There’s so much happening in the world right now. The #blacklivesmatter movement is once again opening our eyes to the racism, police brutality and social injustice that is still taking place in many places around the world. Things have got to change.
To say that we’re shaken by what we are currently seeing in the news and reading about in the papers or online would be an understatement. We’re constantly looking at all the photos taken at protests, and we’re also coming across lots of wonderful and important initiatives on Instagram.
The current situation has made us realize that we need to take a good critical look at ourselves again. As editors of an international platform, what more can we do and how can we contribute? We need to inform ourselves, to listen, to learn and to reflect. We need to reassess the diversity in our magazine and online. And even though we are trying, we recognize that we can still do better.
For example, one of our followers wrote on Instagram that she would like to learn more about the journalists, photographers and illustrators that we work with at Flow: ‘I think one way to support could be to share the works of black artists the magazine has worked with and supports. I’d love to see these posts and learn more about them!’
So we’re going to start doing that. And we’ll also share insights, tips and other great and useful things that we come across with you. Another thing we’ve discovered is this: One way to help and take part is to explore what you can do with the resources and/or talents you yourself have. As illustrator Shirien Damra (@shirien.creates) so beautifully says: ‘Art is one of the many powerful tools that can bring people together to raise awareness, take action, and ultimately change our society for the better.’
Here are some of our tips as well as sources that we are also using to keep ourselves informed.
- How to be an antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
- White innocence, Gloria Wekker
- Understanding everyday racism, Philomena Essed
- A tip someone gave us via Instagram: On Blacklivesmatters.carrd.co you will find petitions to sign, references to books and other sources of information, places and initiatives to donate to, and other links.
- There are all kinds of foundations and organizations that can use financial support in their fight against racism. Campaigns from the official Black Lives Matter website can be found here.
- This month, Bodil Jane is donating all the profits from the sales of her Josephine Baker, Rosa Parks and Buchi Emecheta illustration prints to The Bail project, which provides funds to pay bail for those who have been arrested during the protests.
- One way you can help make a change is by signing petitions. The Black Lives Matter website has an overview here.
Want to read more?
- We found this article by Creative Cultivate both beautiful and useful; it’s about nine inspiring / leading black women to follow on Instagram.
Share your insights and tips
In the coming weeks we will share more links and lists on our website, or add them to this blog. If you have any tips for sites, books or Instagram accounts with powerful illustrations or other posts, or if you have any requests from or advice for us, we would love to hear from you (via Instagram, for example).
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What is happening across this nation is a rebellion. An uprising for life and dignity. A groundswell that demands justice for the 400+ years of systemic oppression Black people in this country have continually been subjected to. As I see people rise up from coast to coast, in the midst of a global pandemic, I am inspired and awed that people are taking the streets, unafraid and courageously, demanding a world where Black folks no longer have to fear for their lives and where Black communities can thrive. For my non-Black followers, this is a moment where we must show up fully and wholeheartedly for the Black struggle for liberation. As revolutionary Black feminist Angela Davis says, “you have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” And what does radical transformation look like? It starts with following the lead of Black organizers and leaders and heeding their demands. One thing you can do right now is follow @mvmnt4blklives and learn more about how you can plug into their #DefundPolice campaign. You can also donate to incredible Black-led organizations like @thedreamdefenders, @byp100, @assatasdaughtersig , and @Law4BlackLives who are doing the work to root out systematic racism and oppression. And remember to continue to rise for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland and the countless others who have been killed at the hands of police murder and white supremacist violence. We cannot be free until we are all free. I am wishing you all safety and wellness during this heavy time. Much love ♥️✊🏽 #BlackLivesMatter #DefendBlackLife