Me Too.

IMG_9769

I was 16. He told me he loved me. I believed him.

I remember thinking in the moment that this wasn’t right, that this wasn’t how I should have felt. I remember thinking that the problem was me, who just didn’t want this and didn’t feel comfortable. Not in the slightest. I’ve never felt more unsafe or more uneasy than in that moment, for I knew what was coming. Had I done something to insinuate this was what I wanted? Did I give consent unknowingly?

No.

IMG_9762

He pushed me onto the floor and held me there, relentlessly telling me that this was what I wanted. More than that, he told me this is what he deserved. After all, he’d been waiting for three whole weeks since we began dating.

During those weeks, I found myself in agony, walking around school hand in hand, knowing the kinds of messages he would send after the final bell rang. I never anticipated how quickly things would change once we decided to move beyond a friendship, nor did I want things to turn out the way that they did. I now understand the patterns and signals of abuse more than I ever thought was necessary, and they scream at my past self everyday. How could I not predict it? How could I not understand the danger I was in? Those first weeks continue to haunt me all these years later.

I was only 16 when I found myself on an irreparable path of destruction and abuse, just like the ones I had always been warned about. I never thought it would be me. It couldn’t be. Growing up, you always hear stories about things like this and wonder if that could happen to you. Maybe if you’re careful enough, it won’t. Maybe if you’re smart enough, strong enough, confident enough, etc., it won’t happen to you. But the reality is, none of that matters. No measure of intelligence, strength, or confidence can serve as a proper shield against sexual assault or abuse, for it is so much deeper than that. It’s deeper than the movies you’re shown or the books you’re encouraged to read, it’s deeper than a manipulation of the physical body, and it’s far deeper than what my 16-year-old mind could understand and fathom at the time. I knew that I loved, but who knew how deeply that would complicate things?

He was my best friend, and I was his. I loved him, and that is what so heavily blinded me. We grew into what I believed to be a good relationship from the greatest friendship, something I never thought could go awry or cause such immense pain. From the start of our relationship, though, there was a great shift in dynamic. I remember feeling both confused and concerned that so early on, we were encountering frequent disagreements, many of which revolved around sex. I remember him asking me, not yet one full week into dating, if I was ready to take the “next step” of our relationship. I told him no, that I wasn’t comfortable and didn’t feel ready. I was young, and although I hadn’t yet begun to identify or address the ever-growing pit in my stomach upon having to say “no” and stand my ground, I was scared. I knew that wasn’t what I wanted, but I also knew that I loved.

In my heart and in my mind, I knew that I shouldn’t have had the concerns I did from the start, nor should I have ignored the red flags that were placed in the line of my vision time and time again. I understood that it wasn’t healthy or respectful for him to be asking me everyday whether or not I was ready, when I was finally going to consent and want that for our relationship, or attempting to guilt me into pleasing him by victimizing himself as he compared our relationship to those of our friends, many of which he claimed “had more fun” and “experimented more” than us. He told me that’s what he deserved, that he had done so much for me and always supported and loved me. So why, he asked, couldn’t I do this one thing for him? He would explain to me time and time again his position and would defend his aggression and persistence by self-aggrandizing, never failing to mention that he believed himself to always be the one who was forced to compromise, give up what he wanted, and put me first. He tried to persuade me every moment he could find, urging me to “just understand” what it was like to be him, a teenage boy in a 3-week sexless relationship. He pushed and pushed and pushed, always framing it as a transaction he was so justifiably owed. I owed him my body, and I owed him everything. He deserved it. Who was I to deny him?

Weeks later, when I found myself on the floor of his living room, arms pinned down, and clothes being torn off, it was all a blur. I felt everything and nothing all at once, somehow hoping the world could stop so that I could think straight. I told him no, but his hands continued to travel down my body, ultimately reaching the button on my jeans. He unbuttoned them, and again, I removed his hands. Twice. Thrice. My heart beat faster, and though I spent weeks convincing myself I wasn’t afraid of him, I was terrified. My blood ran cold, and I became paralyzed. I froze, and though I felt the tears welling behind my eyelids, I could not release them, nor could I speak. I held onto the guilt of freezing up for years. How could I have not been stronger? Spoken more? Fought back harder? Fighting or fleeing was not even an option in my mind. I couldn’t think, and thus I couldn’t move. The tears spilled down my cheeks as I lie there in silence, wondering how I had gotten here. What I had done to deserve this. What I could have been punished for. Why I was unable to even function.

It’s taken me 6 years to forgive the 16-year-old me in that moment, who found herself unable to even breathe, let alone continue to resist and fight after having done so consistently. I understand now that that was a trauma response, and both my body and mind were unable to do what I believed they should have. Still, it’s hard to swallow. I never imagined myself to be anything but a fighter, and it’s easy to assign roles and actions to yourself when the experience is yet to be lived. Should I ever find myself being sexually abused or assaulted, I would fight. Or I would run.

I did neither. I couldn’t.

I’ve found the grace to forgive myself for that moment, though I know I have nothing to apologize for or reconcile. I had neither abandoned what I knew and expressed were my feelings and intentions, nor did I fail to speak up and stand strong. And still. Years later, the lump is still in my throat. If not for that first time, for the remaining years of our relationship I allowed it to continue.

That may have been the first time I felt violated, but it certainly wasn’t the last. I never felt safe, and I never felt comfortable. I never felt whole, and I rarely felt appreciated, let alone loved and cherished. After initially pressuring and manipulating me into sex within the first weeks, the trend only worsened with time. He would push me to have sex with him everyday, and we would for months at a time, for he always threatened me with expectations and guilted me into believing I somehow needed to serve him and his insatiable desires. Everyday without fail, he would touch me without consent, in spite of my consistency in telling him “no.” He would continue, with an undeniable aggression and a look in his eyes that I will never forget. There I would end up–in his bed. As soon as he would finish, it was done and he never once cared to ask how I felt or if I was even okay. It became ostensibly clear to me that all he wanted was to get off, and that’s what he expected everyday. Soon enough, the problems moved far beyond solely unwanted sexual advances and assaults. He consistently held things that I had told him in confidence over my head and would threaten to blackmail me when things weren’t going the way he wanted or expected them to, and I was told from some of my close friends that he constantly reached out to them in order to complain about our sex life, my body, what I was or wasn’t giving him, etc. I never understood his behavior in general and the way in which he viewed our relationship and consequently treated me to be abusive at the time. I knew what he was doing during those years was not normal, but I couldn’t allow myself to believe I was a victim of abuse in the relationship, because somewhere along the way I had internalized his sick proposition that I did, in fact, owe him something. And that my love, companionship, encouragement, loyalty, and heart was not enough for him or any relationship I found myself in. I didn’t believe it to be possible for him to be abusing me because I had convinced myself that being in a relationship with him made that impossible. As a 16-year-old, I didn’t understand that being in a consensual relationship did not imply consensual sex. That being in a consensual relationship didn’t necessitate this kind of treatment, nor did it mean that I was so disposable that I owed him things. I thought that my love for him inherently counteracted and rectified the horrible things he said and did to me, and I thought and talked myself into believing that I could not have been mistreated, because I had decided to love him.

IMG_9764

I’ve never lost touch with the shame I felt throughout the entirety of the relationship, nor even now, years later, in telling all of this. I wasn’t able to get myself to tell a single soul until just last year when I explained my experiences to a few close friends, and I truly never thought I would be here, writing this post. Every word brings a kind of agony and pain so deeply-seeded in my experience, but simultaneously offers an odd release and catharsis. The truth really does set us free, and I’m only reminded of that more and more as I continue to lean into the discomfort and embrace the pains of the past in moving forward. Though (after years of studying and learning) I understand far more about what sexual and psychological abuse and assault look like, I continue to carry the burdens of guilt and to comprehend that the shame is not mine to bear. These moments and this time continues to appear in my mind as distant memories from time to time, and the anguish appears to be ever-present. Even so, I’ve never felt more in-touch with the things that happened to me as my mind continues to slowly unravel them, unpack things I had sown away for what I intended to be forever, and deepening my understanding of myself and what used to be. Accepting that these things happened to me was an internal war I waged for may years, and I used to feel ashamed for even pondering the thought. But the truth is that it did. Part of me thought that simply acknowledging the reality of what I’d been through would somehow make it impossible or more difficult to move beyond, or that it would delegate me as weak, a victim, or incapable in more ways than I could imagine. This was an unfair burden to place on myself, and I speak now in order to alleviate and prevent others in similar positions from doing the same. Remaining silent and postponing healing does not make you braver; it only deepens and intensifies the wounds that have been inflicted upon you and that you never deserved. Not speaking is not in itself an act of valiance or virtue; do not fall into believing that your protection of your abuser makes you more courageous than you have always been.

You are brave without protecting others. You are brave for protecting yourself. You are brave in speaking your truth. You are brave in living a life most authentic and beautiful to you. You are brave within your own mind and within your own life. You are brave all on your own.

You are brave.

You are brave.

You are brave.

This world and society has a way of indoctrinating into our minds that rape and sexual assault only happens in dark alleyways by a man with a weapon while walking alone at night, or that sexual abuse implies the weakness or ignorance on behalf of the victims. Realistically, abuse is everywhere. It is everywhere, and it is fervent and undeniable.

Every 73 seconds, a person is sexually assaulted. 1 out of every 6 women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted), and 9 out of every 10 victims of rape are female. About 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Furthermore, 55% of sexual assaults happen at or near the victim’s hime, 15% occur in an open public place, and 12% occur at or near a relative’s house. In addition to the falsified narratives perpetuated through our being taught only about aggravated assaults in alleyways, what they fail to teach us is that our love or care for somebody does not negate the abusive way in which they behave in a relationship. You can know somebody, love somebody, and even be in a relationship with them, and there is still a high potential for abuse to occur. Do not abandon yourself so deeply into believing your experience is impossible. The body remembers even what the mind does not, and the pain and trauma is undeniable and often long-lasted. I gaslit my own experiences and pain for many years, and I’m only just beginning to come to terms and understand all that happened to me.

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 3.14.52 PM

“No” does not mean “convince me,” and neither does “I’m not sure,” “I don’t like that,” or “I’m not comfortable.” Only “yes” means “yes.” Endgame.

To anyone who has ever experienced this kind of pain or suffering, I am so deeply sorry. I hear you, I see you, I know your pain, and I believe you. Even if you never choose to speak, to write, or acknowledge the truth of what you have so bravely endured. You deserve to feel safe and validated, and if you struggle to find a space in which that is available to you, I will be that space. We will create it together.

All my love,

Kam ❤

 

On Activism, Caging, Empathy, and Impact

In this time, I often hear from people practicing activism and advocacy that the exhaustion is overwhelming, that the pressure to educate is debilitating, and that the pain and despair is unbearable most days.
I am one of these people. I am one who, like many others in similar positions, feels everything so deeply that I can hardly breathe most days, who spends my days engaging in dialogue with people who will never open their eyes to reality or care to meaningfully digest history, politics, or the realities of our world.
I am tired.
In this time, I also see some who are choosing to sit in their radio silence, marinating in their complicity and conscious/willful ignorance, claiming that activism is an empty practice, a hollow feat, a meaningless endeavor that never inspires or commands real change. In the minimal words they do find, they demean and minimize the efforts of those who are adamant about not only critically thinking about systems, human nature, politics, history, and change, but seeing it through as well.
These are cages.
From the beginning, we are told that our realities, histories, communities, and truths are worthy of erasure, are easily ignorable and negated, and that our experiences are only significant in relation to the power structures and forces that dominate our existence. I have found myself feeling limitless amounts of sadness and hopelessness during this time, sitting in the heavy reality that this is the world we must live in. But it’s that very same anger, frustration, despair, and heartbreak that make the deep feelers, activists, and allies of the world the type of people that will question and challenge the very systems that harm them most, the ones who blaze trails, who catalyze change, and who make this world a brighter, safer, and more inclusive  place.
This world and this society will always tell us that we cannot make a difference. The system is built on the silencing and deeming of the oppressed/the Other as “crazy,” “loud,” “angry,” or “much.” But we are navigating through everything that we have no choice but to deeply feel because it is so close to us, and we are channelling our “muchness” into the kind of work, dialogue, activism, and philanthropy that is both needful and world-improving. We will be the ones to feel our way through leading what needs to be led, challenging what needs to be challenged, and shaking the earth under the structures and systems that have forever tried to inhibit the power and impact of our voices and our lives.
Nothing is simpler or more convenient than creating and perpetuating a system by and for one, while the many are silenced into thinking they are helpless, aimless, powerless, and worthless. But the power abandons the empowered when we realize that its continued suppression of our voices and our experiences, its dismissal and ignorance of our potential and value, and its unjust, marginalizing treatment of the oppressed is wholly dependent on our acceptance of such a premise. The continued drowning out, co-opting, and silencing of our own voices depends on our willingness to accept such false truths. The power (undergirded by ignorance, racism, bigotry, white supremacy, misogyny, and endless oppressive forces) is contingent upon our ability to believe in its falsehood. The system and the world want nothing more than to make us feel like we cannot make a difference, that our voices will not be heard, or that change, progress, and dismantling of inherently unjust systems could never be seen.
History proves otherwise.
IMG_9441IMG_9442
Should we decide that it is no longer enough to feel it all and be told to sit with it and be grateful, should we decide that we are to rise and to fight, the foundation of such injustice and misplaced power will have already been lost. A system that is so deeply and fully broken cannot have the strength and unwavering support in its roots that will be necessary to continue on. A system that was never built for us cannot betray us, but we are empowered and informed enough to turn our back on it, for we were intentionally excluded from every notion and ideation of “equality,” “justice,” and “equity” this country has ever popularized. We are not required to listen to the songs of the oppressors, to tame our voices, experiences, and activism so as to not make the ignorant uncomfortable, or to thank the system for having not killed us yet.
In this nation and in this time, it is increasingly important that we push on, that we continue doing the necessary work and creating the change we wish to see, that we advocate and educate, exhausting as it may be. And while our bravery may be less brave as it it compulsive in order to free our minds and make space for all that we are, our voices are meaningful. This work is meaningful, and change is meaningful.
There is nothing more imperative than activism and empathy now and always, and THIS is what will continue to have lasting impact.
Extending Activism Beyond Our Own Circles
At this point, there is nothing that weighs on my mind and my heart more than the questions of how to reach people, how to extend beyond the circle I have (proudly) chosen to surround me, and how to surpass the social media feeds and the people who consistently appear on and support my platforms. Though I am more proud than ever of those whom I call friends and of what continues to be shared amongst and within them on my feeds, I’m not naive enough to think that this is the way everyone’s phones or computers look right now. And while it’s equally inspiring and esteeming to see and hear people in your circle who directly participate, advocate, and show understanding, there is no doubt that these are not the people we need to reach. We can share, post, talk, and reinforce historical and political truths to one another until the end of time. But at some point, we’re just singing to the choir. The people who have made the effort to become informed, who have spoken, who have made deliberate, conscious, and intentional choices and actions, and who have listened to BIPOC and our experiences during this time already get it. They already know. They have shown this everyday. Our activism must now go beyond.
The question is: How do we reach those who need to hear it most? Those who so violently turn their heads away from the truth, reality, brutality, contexts, and political and historical facts that they continue to willfully ignore and even deny the existence of? Those who choose not to care, choose not to see, choose not to listen/hear, and choose not to learn?
Is the comfort of living such false truths and perpetuating incorrect narratives and histories that worthy of protection? Is that “Americanism?”
IMG_9445
Although this is still one of the heaviest and most daunting questions for me to consider and I’ve yet to come up with a clear, concise way to tackle this and to most effectively reach beyond, here are some tips and methods that I’ve found to be the most integral when communicating with people who appear to be uninformed, non-empathetic, or wholly apathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement and the Black experience:
  1. Continue to share Black stories. The consistent uplifting of Black voices and perspectives has been one of the most inspiring and necessary outcomes of the movement that I’ve seen on every media platform. Black voices have been silenced, repressed, and ignored for 401 years too long, so including as many Black perspectives, opinions, experiences, etc. when in dialogue with someone who may be majorly unaware is absolutely essential. Do not allow the continued ignorance of the Black experience to be a shield or an excuse for the conscious refusal of many to learn and evolve, particularly when resources and content is more available than ever. The world has learned enough whitewashed history and has heard endless white voices— it’s time for the Black community to be seen.
  2. Try to give people practical, methodical steps that they can choose (or choose not to) take. Ignorance and apathy are both poisons that threaten the Black Lives Matter movement and prevent the sharing of proper information, the opportunity for meaningful dialogue, and the necessary dismantling of the inherently unjust systems on which this nation was built. I’ve found that being as clear as possible in my wording and through even offering examples, circumstances, or any kind of experiential perspective on relevant topics is most likely to be impactful to those who do not understand, fail to hear, and cannot begin to think of living outside of themselves.
  3. Recommend insightful resources for people to self-educate, for it is not the job of the oppressed to teach about oppression. Learning, listening, and engaging is of utmost importance right now— encourage it in every way you can. Simply providing book, podcast, speech, or tv/movie recommendations that engage productively and meaningfully with race, racism, power structures, and systemic injustice is a good start, and incorporating an artistic lens or layer to complex topics is rarely a harmful thing.
  4. Speak as confidently and as often as you can, and be comfortable with making people uncomfortable. There is no space for fear, hesitation, or trepidation in this movement and in this time. BIPOC are being killed everyday, and our lives are consistently endangered. It is no longer the responsibility of the oppressed and silenced to enable the continued misconstruing and perpetuation of wrongful information, harmful ideas, or hateful ideologies (even those that have been societally accepted/permitted). While it is not our job to educate, I feel a moral obligation to say something, to step in when incorrect facts or falsified information is documented or shared, and when people outside of the movement work to demonize and villainize the intentions and purpose behind it.

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

-Audre Lorde

 

Keep fighting. This is only the beginning.

Thoughts on Allyship + How to Get Involved

As difficult as it may be for non-black people to understand their place and role in the Black Lives Matter movement or The Racial Contract in general, allyship is supremely important. The act and pursuit of being an ally has come to the forefront of conversations in the context of BLM, and this discourse can be a source/tool for growth, learning, and transformation for us all. It must be understood that the black community has been fighting this fight since the very beginning, and the weight of racial injustices, discrimination, and marginalization are truly inescapable. The attempt of this community to convince the world that “black lives matter” has been and continues to be the lived experience that defines and explains the inequalities and inequities perpetuated by American society and culture. The burden of these undeniable injustices has forever fallen on the shoulders of the most oppressed; for this reason, allyship is EXTREMELY important. It can no longer be the work of the most disempowered to challenge the systemic injustice and abuses of power that have forever tainted this nation. We are all responsible for the infringed liberty and life experienced by the most marginalized, and turning a cheek can no longer be an option.

To be an ally is to be more than a non-racist it is to be an anti-racist. It is not enough to be apathetic towards the black family in your neighborhood, believing that a lack of intense of external hatred equates to the support and uplift being an ally assumes. It is not enough to post a black square and claim solidarity on a social media platform for the sake of joining a trend or fulfilling a boost of the ego, and it is not enough to only be aware of overt racism or the manifestation of blatant white supremacist ideals. To be an ally is to be opening to listening, learning, reading, speaking, and participating (though not leading) in a movement that is needful, good, and just, though may not be particularly relevant to your life or the struggles you experience. It is fighting the fight alongside those who need it most, recognizing that a community may be in need of the tools or power you possess. Allyship is defined by the willingness to engage and actively work to dismantle the inherently oppressive systems and institutions that harm people of color, as well as the openness to lending a hand in solidarity without the expectation that your voice or experience will be the most needed or important to hear. It is the uplift, encouragement, solidarity, compassion, and sometimes protection that privilege may often grant allies in aiding the oppressed progress towards justice and equality. Allyship may be empathy, grief, outrage, accountability, authenticity, and courageous activism & protest. But allyship may also begin with a mere willingness to sit and feel yourself through the potential discomfort of these conversations and realities, an effort to hold oneself and others accountable, or an attempt to create change and introduce new perspectives in your own circle or within your home.

fullsizeoutput_70b1(Photo: @drjotengi on Instagram)

 

Allyship is not performative.

Allyship is not virtue-signaling.

Allyship is not self-centering.

Allyship is not white fragility.

Allyship is not a denial of privilege or power.

Allyship is not short-term of temporary.

Allyship is not an undermining of black voices or perspectives.

Allyship is not relying on a hashtag to suffice for one’s participation in the cause.

Allyship is not related to social capital.

Allyship is not exclusionary or selective.

 

 

Allyship is advocacy.

Allyship is privilege utilized non-selfishly.

Allyship is solidarity paired with conscious action.

Allyship is going beyond the surface.

Allyship is understanding your position, privilege, and power.

Allyship is recognizing your own capacities within the movement.

Allyship is continually checking in on your black friends, family, and colleagues.

Allyship is being unafraid to be wrong, to speak imperfectly, or to act imprecisely.

Allyship is facing the fire, even when you’re unsure of what the sparks will create.

Allyship is understanding that it is not the job of the black community to teach or educate you about racism or their oppression/mistreatment/trauma.

Allyship is learning.

Allyship evolving.

Allyship is activism.

Allyship is essential.

 

fullsizeoutput_7097(Photo: @melegirma on Instagram)

Five Ways to Be an Ally and Activist

  1. Engage in meaningful conversations. Don’t shy away from difficult discourse or the complex historical and emotional ties to experiences involving race. Care enough to show up, speak up, and involve yourself in every way possible, and attempt to learn how to do the important and necessary work as much as you can.
  2. Listen. Remain open-minded and kind whilst engaging with or attempting to educate others, and understand that your work and position as an ally may not necessitate or imply that your voice is the most important in the room we are asking you to stand and fight WITH us, not save us.
  3. Be willing to hear the voices and validate the experiences of everyone around you, even if their opinion differs from yours. Often, it is those we most disagree with (or who seem to misunderstand or be non-empathetic) that we most need to reach. Refrain from shutting down, unfollowing, blocking, or closing yourself off to people, and try your best to keep the lines of communication open, especially when there is knowledge to be shared and lessons to be learned.
  4. Research. Understanding history, political and social context, and how theories of race and The Racial Contract have shaped each of our experiences is essential, and now is the perfect time to invest ourselves into learning more about systemic injustice, oppression, marginalized communities, and what it means to be black in America.
  5. Uplift the voices we, as individuals and as a society, most need to hear. There is much to be learned from the black community during this time, as well as black activists and educators that have and continue to inspire and catalyze change in the form of progress. Hear the voices of black men and women, acknowledge the truth of queer black people and the work & success they have courageously seen, the trails they have blazed, and the power of communal movement.

 

In order for allyship and activism to be benevolent and progressive, education and empathy must coexist. We must all continually learn from one another, listen and speak as often as possible, and continue to push for transformation in our own circles, in the greater society, and within ourselves. No one can know the perfectly right things to say, when to say them, or even who to say them to, but a clear and genuine attempt at continued growth is both virtuous and absolutely imperative. When I can no longer find the words, I look to the sources that have built and shaped us— the authors, educators, and activists who have paved the way, who write and speak with passion and purpose, and who inspire me everyday with their hearts and minds. In addition to this list of potential practical steps allies can make during this time, I have also provided a compiled list of books, podcasts, tv/movies, and organizations surrounding race, systemic injustice, the black experience, America’s foundational history, etc., that I highly recommend looking into and learning from. They all have a great deal to offer us, and willful engagement and conscious curiosity is the first of many steps in the right direction. 

 

fullsizeoutput_70b0(Photo: @nene_collins on Instagram)

Essential Books for Reading

  • The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. DuBois
  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
  • Citizen, Claudia Rankine
  • How to be an Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi
  • White Rage, Carol Anderson
  • The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo
  • Women, Race, and Class, Angela Davis
  • The Racial Contract, Charles. W. Mills

 

Powerful Podcasts for Listening

  • 1619 (The New York Times)
  • Code Switch (NPR)
  • About Race
  • Intersectionality Matters! (AAPF/Kimberlé Crenshaw)
  • Pod for the Cause
  • The Diversity Gap (Dr. Beverly Tatum)
  • Pod for the People
  • Yo, is this Racist? (Andrew Ti, Tawny Newsome)

 

TV/Movies to Watch

  • 13th (Netflix)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
  • Dear White People (Netflix)
  • Crime + Punishment (Hulu)
  • I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon Prime)
  • The Hate U Give (Hulu)
  • Just Mercy (Free On Demand)
  • Moonlight (Netflix)
  • The Birth of a Nation (Amazon Prime)
  • 12 Years a Slave (Amazon Prime)
  • Roots (Hulu)
  • Malcolm X (Netflix)

 

Places to Donate/Important Organizations to Know

  • Color of Change
  • Unicorn Riot
  • Black Trans Travel Fund
  • My Block, My Hood, My City
  • Black Women’s Blueprint
  • The Loveland Foundation
  • ACLU
  • Know Your Rights Camp
  • Innocence Project
  • The Bail Project
  • National Lawyer’s Guild
  • Emergency Release Fund
  • Femme Empowerment Project