Monday, June 8, 2020

Black Lives Matter - What I've Done to Educate Myself

Artwork by @ohhappydani, shop her prints here

These past two weeks seems like it's been two months, but the focus the past week has been life changing. When I first decided to mute my Instagram and blog, it was originally going to just be for #blackouttuesday, but once Wednesday rolled around, it didn't seem like the right time to start posting regular content again. Honestly, it feels weird to even be doing it today, but it's time to start working towards a new normal. We just found a new normal through COVID-19, but this new normal is just as important.

I decided that the best way to start transitioning into the new normal would be to recap everything that I have learned the past week through all the resources available to us. While I had a basic understanding of the inequality in privilege, I wanted to get a deeper understanding and be able to learn as much as possible to be able to have educated discussions with friends and family.


This movie was actually on my radar for a while. It was originally a play performing for a limited run on Broadway in 2017 and I wanted to see it so bad. I remember hearing the premise around it, but I'm a huge fan of Steven Pasquale, Kerry Washington, and Jeremy Jordan and figured this would be a chance to see them perform live. Unfortunately, I was never able to make it to the show before it closed, but I was excited to hear that they were going to film it and release it through Netflix. I'm so glad they did because this is a story that needs to be told and seen by everyone. This story is about an interracial couple who have recently separated who are trying to find their son who has gone missing. Washington's character arrived at the station first and you can see the difference in the way the cop treated her compared to her white FBI agent husband when he arrived. I had watched this movie originally when it was first released back in November, but it's a story that needs to be watched again and again. 

This documentary was one that multiple people told me I need to watch first to get a basic understanding of the inequality for the black community. I remember learning the amendments in civics class and even in American History class, but like most, the only ones I really remember are the first, second, and nineteenth amendment. I'm ashamed to admit that after watching this documentary, I did't know the thirteenth amendment at all and the loophole to it that in my opinion started the the injustice in arresting black men to strip them of their rights as citizens. After watching this documentary, I actually went to work and talked to one of the cooks who confirmed that he didn't believe that he could register to vote because of the fact that he's been incarcerated. This documentary is a great place to start to understand the inequality in the justice system. 

This miniseries impacted me the most. As a true crime junkie, I've heard of the Central Park 5, but didn't really know a full understand of what happened. Not only did this four part miniseries move me, but I spent the entire time angry at the police department for the way they treated those kids when in holding and interrogation and lied to the jury because they wanted justice for the victim. It also shows how the media has a major impact on cases like these and skew people's minds to what they want to think. The third and fourth part were the most impactful for me because they showed how these kids survived their sentence and what they went through to readjust to life outside of prison and the judgment of people around them, including their own family members. Korey Wise's part was especially hard to watch because he had the worst treatment in prison and the longest sentence and he wasn't even in the park that night. The police used his lack of education to trick him to sign a confession for a crime he wasn't even near or even knew of before he went to the police station to be with a friend. 


I checked out the following books from the library through the Hoopla app to read while I'm at the pool during the week. I just checked these books out yesterday and I'm so excited to read them in the coming weeks. 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker 

This novel follows the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia breaking the silence around domestic and sexual abuse. 

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander 

This book talks about the current world and colorblindness and it creates a call to action to fix the problems in the judicial system. 

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad 

This book is a challenge those of us who are privileged to break it down and not only stop inflicting racial bias to others but also teach others to not do it. 


I also signed the following petitions to help bring justice to what's been going on for years in our country 

My mom and I also purchased shirts through Pink Lily Boutique where for a limited time 100% of the purchase goes towards an organization of equality and ending racial injustice in America.  

I also did a lot of research on black owned businesses, using my Friday Finds series to feature The Tiny Tassel in the past week and seeing all the black owned local restaurants in Shreveport to support in the following weeks. 

It seems like I have done so much and learned so much in the past week, but I know it's just the beginning and I can't wait to see where everything takes me. 


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