amplifying black voices

Amplifying Black Voices

I’m sure you’ve all heard this phrase a lot, but do you know what it means and how to act on it? Let’s break it down.

Amplifying black voices means allowing the black voices that were previously silenced to take centre stage. Black voices have always been there but how often were non-black people allowing our voices to be heard?

5 things you can do to amplify black voices:

  1. Stop whitesplaining. Whitesplaining is the act of white people explaining black issues to black people in a condescending manner. What’s the problem with this? It reduces black voices and our experiences. There are plenty of black people who speak on black issues and/or have resources that you can share with your friends, family and followers. Instead of whitesplaining, direct to the people and resources that can explain the relevant issues best. E.g. buy and read Why I’m No Longer Talking About Race, not only is it educational but you’re supporting a black author and amplifying her voice within the book industry. 
  1. Diversify your feed. How many black creators do you follow? 1? 2? None? Why is that? I’m sure you can all find 10 black creators that align with your interests to follow across your platforms. Following them is only part of diversifying your feed, you need to engage with their content. Following someone with no intention of engaging with their content is counterproductive. You’ve not amplified a black voice, you’ve followed someone because you feel like you have to, to show that you’re a “good ally” whilst simultaneously negatively affecting black creators by harming their engagement rates. 
  1. Open your purse. Inequality is also an economy and therefore material difference is necessary, fill black pockets. Donate to organisations that are helping to amplify black voices in various spaces. Here’s 3 to start you off:

Black Girls camping trip creates tailored retreats for black womxn in the UK. 

Black Girls Brunch is a safe and inclusive space for black women to exist authentically as themselves by creating a space for networking, relationships, developments across sectors and generations and reducing the feelings and experiences of invisibility for Black Women, nationally and globally 

Black Geographers is a non profit organisation working to tackle the erasure of black people in geosciences by creating a platform for black geographers to network and connect. 

  1. Stand up for black people offline. If your colleague is throwing microaggressions toward another black colleague, say something. Silence is compliance and revolution relies on allies speaking up against mistreatment. 
  1. Keep up the anti-racist momentum. So, you’ve shared a few BLM graphics on your socials and your work is done, right? Wrong. Online activism is just one way to start a revolution, start speaking with your parents, grandparents, friends, colleagues about BLM and how you can make the world you navigate in, comfortable and safe for black people. Sign petitions, attend protests (avoid protests if you’re living with high risk people), email your local MP, ask your manager for the diversity stats within your company, get your school or university to celebrate Black history month properly, add black literature to the curriculum, these are just a few suggestions but there is plenty more that you can do offline.

All lives cannot matter until all black lives matter.

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1 Comment

  1. This stands out most for me. ‘Silence is compliance and revolution relies on allies speaking up against mistreatment’. I couldn’t agree more. I wrote about this in an article on my blog called ‘Posthumous thoughts on George Floyd’. We must stop enabling what we don’t want to continue.

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