Here’s one definition: a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose.
As another week passes, it has become even more clear that there are people and organizations who have been in the fight against racism, who would like to join the fight, or who have no intentions of recognizing why we must stand up and take action.
It’s a fact: Racism is wrong. With this common truth, allies must shout even louder. As a Black woman, I shouldn’t be the only person outraged. I shouldn’t be the only person speaking out. While I experience these feelings and take these actions, why is it not a collective response?
I don’t think anyone is doing this perfectly. However, I appreciate the hard conversations, the willingness to listen, and the questions about how to take action. Even more, I appreciate the boldness of standing up for what is right — even at the cost of creating tense family discussions, losing followers, or ending lucrative business deals.
I’ve been taking a look at brands and seeing their responses. Again, I don’t think I’ve seen it done perfectly. However, I’ve seen honest attempts at recognizing that Black Lives Matter. I’ve also seen insincere approaches to throwing up an image or a hashtag without follow-up action or conversations. We don’t want just another hashtag. We want to see change in all parts of our lives.
This is just a start, but here are a few things that I’m looking for across brands (in no particular order). What else should we add to the list?
- I want to see more Black men and women making decisions (leadership)
- I want to see more Black men and women in visual pieces (video, print, online)
- I want to see more Black men and women tell stories (writing, editing, producing)
These demands have challenged my thoughts on many brands. I am disgusted by racist marketing and racist leaders with empty apologies. In short, there are brands that I no longer support.
I have been so encouraged and inspired to see my feed flooded with Black-owned brands. I will continue to love all creators who believe that everyone deserves equality and dignity. If you want me to buy your products, you need to be clear on whether I matter.