Sunday, 10 January 2021

Why Black Lives Still Matter and plenty of insightful free educational resources - including Netflix - to learn



Black Lives Matter has been circulating on our timelines for months now, but how many of you have actively done your research?

Here at VavaViolet Magazine, we have no desire to see this movement dwindle out, be ignored, mocked or not be on our timeline or yours. 

We will also be honest and say that if this is finally the article you have decided to start your journey of learning about the history of racism that it is shocking that it has taken this long for you to begin your research. 

However, we won't be holding grudges here as that's not our place to do so and our most important mission is to carry on the conversation by sharing what we have learnt and using this space to give Black voices a space also.

If this is your first article, do not tune out. Your curiosity means you are on the right path. Learn, be open-minded but also listen closely to the facts.

So, let's get to it, what actually is Black Lives Matter and why does it still matter? 

The movement, also known as BLM, was founded on July 13, 2013, by three activists.

They are, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. 

It was started in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's murderer, George Zimmerman.

Tragically, seven years after these angels created BLM, which is a decentralised movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against Black people, it was needed once again.

George Floyd was brutally killed at the hands of four Minneapolis cops. 

Following the barbaric murder of Mr Floyd at the hands of four white Minneapolis police officers quite frankly not much has changed other than the movement was made louder than ever and it felt like the number's of people listening were rising but this has sadly dwindled out over time.

Despite, videos, pictures and messages of support for the Black Lives Matter movement flooding corners of social media over the years many still have their head in the clouds so many are failing to see that this continues to go on and is a global crisis. 

To be able to fight something we have to understand it and to do that we have to educate ourselves. 

As a young white British girl, I don’t confess to even beginning to understand the oppression and struggle many ethnicities face daily and have gone through for many years, but what I do know is that white privilege is a good place to start - and its one where I can use my privilege (just as you can) to continue spreading the message and speaking loudly. 

It is clear that some people believe that your worth should be defined by the colour of your skin which to us is unfathomable and evil!

In the case of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin pushed his knee to George’s neck whilst he was being arrested for eight minutes. 

Eight minutes, 480 seconds, his knee was on his neck. Suffocating Mr Floyd.  

He eventually lost consciousness and died later in the hospital. 

The awful fact is that Derek wasn't alone. Someone stood and filmed such an act and did not attempt to step in when a human being is being subjected to such pain and abuse, screaming for his life.

Imagine having to beg for your life knowing that your screams are falling on deaf ears. You wouldn’t subject an animal to that kind of treatment so why is it somehow acceptable to do that to another human being?

Sadly this isn’t an isolated incident this is something that is going on every minute of the day somewhere in the world. 

Black life expectancy in the US is 3 1/2 years less than white life expectancy and eight out of 10 of the leading causes of death in America disproportionately affect black people. 

In 2013/14, there were 47,571 'racist incidents' recorded by the police in England and Wales. 

On average, that is about 130 incidents per day.

Education on these subject matters is somehow difficult for many to teach so take some time to personally educate yourself.

However, if you do not know where to start, here are some reading materials we here at VavaViolet really recommend...


Institute of Race Relations

Firstly the 'Institute of Race Relations' is a good place to look - http://www.irr.org.uk.

The site contains statistics and articles of a variety of topics. Its website claims to be "at the cutting edge of the research and analysis that inform the struggle for racial justice in Britain, Europe and internationally" and is always on the ball.


Me and my White Supremacy by Layla Saad

Secondly, the book 'Me and my White Supremacy' by Layla Saad aims to educate readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy. 

It pushes this through stories and anecdotes as well as definitions and resources. 

It is available to buy on Amazon in both hardback and audiobook form. 

The book is described as "confrontational and much needed" and is an important read for anyone white who wants to learn.


Podcast 1619

Thirdly a podcast created by the New York Times called 1619.

It talks about how slavery has transformed America and the long term effect this has left on both the past and the present.

Can be found at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/23/podcasts/1619-podcast.html.


To watch

Lastly, if you prefer to watch something than read or just listen, Dear White People - a series available on Netflix by Justin Simien.

It looks at how students of colour navigate life at an Ivy League college that is not as "post-racial" as it thinks. 

Also the 2018 film 'The Hate You Give Me' is available to watch on YouTube or Amazon Prime Video.

This follows Starr Carter, who lives in the black neighbourhood of Garden Heights. 

After a gun goes off at a party Starr is attending, he drives home with her best friend Khalil when they’re stopped by police, he is shot and killed by the police officer. 

This film handles a very relevant matter and reminds you of all the police violence that happens to this day.



I’ll leave this article with this thought on why education on Black Lives Matter is so important and necessary.

It took me 8 minutes to read over this article... just think about that.

And remember, how long was Derek Chauvin on George Floyd's neck for? Exactly, you can spare those minutes and more.


Written by Jessica Murray

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