Did you know that the #BlackLivesMatter movement has been around since 2013? If not, the current state of the world affords you enough time to research and learn all about it.
This is easier said than done! The same goes for the most meaningful ways to support #BlackLives Matter (or BLM): protesting and donating. Some people are immunocompromised and stuck indoors. Others can’t contribute because they’re strapped.
Fortunately, you can still do your part from home. Here’s a great first step: educate your kids.
It helps to use analogies and simple language when explaining Black Lives Matter to children.
Ask them if they’ve ever been blamed for something they didn’t do. Let them describe how they feel when they’re being treated unfairly. From there, it’s easier to jump to specific examples of how white privilege or racial profiling affects Black people.
After teaching your child the importance of the BLM movement, you can help change the world together. Below are kid-friendly and low-cost ways to support #BlackLivesMatter.
If you and your kids are white, privilege might not be easy to recognize. For instance, ask your little one why they think most dolls in toy stores look like white people. How would they feel if none of their dolls looked like them?
Listen to Black musicians on streaming platforms and buy their albums. Watch films and television series with Black directors and showrunners.
Add more Black voices to your feed. There are Black creators in almost every field – follow chefs, Twitch streamers, makeup artists, and more.
Stop giving money to establishments that remain silent about BLM or uphold racist policies. Support Black-owned brands and businesses instead.
Do you and your children love a certain Black creator or public figure? Tell everyone you know about them and their work. Retweet, repost, share, and urge your friends and family to check them out.
Some YouTube channels have stream-to-donate videos you can watch – with your ad blocker turned off – to generate advertising revenue that will be donated to #BlackLivesMatter-related groups.
Children can’t sign petitions, but you can go through the contents of petitions together and discuss them in-depth.
You can send automatic emails, but a well-written letter with a personal anecdote may grab more attention. Your child can even add a note or illustration of their own.
Donate time and energy if you can’t spare money! You and your kids can prepare meals, sew masks, and even make signs for protestors.
This goes beyond checking on your Black friends and neighbors. How do you respond to racist remarks made by relatives during a family dinner? What do you do when a Black stranger speaks to you at the supermarket? Children remember these things and will be shaped by your behavior.
Make supporting #BlackLivesMatter a lifelong commitment. Even when it’s not on your social media feeds anymore, keep contributing and doing the work. Confronting systemic racism is the key to a better future for us all.
Photo of brother and sister duo, Madison and Mason by their dad @ingprince @weraiseourkids