There’s been a lot going on these past few months. Many truths have been shared, stories have been highlighted, and voices have been amplified. We had moments such as the Blackout on Instagram and brands being called out to change how Black individuals are represented within their corporate structure as well as seen on their brand pages. It’s great to see that many companies are still making the change and admitting those mistakes, and to see it continue beyond those couple of weeks where things were at it’s highest shows that people understand that this is not a moment this is a movement. Because the Black reality still stays the same after people go back to their “normal”.I still have been getting questions on how we continue to amplify Black voices both from other influencers and content creators along with brands and influencer networks that I have been in contact with. There are so many ways to go about this, but I wanted to focus on this post by highlighting some of the main ways that we all as individuals can amplify Black voices and make the change.
SUPPORT BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES AND BRANDS
Black-owned businesses aren’t as highly known as their counterparts, but there are just as fabulous, if not even more fabulous. So it’s high time that we share them, buy from them, and talk about the amazing things that they are doing. I will admit that I have been a shopper that hasn’t always looked into who I am giving my money to. And I, as a Black woman, had to stop myself and think more into my shopping habits and who I was supporting. But now, I am looking further into some of the brands and adding Black-owned brands to my list of favorites to shop, and below are some that I have recently bought from/saved to my store bookmarks.
If you’re an influencer, content creator, or blogger that enjoys collaborating with others in your space then try to start working with Black influencers. There have been so many collaborations that I have seen over time that are just between a group of influencers and when I look into it there is not one Black influencer in the group. And I will also admit that I’ve seen the reverse. We have gotten to the point that we segregate ourselves in the field with collaborations that aren’t just about telling the story from one perspective. Recently, I founded a collaborative group – Babes That Wander – that is elevating diversity. We hope to grow this brand and show more diversity, but even right now, we are showing diversity in ever aspect including race, size, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and interest. When it comes to the want to show diversity within brand collaborations, we also have the responsibility to show diversity within our own collaborations.
SHARE WITH OTHERS
No matter who you are, you have the power to share and amplify Black voices. If you are on Instagram and you see a post that resonates with you from a Black person then share it. Amplify that story and share their post which essentially shares their page. If you see an article, share that story with your social media and bring it up in conversations that you have with others. By sharing stories, you are amplifying the Black voice beyond the reach that they currently have. Again, I’m not just saying to share the posts and stories of bloggers, influencers, or other content creators, share the voices of your friends or strangers that had the courage to share their story.
DEMAND DIVERSITY IN PRODUCTS
There are many brands, especially in the beauty industry, that don’t maintain a wide range of diversity in their products. I’m not just speaking on foundations within makeup brands, but also speaking on how some shampoos aren’t always great for diverse hair textures. I’m also talking about how in the fashion industry, there are certain styles and looks that don’t compliment ever skin color or their “nude” tones aren’t actually nude. For example, I recently saw a bodice at Victoria’s Secret that I thought looked so pretty and I would style the heck out of it, but the nude tone was only one tone which limits who can buy it. If your a brand or you work for one and you’re reading this, diversify your products. If you’re a consumer, send emails, leave comments, and contact the brands and let them know that they are falling short. Black money is still green, and believe me, we like to purchase things too, but the thing is, our money stays in our pockets because the product is not for us.
LISTEN & DO SOME RESEARCH
The first step in amplifying the Black voice is to listen and then share TRUTHFUL information. You have to lean, you have to hear, you need to apply the change and then go on sharing that information or help that person find the platform to share their story. Additionally, don’t rely on the Black individuals in your life to provide you with all of the information. There are so many resources available out there without having to ask a Black person to send them to you. Go on Youtube and listen to videos of people sharing their stories. Read books by Black authors where their experiences are embedded in each page. Watch movies, read articles, listen to the music…there’s so many things you can do to understand the Black experience.
KEEP GOING WITH IT ALL
I’m going to reiterate – “This is not a moment, it’s a movement.” Don’t be the person that posts the black box on your social media page, using the BLM hashtag, and shares a few posts to your social media but then goes on the next week doing nothing else. You must stay consistent with the commitment to amplifying Black voices.