Along with protesting and donating, many non-Black people are also taking the current Black Lives Matter demonstrations as inspiration to educate themselves — an action that is long overdue. The past week marks a breaking point in U.S. history, with millions of people demanding action in response to the ever-mounting list of instances of police brutality against Black Americans. As Angela Davis said, it’s not enough to not be racist, you must be actively anti-racist, the distinction between which can be learned by reading books by Black authors and scholars. With that in mind, it’s important to think about how Black people are supported and prioritized in every aspect of non-Black people’s actions moving forward. If you’re looking for books to educate yourself on Black history and anti-racism, make sure you’re buying them from Black-owned businesses.
In light of store closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, Refinery29 is highlighting those Black-owned businesses that offer online shopping, shipping, and store pick-up, so readers can support the business that best suits their needs from anywhere in the country. For a full list of Black-owned bookstores, the African American Literature Book Club has compiled a comprehensive list of stores around the world. We also encourage discussion and suggestions in the comments.
To help bring attention to the police killing of George Floyd, you can sign the Change.org petition here, or donate to local organizations like Black Vision Collective or Reclaim the Block via the Minnesota Freedom Fund here.