Black life always mattered. Welcome to the fight.
I’ve been quiet on my professional social media channels; raging, screaming, broken elsewhere.
And I’m tired.
I’m heartened by the people taking to the streets worldwide to protest against racism.
I’m glad so much anti-racist and black authored literature is flying off the shelves (I’m holding I Am Not Your Baby Mother by the searingly brilliant @candicebrathwaite here).
I’m encouraged by the people and businesses turning their squares black in solidarity.
And I’ll admit I’m deeply wary of all this newfound but nonetheless welcome awareness and activism. It’s hard to trust after decades of pleas falling on deaf ears.
How much stamina will there be?
How deep will it really penetrate?
When outrage calms down, who’ll still be here, actually making sustained, systemic change?
But I’ll dare to hope anyway.
I hope we do see justice delivered for George Floyd and the many other black Americans murdered by police.
I hope the international protests offer some succour to his family.
I hope police brutality against black people in Britain does stop being the hushed, ignored cousin of more prominent US atrocities.
I hope parents, teachers, governors and pupils do agitate for a balanced curriculum that reflects Britain, her real history and current citizens.
I hope more businesses do commit to closing the ethnicity pay gap and becoming truly inclusive.
I hope that this industry does do more to showcase and mainstream black wedding models, real couples, professionals and suppliers.
I hope people do move to challenge their own behaviours, assumptions and bias. At home, with friends, with colleagues, in journalism, on the bus.
And I hope people do get comfortable with being uncomfortable - as @luvvie puts it, you might well need to lose friends whose values you can no longer align yourself with.
You’re always welcome with me, anti-racists. You always were. But please listen first.
There are so many black voices and ally resources already out here online, in print, in professions, in journalism, in film, in theatre. Many of those voices have been screaming these truths from the rooftops for their entire adult lives.
Scroll back through those feeds for info rather than asking for more now.
Search engines are your friends. Bookshops are your friends.
And please do whatever you can to stay on point.
We need you to do the work. It never stops.
Black Lives Matter.