or realize. Many people have tried to say what they think we would want or what they think is best. In giving Black people a voice you are giving us the voice that for so many years we did not have, and most of the time we still do not have it. We are silenced so often that sometimes people forget that we want to talk and voice our opinions. In helping us do that you are helping us in more ways than you know.
Right now so many things are uncertain and everything plays by ear. It is very important to take care of yourself when the world is in such a crazy place right now and so much is going on. Taking care of yourself could also mean doing what is right in the world and helping any way you can.