Show Up for Black Lives
By Taylor Pinckney, Black Organizing Specialist | June 4, 2020, 6:37 p.m.
The past week has been tremendously difficult. I know that it is hard for Black folks to organize in white-led reproductive rights spaces while not knowing if those who show up for abortion access will show up for Black lives. White feminism excludes Black women from this conversation.
This is why the reproductive justice framework was created by Black women who were tired of living in fear of state-sanctioned violence, environmental racism, and other systemic forms of oppression that threaten our lives and existence on a daily basis. It is this same policing of Black bodies that makes the promise of reproductive freedom unattainable for Black people in this country.
We must say the countless names of those whose lives have been cut short at the hands of the state. Ahmaud Arbury. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. David McAtee. Sandra Bland. Korryn Gaines. Tony McDade.
We see that calls to justice for Black men who are victims of police brutality are often amplified much louder than those for Black women and girls, so we must also say their names as Black women, like Sandra Bland, Korryn Gaines, and Breonna Taylor, who still have not received justice for their deaths at the hands of police officers. We must also acknowledge that people who are indigenous, Latinx, and differently-abled are also severely impacted by this issue.
And at the start of Pride month, we must acknowledge that the Stonewall riots were led by Black trans women who created and spearheaded the movement for LGBTQ liberation, yet their voices are often forgotten in spaces uplifting both LGBTQ and Black folks. We must say that when we shout “Black lives matter,” we are including Black trans lives.
In response to the protests that launched in all 50 states following George Floyd’s death, this movement has become global as folks share stories of police brutality against Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) across the world, from the United Kingdom to Palestine. Right now, Brazilians are currently advocating for an end to police brutality toward Afro-Brazilians in their nation, including a case in 2019 where an 8-year-old girl named Agatha Felix was murdered by police in Rio de Janeiro.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood must join us to uplift the important work of movement partners who are leading the charge in this fight. Start by taking part in the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) week of action.
Each day this week, M4BL and partners will focus on specific demands. View the full list of actions here. Today’s action can be viewed here, which highlights specific ways to reduce police violence through policies supporting community control.
Other ways to join the movement and support Black communities:
Donate to a local bail fund here. There are many protests right here in North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Virginia, so we encourage our supporters to help those who are on the frontlines speaking out against police brutality.
Take action with Color of Change here. As many have responded in this current moment by supporting Black businesses, we must remember the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, when this historically Black community was violently destroyed by white supremacists. Color of Change has specifically outlined ways for local communities to restore Black Wall Streets, and we support their call for local municipalities to reinvest in these communities as a form of reparations for the violence that Black communities have endured in this nation for centuries. You can also text FLOYD to 55156 to receive updates on this action and other ways to support the organization in their advocacy work.
Call your U.S. Senator to urge them to pass additional federal relief using this click-to-call tool.
Contact your representative in Congress and urge them to support Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Karen Bass (CA-37)’s resolution to condemn police brutality, racial profiling, and use of excessive force.
Donate to Black Voters Matter to support the voter registration efforts of Black voters.
Educate yourself and the people around you by reading these anti-racism resources.
We must demand accountability, we must demand justice, and we must demand an end to the inequities that continue to define every moment of life for Black America.