Every black family right now is thinking about where they fit into the Black Lives Matter movement. Moms, dads and older children want to know what they can do in their everyday lives to make a difference in their community that can aid in the fight against racism in America. Black families are in the struggle everyday. The majority of us work full-time for some of the companies that aid in our demise. We live in communities that we don’t run and our children are not educated by us. So, what can we do? Is protest the only means to expressing your disagreement with the status quo? This article is for the black family that wants to make a difference without hitting the streets. Here are 10 ways a black family can join the revolution.
Love A Black Man or Woman and Raise A Family
You want to really shake up the status quo? Than do what we’ve been told we could not do since the beginning of slavery. Marry a black man or woman and raise a family. Everyone wants the Black community to get better. The only thing that will make it better is self-respecting, capable and sovereign children. The only way to get those type of kids is for a Black man and woman to make a commitment to themselves and their family. If you won’t start a family, everything you try to do will be dead in one generation.
Get an Expertise
Not only does a little bit of knowledge go a long way, but specialized information is the stuff industries are made of. What is your family good at? Or, what can your family learn to be good at? Begin to think about where you would fit into a thriving Black community. If the revolution began today, what would your family do? Could your family open a bakery, be accountants or help their new community build homes? Now, do it. Be the change you are seeking.
Grow Your Own Food
Nothing says sovereignty like being able to feed your family from the work of your hands. Starting even a small, indoor herb garden is a way for your family to not only save money, but to also take baby steps toward independence. Contrary to popular belief, the masses have never created substantial, effective, long-term change. The type of change the African-American community needs will only be gained one family at a time. Growing food that is healthy and cost-effective for your black family, and can be bartered to other black families is one way to get there.
Clean Up a Block in Your Neighborhood
One of the many quotes my mother used when I was a child was: “Always leave things better than they were when you got there.” Teach your kids not to litter. One day a month clean up a block in your neighborhood. Before our communities can be independent we must learn to take care of them. Other ethnic communities are less likely to be able gentrify or take over your community when you take care of it.
Become a Mentor
Every Black man and woman should have a child that they serve as a mentor to. For many of us this might be a god-child, niece or cousin. But, it doesn’t have to stop there. There are tons of agencies, like Big Brother, Big Sister, that allow adults to have mentor relationships with kids. We must begin to take on the responsibility of children outside of our household.
Support Black Businesses
Even a $1 exchange from Black hand to Black hand is substantial when you consider the millions of dollars Black families export to other ethnic groups each year. Set a goal to support one Black-owned business every month. Let go of the age-old stereotypes that Black businesses have bad customer service, and don’t ask for a discount. The bottom-line is if we don’t begin to support our own soon, there will really be none of our own to support.
How many books by black philosophers, psychologist, educators or business men have you read? How often do you consume any information that is not entertainment? If knowledge is power, than self-knowledge is freedom. It is said that a people who do not know themselves are bound to continually make the same mistakes. Cornel West, Amos Wilson, Carter G. Woodson, Frances Cress Welsing and Ivan Van Sertima are just a few of the Black revolutionary authors who have contributed immensely to pinpointing the causes of racism and giving solutions for the future.
Teach Your Kids After School
I homeschool, but I know that most Black families send their children to school. That’s okay, but learning doesn’t stop there. That doesn’t mean you have to beat your kids over the head with information every hour of the day. However, giving them 2-3 hours per week in African-American history won’t kill them.
Put up African Art In Your House
Does your home look like you are Black and proud? Make sure that your kids have constant access to positive images of Black culture by making your home a Black culture museum. African mask, pictures of Black leaders and inspiring quotes from the Black Diaspora are just a few ways to get started.
Live in a Black Community
We all know that Black communities are often plagued with problems. But, if we don’t fix them who will? It’s easy to leave and let violence, drugs and poverty take over your community. Doing the hard work means being there. How can you change a community you refuse to be a part of?
Oftentimes the best way to revolt, is to do the opposite of what’s expected of you. Racism thrives in dysfunction. So, be functional. Once black families began to take steps toward sovereignty and build communities that we can function and thrive in, we won’t need to protest to ask for permission to be free. We will simply take it.