Black Lives Matter: Thoughts and Resources

Black Lives Matter: Thoughts and Resources

So I totally had a makeup post ready for today, but it just doesn’t feel right to talk about makeup today. I started this blog as a creative outlet and a way to connect with other people about what makes me happy and brings me joy.

I LOVE makeup. I love how it can transform your appearance and your mood. I love being able to escape for few minutes each day into my own little world of lip gloss and mascara. It’s a release.  It’s a chance to be creative.  It’s fun. And I suspect many of you feel the same way. So, this blog is usually free from politics and the world’s troubles.

But, the recent violence has been so heavy on my heart and mind these past several days.  Unfortunately police brutality directed at minorities, especially Black men, is nothing new, but the senselessness and graphic images that accompanied the recent murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile really saddened, angered and scared me.  They still do.  And just when I thought these actions would lead to a real dialogue about policing in this country, a sniper killed 5 police officers in Dallas during an otherwise peaceful #BlackLivesMatter demonstration.

All of these deaths are tragic.

I hope we all have enough love and compassion in our hearts to mourn the deaths of ordinary people at the hands of police at the same time that we mourn the deaths of police officers.  But that doesn’t mean that the struggle to achieve equality, justice, fairness and dignity for ALL Americans should pause for a single minute.  That being said, I found myself sitting at work wondering what I could do to make a positive impact on the world.  I really feel like we are at a crossroads in our society and I want to be doing something to make things better.  I want to be able to tell my kids that I did my part to shape their world in the image of love and justice.

 Love is to be sincere and active.

Romans 12:9

I’ve spent the last few days researching inspirational quotes, poems and prayers for hope, strength and guidance.  I’ve found reading lists to give context and background on civil rights issues and racial justice.  I’ve identified organizations (in addition to Black Lives Matters) that offer a variety of ways to add your voice to this discussion.  I’ve found resources that give insight and tips on how to discuss such an intense (and often misunderstood) topic with co-workers and friends.  And it’s all here.  I will continue to update this post because I know that this issue is not going away any time soon, at least not for me.

powerful words

We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere.  They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives.  Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

amazing podcasts

[Update: July 15, 2016] I’ve mentioned before that I love podcasts, so thought I’d share some particularly good ones on this topic:

  • Reality LA Podcast: “In The Face of Tragedy.” This podcast features a faith-based way to cope with tragedy.  It has really good prayers and scripture that help Christians find guidance and strength during troubling times.
  • Code Switch Podcast: “Code Switch Extra: No Words” and “Black and Blue.”  Code Switch is a really smart podcast that touches on race issues and pop culture.  Last week they had an impromptu podcast where they talked to a couple of thought leaders on race relations, and I LOVED the interview with Khalil Gibran Muhammed (so much that I immediately ordered his book, The Condemnation of Blackness).  Then this week they interviewed a couple of black police officers, including the chief of police in Dallas.

background reading on Black Lives Matter and racial justice in America

resources for talking about race and justice

This is the only relevant post I could find, but there have to be more!  Please share if you find anything helpful.

how to get involved

vote in local elections

  • There are many politicians and ballot measures that are on the ballot this November in states, counties and cities.  To me, the presidential election looks like a circus, but local elections have a huge impact on policing in our communities.  Ballotpedia.org has a list of major policy issues on the ballot in every state.  I will update this list as I find more resources. {updated 9/26/2016}

If a police shooting happens in your community, you can also write your prosecutor or district attorney and urge that they investigate the shooting and bring charges against the officer(s).

 Power concedes nothing without a demand.

Frederick Douglass

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And in case anyone is wondering, this post as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, is for EVERYONE.

 Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I really hope that these resources are useful in providing context, inspiration and direction on how to navigate these troubled waters.  Also, I would love it if you could let me know of helpful books, articles, organizations, songs or anything else that provides a bit of good.

 

  • Cheryl

    This is beautiful and helpful as well. Thanks for the research and suggestions. “And still I rise. “

    • Adia

      Thanks so much for the suggestion! How could I leave out Maya Angelou? I’m so glad this is helpful!

  • Amazing post, it was shocking to hear what has been happening in America but it is good that people are discussing it. Change needs to happen, and finding any way that I can help with that is something I am completely on board with. Thank you for including that list of 17 poems, I know it doesn’t compare but after the UK voted to leave the EU there has been an outpouring of hatred and racism in the streets. The majority are scared because we don’t know what is happening next, so that list will certainly come in handy. Thanks for sharing your resources xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

    • Adia

      Hi Kiran. Unfortunately hatred and racism are too common all over the world. I’m sure you’ve heard rhetoric that’s just as scary as what we’re hearing in the US. I’m so glad this post was helpful for you, and I’ll definitely keep updating it with uplifting words!

  • Gina

    This was so heart warming and a true blessing to read!

  • Donna

    What a thoughtful and though-provoking posting! I’m glad that you took the time to share your thoughts and the incredible resources. They are deep and inspiring. ..thank you!

  • Kwmechelle

    This was so dope to read. Thank you for sharing. I’m a fan of your posts from MBB. And a new subbie 🙂

    • Adia

      Aw thank you!! I really appreciate it ☺️ I had so much fun posting on MBB and am so glad I got to “meet” her awesome readers like you 😘