On May 25, George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the latest in a long line of senseless killings of black men and women. This event has sparked a new wave of protest and pleas for what should be an obvious and universal truth: Black lives matter. Your social media feed has likely been flooded with discussion around police brutality and racial inequality in the United States, and you might be looking for ways to help. We are too.
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Our mission is to help people in their daily lives, and that mission extends to explaining a movement as global and undeniable as Black Lives Matter, and providing resources for those who want to learn more on the topic and help those in need.
What is Black Lives Matter?
Black Lives Matter is a human rights movement that was started to bring awareness to issues such as racial injustice, police brutality and the unlawful and unjustified murders of African-Americans in the United States. The movement rose to prominence in 2013 following the murder of 17-year old Trayvon Martin, and has grown around the globe as a means of protecting black lives and speaking out against unjustified violence.
According to the Black Lives Matter website, the movement’s mission is to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”
Black Lives Matter organizes protests and marches, provides access to petitions and resources for those who want to speak out and receive aid, and creates art and culture exhibitions that highlight the Black experience.
Black Lives Matter donations: Where you can help
There are a number of ways you can aid the Black Lives Matter movement financially, as well as contribute to causes that are working towards police reform, policy change and and keeping protesters safe. Memorial funds are also available for black lives taken at the hands of police violence, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Here are some fundraisers we recommend checking out.
- Black Lives Matter
- Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Justice for George Floyd petition
- Justice for Breonna Taylor fundraiser
- The Reach Out Project: An organization focused on mentoring young people
- Communities United Against Police Brutality: Advocates for police accountability
- Campaign Zero: Working towards policy solutions for police reform
- Bail funds for local protestors
Black Lives Matter resources
If you're looking to learn more about the movement or ways to help, or want to educate yourself on the history of systemic racism, here are some resources we recommend looking at.
- The Guide to Allyship
- Black Lives Matter: A reading list
- Systemic Racism Explained
- Blacklivesmatters.carrd.co: A handy one-stop resource
- Black Mental Health Matters
- A history of racist policing, violence and inequality (LiveScience)
- A conversation with President Obama: Reimagining Policing
Black Lives Matter shirts
If you want to support the Black Lives Matter movement when you're out and about, there are a number of shirts and merchandise options available. The official Black Lives Matter shop has a number of BLM shirts and sweaters, as well as face masks, stickers, pins and hats that feature the movement's logo.
Black media to watch and read
We also recommend checking out the many great works created by black filmmakers and authors. Some are especially relevant to the state of the world today, while others drive home just how many beloved and critical works of entertainment come from black creators. Elle’s Anti-Racist Reading List is a great resource for those who want to learn more about the history of racism in the United States. Below are some of our recommendations for black movies and books to check out.
Movies & TV
- Fruitvale Station (opens in new tab)
- When They See Us (opens in new tab)
- BlacKkKlansman (opens in new tab)
- Sorry to Bother You (opens in new tab)
- Hidden Figures (opens in new tab)
- The Last Black Man in San Francisco (opens in new tab)
Books & graphic novels
- Darkly: Black History and America’s Gothic Soul
- Incognegro (opens in new tab)
- Between the World and Me (opens in new tab)
- Vindication (opens in new tab)