While the eyes of the world shift onto long-overdue conversations about race, and specifically, about anti-Black racism, it is important for white and non-Black people of colour to acknowledge the ways we can, and could have been supporting Black people, Black lives, and Black business all along.
Allyship isn’t a trend. It takes ongoing work while recognizing your own privileges and biases.
Arieyeh Timayo, Emmanuela Droko, and Kevonnie Whyte, organizers with the Black in BC Community Support Fund for COVID-19, spoke to Daily Hive about what it effective allyship looks like.
“Black people are being affected all year round,” said Whyte. “Black people are being affected all the time not just when unfortunate incidences which has been amplified by social media”
“Not just in those times should our allies come on board and what to help us. We need your support, we need your standing support, all year round.”
Whyte adds that if people do want to support, they can take initiative by contributing to funds and organizations that support Black people, such as the Emergency Black Community COVID-19 Fund, which is a low-barrier, emergency, micro-grant program for Black people in BC who are experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic.
Whyte also says meaningful allyship also means being actively engaged in ensuring your workplace is taking a stand.
“If any organization or workplace that you are part of, if they haven’t issued a statement declaring their solidarity with the Black community motivate them personally to do this because in this time, silence means that you are complacent. So we need everyone to show what side they’re on, and to make that statement. That would be super helpful, and in addition an invitation to support black businesses not just now but all year round.”
Droko adds that allyship work isn’t just about what we do publicly, but also within our homes.
“There are a lot of things that we can do on the larger scale in order to show support during this time and all year round, but acknowledging that it starts at home,” she said.
“People need to be having conversations about how anti-Blackness shows up in their households and how it shows up in their communities. How colourism shows up in these communities these conversations need to be had. They’re uncomfortable, they’re scary, they’re exhausting.”
“It’s about being at home and sitting and saying to your mother, your father your grandparents, your aunts, your cousins, and saying ‘hey there’s anti-Blackness in this space, and here’s where we’re going to start having the conversation,'” she added.
While we are currently in a moment in time where the conversations and activism around anti-Blackness and racism are heightened, it’s important to remember this is not a “trend” on social media. This is about people’s lives, and to be allies, conversations must move beyond the online space, and be implemented in our actions.
For allies wanting to step up for the Black community in Vancouver, in BC, and beyond, there are many ways to show your support, regardless of what position you’re entering or continuing the conversation from, but the first step is to lean in and listen.
There are many places and ways to lend your support, your voice, your money, and your eyes and ears, to hear, amplify, uplift and support this movement, and Black people, now, and always.
- The Black Power Mixtape
- I Am Not Your Negro
- When They See Us
- American Son
- The Hate You Give
- Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Codeswitch – NPR
- Bold Conversations About Race
- About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Busy Being Black with Josh rivers
- The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power – Desmond Cole
- Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
- How to Be an Anti-Racist – Ibram X. Kendi
- The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander
- Policing Black Lives – Robyn Mayynard
- So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
In addition to educating yourself, here are some black-owned businesses, restaurants, and mutual aid funds for you to support:
*It is important to note that these resources were found through social media, and many of them were curated and posted by Black people, and without their labour this would not have been possible.
- Black Lives Matter Vancouver
- Hogan’s Alley Society
- Black In BC Community Support Fund
- Aboriginal Front Door Society
- Hogan’s Alley Society
- Unist’ot’en 2020 Legal Fund
- Black Youth Helpline
- Vancouver Black Therapy & Advocacy Fund
Black-Owned Businesses & Creators – Part of list compiled by @kulakitchen
- @batiqua – Home Decor
- @cicelyblainconsulting – Inclusion/Racial Justice Consultant
- @stratagemvirtual – Race/Inclusion Consultant
- @dora_kamau – Mindfulness Artist
- @akeemo.therapy – Wellness
- @kushclub.ca – Cannabis
- @ethos.lab – Hub for Black youth in STEM
- @blackwomenconnectvancouver – Collective for Black women in Vancouver
- @hindzsight – Podcast host/Youtuber
- @StolbieSisters – Cannabis
- @PhaseiAutoDetailing – Auto Detailing
- @avocadotoast.co – Media
- @KendraCoupland – Wellness Coach
Vancouver Black-owned Businesses – Health
- @irieherbzapothecary – Herbal Products and Beauty
- @sadethomasosnutrition – Holistic Nutritionist
- @torifit_movement – SoulCycle Instructor
- @balancedi – Fitness Coach
- @karibusoaps – Handcrafted Soaps
- @healthy_with_kelsey – Fitness Coach
- @coastoerfirmancerehab – Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic
Vancouver Black-owned Businesses – Fashion/Beauty/Art
- @softieshan – DJ/Event Producer
- @desireedawsonmusic – Singer/Facilitator/Sound Healer
- @fumichun – Story Artist
- @slayedby_mk – Hair Artist
- @jayemcleodhair – Hair Artist
- @fashionvoice4u – Fashion Designer
- @afamvancouver – African Fashion/Art
- @vancityhairgirl – Hair Artist
- @afrohairstudio – Hair Studio
- @khimiadesigns – Online Boutique
- @mawoganfashion – Fashion Designer
- @loveauroralife – Artist
- @beautitude101 – Makeup Artist
- @allclassbeauty – Hair and Makeup Artist
- @menthyshop – Hair Artist
- @kali.works – Online Boutique
- @sleeplessmindz – Clothing Brand
- @akeemo.therapy – Leader in St. Lucian Wellness
- @bouncebackjewelry – Jewelry
- @junior_barbershop – Barbershop
- @thad.deus – Hair Artist
- @tatshaus – Makeup/Nail/Lash art
- @whiterhinobags – Vegan Leather Bags and Accessories
Vancouver Black-owned Restaurants
This list is by no means exhaustive, it is simply the start of an ongoing conversation in support of highlighting the people that make up Vancouver’s Black community.
Black Lives Matter.