As mentioned in the previous post, activism will be incorporated into the blog (in fact I just gave it its own category, you’ll find “Activism” under “My Vintage Life”), and today I want to expand upon that.
As COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to climb here in California (yeah, we haven’t peaked yet) I’ve been extremely reluctant to go out. So, what have I been doing lately? Research. Lots of it. And I want to share some of that research with you and break down ways you can keep the momentum going too.
In times of crisis we all look for ways to immediately help. Often one of the biggest ways to help is through donations. While one-time donations during this time are very important (especially to bail funds during a time of mass protests) reoccurring donations are vital for continued progress. Some of the research I have been doing has been to find organizations to add to who we already donate to monthly.
For the last few years Patrick and I have donated to KPCC and Planned Parenthood monthly, but we have added the following organizations to our monthly donations.
I’m not here to get a pat on the back or toot my own horn, I’m trying to make the act of donating easier, and well, I think talking about it more normalizes the act. Too often people think donating is for the wealthy, when really any amount helps. If you find you have the funds to donate, I strongly recommend the organizations mentioned above, but I also encourage you to do your own research.
Visiting museums is one of my favorite ways to learn. Below is a list of a combination of museums dedicated to or include elements of BIPOC, and are ones I have visited in the past, and museums I wish to visit in the future.
*Previously I visited the small museum located at the Palm Springs Village Green. Currently a larger museum is under construction.
It is important to remember that some museums may not be open during this time, and that even if they are open, you personally may not feel safe in going, and that’s ok! Just keep a list handy of places to visit once COVID-19 is a thing of the past. Some museums may offer gift cards, and you can make a purchase for a future visit. Additionally many museums offer memberships.
Since many of us staying in at home, it’s the perfect time learn by watching movies and documentaries. The following are ones that Patrick and I have watched recently. Many are available on various streaming sites.
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
I am Not Your Negro
Netflix Remastered Series
–Devil at the Crossroads –The Lion’s Share**
–The Two Killings of Sam Cooke
–Who Shot the Sheriff
The Uncomfortable Truth
Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story
What Happened to Miss Simone?
The above list is obviously not an exhaustive list. It is just ones I have watched recently. Many streaming services have added Black Lives Matter/Black Stories sections, and I highly recommend browsing those sections.
If books are more your jam, Business Insider has compiled a list of books regarding racism. If you’re into podcasts, NPR has provided a list that includes podcasts, along with books and films.
In addition to watching films, I’ve also been doing a lot reading, both history based, and regarding current issues. Some of which will result in future blog posts.
**While I feel this story could have been told better, I think it is an interesting story of appropriation and gives insight into the origins of one of the most iconic songs of all time.
We do like to buy things and eat food! You can help by buying from businesses owned by BIPOC. For some time now I’ve been in love with Mielle’s Hair Strengthening Oil, which is also easily available at Target. As mentioned in my Packing House post, I highly recommend Georgia’s, which has two locations, one here in Anaheim, and another in Long Beach. This is obviously a big area for improvement for myself, so I’ve been searching the internet for businesses, and found several helpful lists.
Protests are still vital to movements. So if you are not sick, and feel comfortable, participate in protests, just remember your mask and practice social distancing! The ACLU has a great guide for understanding your rights if you are attending a protest. Even the magazine Real Simple has published a guide on how to protest safely amid COVID-19.
Petitions are similar to protests, in that they are an easy way for people to vocalize concern on a large scale. The nice thing about petitions, especially right now, is that you can sign them from the safety of your own home. Change.org offers thousands of petitions.
Having conversations is perhaps one of the most difficult ways to create change, but it’s vital. We must listen, learn, and hold people accountable. Also accept that you will make mistakes in conversations. I have. What is important is learning from those mistakes and not repeating them. Artist Luna Sol has some great tips for having conversations, plus they are super cute. If you have children, know that they are never too young to talk about race. Racism is learned at a very early age. The Smithsonian has compiled a list of books for children discussing race.
This should be obvious, but I’m never not going to remind you to vote. So go vote. Seriously. Do it. Double check that you are registered to vote or register to vote by clicking here. If you are in a state that doesn’t offer vote-by-mail, find your polling place here.