Listening to My Black Friends as a White Woman

I’m in a strange place in my head for reasons both personal and political so I’ve been struggling to blog coherently about recent events. Let me clarify – to blog about the experiences of actual black neighbors who have been killed by police officers and the experiences of people who have to witness and process those deaths. Not ‘events’ but people, both living and dead.

I read a post at Absolutely Luvvie that was helpful (thank you, Luvvie) and worth sharing. The post is called “Another Day, Another Hashtag. White People, You Gotta Get to Work NOW”   I strongly encourage you to click through and read her post.

  1. Listen
  2. Amplify
  3. Talk with Family and Friends
  4. Donate to Anti-Racism Work
  5. Know who you are voting for
  6. Demand accountability
  7. Be a witness
  8. Protest
  9. Commit yourself to fixing this, you are not helpless

So let’s start with item #1 – listening. Luvvie wants us to invest our time in listening and really hearing what black American have to say.  Not injecting ourselves and our feelings as white Americans into the equation.

Here are some things I think you should listen (read) to right now. I challenge you to actually listen and just listen. Just hold it there.

A Facebook post by Vanessa German.

i hate white people the most, the days right after a police shooting. i hate them mostly for their ease of breath at the customer service counter; the freedom from feeling, grieving, fearing for their little ones…

That’s hard to read, but I’m going to ask you to just stay the course and read/listen. Please don’t be the person who uses the phrase “not all white people” in the comments section.  You might want to follow Vanessa on Facebook.

Then there’s Colin Kaepernick. We’ve done a lot of talking about his actions. Maybe take some time to listen to him. Follow him on Twitter and you’ll see that he’s amplifying a lot of interesting content. Its great if you have been cheering him on, but take it a step further.

There’s also the incredible Melissa Harris-Perry on Twitter. 

Read these blogs

There’s no shortage at all of people creating content for you to listen/read. Be sure to look at your own social media feeds and listen to the actual black folks that you know. Listen without weighing in or adding your stuff to their thoughts.

Listen. Listen. Listen.







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