Fashion Over Reason: Black Lives Matter

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Black Lives Matter

2020. What a year and we're just six months in. I think I've learned more in the past two weeks than I have in the past decade. The fact that it took this catalyst for me to look outside my bubble and actually pay real attention to the systemic injustices that Black people have had the burden to bear since, well, always fills me with immense regret. That I never once sought out to learn about the heart-wrenching history of America. That I haven’t been vocal about race issues in the past. That I've spent my entire life glossing over the fact that the system was designed in every way to advantage me just because of my skin color.

I've been posting relevant resources on my Instagram stories (which are all saved to a highlight if you're looking for anything) and taking this time to listen, take everything in, process information, and educate myself. To do the work behind-the-scenes, which will be an ongoing endeavor. What I've learned through this deep dive into American history is that I had my head in the sand pretty deep.

I say all this stuff about myself not to center the narrative around me, as it most certainly has nothing to do with my experience, but to bring up the importance of introspection. White people, if you're not self-reflecting, if you're not out there trying to learn, I don't know what you're waiting for. They say knowledge is power, and never have I felt more strongly about this. The week I've spent poring over podcasts, movies, interviews (literature coming soon to my mailbox) has opened my eyes to, well, everything. The more I continue to unpack, the more I realize that none of it ever occurred to me and yes, that is ultimate privilege at its peak. But to learn about the history that's culminating right before us today is to gain insight and an understanding of why it's all happening. It's also bringing about outrage. 

Outrage that the system was literally designed this way. Outrage about the inhumanity with which every law from the very beginning of the very draft of the constitution has been deliberately conceived to oppress—very specifically—Black people (who never asked to be here in the first place but built the whole damn economy of the south for free). Outrage that you’ve been obliviously (or sometimes probably not obliviously) taking advantage of this societal structure (myself included) that was conceived to lift you up while bringing Black people down. You should be outraged that while doing your research, you are just now realizing that this legacy of injustice is prominently entrenched in today’s culture.

The good thing is that outrage spurs action. When you're outraged, it's nearly impossible to sit still and do nothing -- all those protests are proof of that. This is what leads to change. I implore you: educate yourself, understand the issues, rectify your behaviors accordingly. Diversify your life, diversify your environment, diversify your Instagram feed, vote with your wallet (and at the polls if you are able to, unlike myself), use your voice, stand up for injustices when you witness them. These changes will not happen overnight and the work will require a concerted effort to keep moving the needle forward, but let's all commit to doing what's right. To doing what should have been done hundreds of years ago. We can't change the past but we can shape the future, a better one, one where equality truly prevails.


Here are some of my personal goals moving forward, which I’m stating here for 3 reasons: to lead by example, to encourage you to do the same, and to be accountable.

- Seek out Black-owned businesses and restaurants to support and frequent
- Watch movies (at home and in theaters) with Black protagonists
- Read books by Black authors
- Stand up for racial injustice when I witness it
- Do more research on the brands I work with (in the same way I do my due diligence about sustainability and ethics) -- I am fully aware that I do not contribute in any way to diversity when I am cast in a campaign
- Keep educating myself on the history and the perspectives of those on the receiving end of injustice to deepen my knowledge and understanding and to keep my outrage (aka action) top of mind


And with all of that said, here is a list of helpful resources for you to continue doing the work behind-the-scenes and keep fighting the good fight.

- 13th
- When They See Us
- I Am Not Your Negro
- Sorry to Bother You
- Selma
- LA 92
- Malcolm X
- Dear White People

- White Rage
- White Fragility
- Color of Law
- Americanah
- The New Jim Crow
- So You Want to Talk about Race
- The Fire Next Time
- The Warmth of Other Suns
- I know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- The Bluest Eyes

*I encourage you to seek out Black-owned bookstores instead of ordering from Amazon.

- 1619
- Code Switch
- About Race
- Still Processing
- Witness Black History
- You Had Me at Black
- Pod Save the People

- The Innocence Project
- National Bail Out
- National Bail Fund Network

*I also encourage you to research some of your local organizations and contribute to those as well or in lieu of, depending on what you can afford.

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I put together a curated list of Black-owned businesses selling beautiful products that I think you guys may be interested in. The goal is to share black-owned alternatives to the brands and products that I typically share on my page. Support in any way that you can, now and always ♥️ [SHOP, FOLLOW, ENGAGE, SHARE] FASHION: @riotswim @omathelabel @salonemonet @coldlaundry @smallneeds @eliavintage @houseofaama @brothervellies @omiwoods @laitdecocostudio @fenoel @__edas @mahnal @localeuropean @cushnie . HOME: @claudehome @greyremedyco @linotodotcom @lollylollyceramics @potterybyosa @nur_ceramics @mudbellyceramics @tracie_hervy @isatuhyde @lichennyc @ekuaceramics @epoquehome @estellecoloredglass @bylianarae . CANDLES: @thekoopnyc @frolicandsage @joeandmonroe @seventhandoak @prettyhonestshop @antiklakay @predominantlyblack @thealexandrawinbush @labotica @unlaxcandles @airincandles @glowcandlebar @secandleco @harlemcandlecompany @theartofbodycare . HEALTH & WELLNESS: @golde @thehoneypotco @peakandvalleyco @cupofteshop @freedom.apothecary @healhaus @blkandgrn @foodheaven @movitaorganics @adjournteahouse @thatschelsea @veganwhat @herbalgods @yasminecheyenne @spicedsugahla . BODY: @flaunt_body @terra_tory @apprentiorganik @lihabeauty @hanahana_beauty @skinbuttr @alaffia @redouxnyc @honeydippedessentials @organicbath @ouithepeople @handmadebykae @alchemybodyshop @bellurelle @bekurabeauty . SKINCARE: @anitagrant @betranscendentskin @blackgirlsunscreen @nolaskinsentials @nakedflamingoskin @skinbynequai @gethyperskin @rosenskincare @beneathyourmask @eparaskincare @basebutter @essentialsbytemi @dehiyabeauty . BEAUTY: @thelipbar @patmcgrathreal @pearnova @kncbeauty @propabeauty . HAIR: @briogeo @adwoabeauty @edenbodyworks @mysunday2sunday @eternallyinamber

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