My black square isn't enough. (Part 1)
Posted on June 03 2020
As a white woman and small business owner, I must do more. Black Lives Matter. Yesterday was #blackouttuesday, the social media black sqaure awareness campaign to bring Black voices to the forefront so that we can learn from the lived experiences of Black members of our community and reflect on our own contributions to the continued and systemic racial injustices in our society. While I am glad that this hashtag opened the door for so many businesses like my own to publicly proclaim support for Black Lives Matter, I am deeply sorry that it took a trendy movement for me to speak up. I desire to do much more than show support - I will actively work to be better and do better for Black families and People of Color. I vow to do the work to be antiracist, and recognize that it is a daily, lifelong journey. I'm not sure it is possible for a white person to ever fully arrive, but I will constantly strive. I will make mistakes and welcome being called out.
So here is my plan:
1) Internal work
2) Parenting and family work
3) Barn Chic Boutique work
Part 1 of 3: Internal work
I am currently absorbing all that I can. I am reading (well, listening to) "Me and White Supremacy" by Layla Saad and "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin DiAngelo. Next up: "How to be an Antiracist" and "Stamped from the Beginning" by Ibram X. Kendi and "So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Oluo.
I am making time to listen to these audio books while I am packaging up orders, on solo walks and during our little one's nap time. I also am absorbing Layla Saad's podcast, Good Ancestor Podcast, and really learned a lot from her interview with Robin DiAngelo (author of "White Fragility") and Ramon Stephens, Executive Director at The Conscious Kid. Just this morning, Brene Brown's Unlocking Us podcast released an interview with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist.
I plan to watch the film "Just Mercy" based on the book of the same title by Bryan Stevenson, which is free to rent this month on most streaming platforms. And I will donate to the Equal Justice Initiative (more on donating in Part 3).
I am participating in an Implicit Bias Management training by Re-Birth Equity on Monday, and a Whiteness at Work training by Equity at Work on Thursday - I invite you to join me and sign up for the training here.
I follow the social media accounts of Black women and racial justice organizations. I have learned much from (and am in turn purchasing services/finding the PayPal addresses to rightfully compensate them for their work):
This is just the tip of the iceberg for great resources. Have one I should add to read, listen to, or follow? Please let me know.
Next post - what we are doing to parent our children to be antiracist, and after that, what Barn Chic Boutique will do as a company.
As a solo entrepreneur, it starts with me. I see that my apathy and silence as a white person equaled complicity and fueled the continuation of racial injustice. I will work to do better. Hold me accountable for my work. Thank you for reading.