Will you continue to support people and brands that show that they don’t care about issues that relate to the black struggle?
Will you endeavour to pass on knowledge and opportunities to people that look like you?
Will you aim to educate and discuss important matters within the community rather than look to tear others down?
Will you clap for other black people who are succeeding, knowing that your time is coming?
Will you share your unique black voice and experiences with others so you can help them to grow also?
When you advance up the ladder in your career, will you use your position to pull others up and create ladders for them?
Will you invest in and support black businesses and give them constructive criticism and support to help them to grow?
The BYP Network’s morals, values and schemes have always pushed us to start considering the above questions and through initiatives, have started to create the types of foundations which can allow black professionals, businesses and creatives around the world to prosper and grow.
Now, I am at a place where I am asking myself and the people around me these questions more and more now because we are at a point where things need to be seriously done. We are at a point now where people are more than fed up with the unequal treatment towards black people and there are so many conversations which we are starting to have more and more but now, the importance of taking action is urgent. It’s critical. It’s necessary.
The capacity which many of us have to be able to take massive actions in our lives is different however when it comes to the black community, the more we can do, the better. That means following through with everything that we speak about.
We are now seeing the brands and companies which aren’t using their platforms to speak out against racism. We are seeing the people who are highjacking the #BlackLivesMatter movement and trying to direct it into #AllLivesMatter. Having seen who is disregarding the black struggle, serious questions need to be asked about whether we should continue to give your support (and our coins to them). This needs to be something we are prepared to follow through with also if we are serious about the cause.
The questions at the beginning of the post hold weight because when it comes to the black community, the most important thing we can aim to do is pay it forward and succeed so we can help others to succeed also.
We owe it to ourselves to take our lives and carry the torch into our own communities. But we cannot simply allow things to go back to how things were, where the buzz dies down and once again we are back to giving our money and time to people that don’t care about us, we cannot go back to opting to ‘cancel’ instead of discussing, educating and understanding issues of people within our communities. We can’t go back to watching people we know promoting businesses and products and overlooking them. We can’t go back to watching others progressing up the ladder and holding bitterness because you are not there yet.
We are running the same types of race and supporting the advancement of others, will allow doors to open for yourself. This is as important a time as ever to create ladders and doors for the people around us because by doing so, we can do so much more for pushing the envelope of change than we can do alone.
BYP is having a Blackout Day on July 7th, dedicated to supporting the community through highlighting black initiatives, black crowdfund campaigns, donation pages and black businesses to spend our money on. This is the time to be a part of something special so we hope that you will get involved.
Written by Tonte Bo Douglas (@TalkWithTonte)