Now is not the time to remain silent and it is of paramount importance that we all use our voices to stand up and speak out against racism and continue to do so whilst this fight is still happening. I fully support all forms of protests that are taking place in regard to how people of colour (POC) are treated and promise to use this blog as a platform to share as much information as I can.
Below is a list of all the ways I can think of so far that we can actively take steps to be anti-racist and challenge racism when we encounter it. If you can think of any other ways that we can help that are not mentioned below please let me know and I will add them in. I do not know everything, but I am keen to learn and I am determined to help in any way.
George Floyd Memorial Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/
Reclaim the Block: https://secure.everyaction.com/zae4prEeKESHBy0MKXTIcQ2
National Bailout: https://linktr.ee/nationalbailout
Finally, if you’re unable to donate right now, here’s an article linking to several YouTubers that have set up free monetised videos highlighting art/music by black artists, discussions about racism etc, with the ad revenue going to several of the organisations. Please make sure to not to skip the ads and keep the videos unmuted for it to work:
Seek out and support POC and anti-racist dancers and businesses
For those of us in the pole community, so many wonderful people are using their platforms for good to help to dismantle racism. This Friday (5th June 2020) the Filthy Friday crew are hosting an online showcase with proceeds going to the George Floyd memorial fund. Lauren Elise King is donating all proceeds from her classes this week to Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB). My pal Patricia is donating 100% of the profits from her twerk class at this years’ virtual Pole World Festival (Saturday 20th June at 9am BST) to the Black Lives Matter foundation. My friend Alice is donating 10% of all my class sales this month to Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block. Ava Hennessy is donating the proceeds of her Wednesday Floor-work class to Campaign Zero a charity that can help put a stop to police brutality.
Again, these are just a few examples I have found and can think of off the top of my head- do your research and I am sure there are other dancers and studios out there who are actively supporting charities.
Also going forward, choose your classes and instructors wisely- especially if they are teaching twerk, hip hop, breakdance, street dance, exotic pole and/or any other dance form that has originated from black culture. Are they properly respecting the dance and its origins and not just seeing it as another revenue stream?
Also- follow dancers of colour and accounts that empower diversity and inclusivity within the pole community. Listed below are again some accounts that I can think of, but please do your research and follow others too:
@blackgirlspole @blxckstage @twerkologynation @mcchanningtonratchet @pdfilthyfriday @dreesimone @facebydree @laurenelisepole @princessfoxx @jazzthepoler @bentleyrebel @thepoledancingbabymama @makaylaelisef @kelechnekoff @polepassionldn @aliciadomenica @shantelbah @ayeshaagogopole @rozthediva
Use your voice!
This is so, so important! Now thanks to modern technology there are a plethora of ways that you can contact authority figures to get your voice heard. As well as the petitions below, I urge you to write to your local MPs (if you’re a UK resident) or any other government official and urge them to use everything in their positions of power to stand up against racism. Also look into who you are able to contact- you may be surprised! I was able to write to Governor Tim Waltz last week to demand justice for George Floyd, so don’t just limit contacting a member of government to your local individual.
Petitions listed below:
Breonna Taylor: https://www.change.org/p/andy-beshear-justice-for-breonna-taylor
Defund MPD: https://bit.ly/DEFUNDMPD
Organisations (You can also donate to these)
Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
Colour of Change: https://colorofchange.org/
Reclaim the Block: https://secure.everyaction.com/zae4prEeKESHBy0MKXTIcQ2
The BIPOC Project: https://www.thebipocproject.org/
Black Visions: https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/
Campaign Zero: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision
Unicorn Riot: https://unicornriot.ninja/
For UK residents, the Google Doc below is full of great resources, as well as a template to email your MP with.
Lastly, yes it is a small step and we need to do more than just this, but using your social media platforms to share important information and how others can help in the fight to dismantle racism is something we can also do. Please avoid sharing traumatising images and videos of POC being hurt, murdered etc, as these are triggering and dehumanising. Instead, share where people can sign petitions, educate themselves or better still donate to causes that help.
Speak out against racism when you encounter it
You will need to fucking hone and develop your arguing skills into an absolute weapon for this, because where you speak out against racism won’t always feel comfortable for you- tough shit, we have to do it anyway. Speaking out against racism doesn’t just mean telling some drunken chav spouting racist shit on the bus home to shut the fuck up, it will mean arguing against friends you have known for years, relatives, colleagues and anyone else you encounter with prejudiced views. It is our duty to educate others and not let racist bullshit slide by, silence is compliance, so speak out against racism whenever and wherever you encounter it!
Use your time wisely and watch films and TV shows, listen to podcasts and read books that tackle the issue of racism.
13th – Ava Duvernay (Netflix)
American Son – Kenny Leon (Netflix)
Dear White People – Justin Simien (Netflix)
See You Yesterday – Stefon Bristol (Netflix)
When They See Us – Ava Duvernay (Netflix)
If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins (Hulu)
The Hate U Give – George Tillman JR (Hulu)
Films to rent
Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975
Clemency – Chinonye Chukwu
Fruitvale Station – Ryan Coogler
I Am Not Your Negro – James Baldwin Documentary
Just Mercy – Destin Daniel Cretton
Selma – Ava Duvernay
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
The Good Ancestor Podcast: https://linktr.ee/goodancestorpodcast
Black Gals Livin: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/black-gals-livin/id1437752047
Black Culture with Chy: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/black-culture-with-chy/id1397039367
Hood Grown Aesthetic: https://soundcloud.com/hoodgrownaesthetic
Sibling Rivalry: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/sibling-rivalry/id1359664915
Me and White Supremacy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Me-White-Supremacy-Recognise-Privilege/dp/B07ZKW6G5X
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Racism: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Longer-Talking-White-People-About/dp/B06XGMTRPJ
Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Natives-Race-Class-Ruins-Empire/dp/B076HZ7MT7
Don’t Touch My Hair: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Touch-My-Hair/dp/B07N6GPSQT
How to be An Anti-Racist: https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-to-Be-an-Antiracist/dp/B07W81KR3S
Good Immigrant: https://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Good-Immigrant/dp/B071D99Q31
Please see the list below of 49 Books by Black and POC authors 2020: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/entertainment/g30045900/best-new-books-bame-black-poc-authors-2020/?slide=1
Further reading material can also be found in this list here https://www.instagram.com/p/CA21Rh5n2IV/?igshid=1n9djhob7rt0r&fbclid=IwAR19bcs1ghWfgOBqW5zFdTk1fV3eYgQjqZCR3agmpIgzt2U8I8YkipIVp5M
Instagram Accounts to follow:
If you attend any of the protests taking place please ensure to follow social distancing rules and look after yourself. Bring masks, gloves, food, water, non-recognisable clothing and other items to keep yourself safe. Please see the link below for further details on Black Lives Matter protests currently taking place in the UK
Please let me know of any further resources you would like added to this blog.