Black Lives Matter: Listen, Educate and Amplify.

Disclaimer: Although the official magazine of the Glasgow University Union, the views expressed are that of the author and not of the Union.

The G-You Magazine will always use our platform to advocate for justice and equality. We stand with the University of Glasgow in condemning all forms of racism and discrimination. The team has compiled information, advice and resource materials designed to assist those looking for more information. Remember that we are students too and we are still learning, please continue to follow the media information sources as they are updated. If you have any questions or issues please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will do what we can, the libraries committee is here to support you. All of you.

  1. Personal Message: Fuad Kehinde
  2. Educational Resources: Books and Websites
  3. Accessing Help: Self-Care
  4. Donations: Contribution pages 
  5. UK Protests: Locations and alternative forms of protest
  6. Protecting Yourself: Physical protesting and Covid-19
  7. Reputable sites: Websites to avoid
  8. Moving Forward: G-You amplifies

Personal Message

Science Editor: Fuad Kehinde 

Growing up black in Ireland and comparing my experiences to others around the world makes me feel lucky. Lucky that I can walk on the street without fear of being harmed because of the colour of my skin. Lucky that I could move schools without fear of being isolated or ignored. Lucky that my government isn’t passing laws that actively restrict my freedoms and voice as a person. But the problem with making these comparisons between our world and other people’s worlds is that you unintentionally minimise the issues that are near to you. Yes, I have been lucky. But I’m still scared. Scared knowing that 1/3 of the reports of racial violence are not taken seriously by the police. Scared by the young children I’ve heard throw a slur in my direction and knowing what that behaviour can turn into when they grow up. So, while we see all that’s happening in the world, like the protests and riots in the US, we mustn’t get desensitised. It’s important that when these protests and riots are events of the past, that we don’t just move on. The most essential thing that we can remember is that so many people are just afraid. Afraid of going outside, afraid of those who are meant to protect us, afraid to try to move on with their lives. In Ireland, in the UK, in the US and further afield. Everywhere, people are afraid. And it is only our voice, our vote and our influence that can change that. So, don’t just move on. Use your voice, use your vote, use your influence. Donate, share, campaign. Together, we have power and there’s no reason to waste it.

Educational resources

Editor-In-Chief: Francisca Matias 

It all started with the education we have been given and the education we give to those close to us. White supremacy is taught in the western world just like any mundane potty training or math. You see, education is unfortunate and fortunate – it has propagated systems enrooted with discrimination, yet it also serves as a catalyst for social change. Let’s please use it as the latter. If you are unsure of how to feel, act, say in times like these, there are MANY books you can read that will help you attempt to understand what it is like to be oppressed. If you need a hand to hold or perhaps someone/thing when you feel most alone, then also have a read. These are just some:

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Freedom Is A Constant Struggle by Angela Davis
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, And A New Era In America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Good Immigrant: 21 Writers Explore What It Means To Be Black, Asian, And Minority Ethnic In Britain Today edited by Nikesh Shukla
  • Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde
  • White Teacher by Vivian Gussin Paley
  • Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris

“De pequenino torce o pepino” – a Portuguese saying that says that your habits are formed as a child. The generations which are now in school, still being molded, these are the ones we need to target and educate so that discriminatory inequalities are not nurtured further. Unsure what you’re going to tell your siblings, children, pupils or just anyone underage? These are some resources for you to share with the younger ones (and even with older ones) either they be family or neighbors or strangers:

Donation Pages

Co-Editor-In-Chief: Catherine Bouchard

It can sometimes be overwhelming trying to work out where best to place your support in a crisis as overwhelming as this. Below is a compiled list of various charities helping combat different aspects of racial injustice facing BAME individuals in global societies. 

Charities Protecting Legal Rights, Funding Bail and Promoting Civil Reform

Education, Arts and Empowerment Charities

UK Based Charities

Accessing Help

Media Coordinator: Nina Munro

First and foremost, the Black Lives Matter movement has a website, with a plethora of resources and useful links to petitions, donation pages and help for those that need it. This is a traumatic time for black and NBPOC individuals, and therefore this section of the article intends to provide some self-care tips for those who are overwhelmed with the current media coverage of such difficult, upsetting atrocities. The website also provides guidance on legal matters surrounding the topic of racism, which may be useful to individuals suffering from violence right now. As the incredible Audre Lorde said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare”.

Self-Care Accounts to follow:

@reignxshine 

Instagram account, a really good account to follow on health and wellness at this time. This is where I have taken my self-care inspiration from. First, set firm boundaries: you are under no obligation to explain your feelings or educate people on what we are dealing with. Second, indulge in black creativity, switching your focus does not mean you don’t care, seeking out black art and celebrating black joy can provide some respite from the traumatising media coverage. Third, be tactful about your daily scrolls. Not everything that is posted requires your attention and response, intaking too much can be overwhelming. Fourth, FEEL. Remember that ALL your feelings are justified. Fifth, seek support, and comfort from others that you can trust.

@ogorchukwuu 

Designer, researcher and writer in the wellness space. ‘This is a soft-place to land for those who have been told that their experiences with institutional, interpersonal and internalized oppression do not matter… We deserve more spaces for healing.’ 

@ViceLife 

Has a thread of tips on Twitter and a link on their website, found here:https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/g5pgmq/self-care-tips-for-black-people-struggling-from-painful-week. Firstly, the site suggests that you make sure you are meeting your basic needs. This is fundamental. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in Twitter and group chats for hours on end and forget to eat, drink, sleep at normal times. However, you are already feeling low and therefore skipping out on your most basic, fundamental needs will not help. Perhaps it would be useful to set reminders on your phone or laptop or stick post-it notes throughout your room to remind you to get up and make yourself lunch, go to sleep or do some exercise – whatever you need as your basic functional requirements. Next, the article suggests letting yourself feel. I discussed this above, but this is so important, as we know that pushing negative feelings away does nothing to help you get through them. It is ok to feel how you feel. It is ok to take time out. It is ok to simply sit in your feelings. Perhaps you don’t have that option right now, so instead I suggest setting some time to yourself in your future schedule so that you can. Speak to someone or do an activity to release some anger such as listening to angry music, furiously dancing or doing an intense workout or cleaning session. The article also suggests setting boundaries with who you engage with right now. Give yourself permission to escape from conversations that are too much. You are not responsible for managing other people’s feelings. You could also repeat mantras of affirmation that help you feel grounded. The article suggests a list of affirmations written by Araya Baker for “The Mighty”. This was originally to help cope with COVID-19 and lockdown, but many are applicable to coping with the violence against black people too. Find them here: https://themighty.com/2020/04/hope-affirmations-coronavirus-covid-19/

My Advice 

I also have some of my own ideas to help you look after yourself right now in this terrifying time for the black community. One of these is to cultivate a spirit of gratitude, focusing on the things you are grateful for each day. This will be difficult during this current time but is so important to make you feel more centred and remember that there is good in the world, even though it absolutely doesn’t feel like that right now. This can be as simple as just being grateful that you woke up this morning. Further, remember to say no. It is not your duty to educate your white friends on this topic. That is what all the resources being shared are for, that is what google is for. This is not your responsibility. This is your time to grieve, your time to rest, rehabilitate and unplug from it all if that is what you want to do. Remember that it is ok if you don’t want to watch a viral video of a racially traumatic incident. If you need to, take a day just to rest. Unplug yourself and rehabilitate from what is happening. Being exposed 24/7 to such videos can have a serious impact on your mental health. Be as tender to yourself as you would be with a friend right now. Look after you, as that is most important after all. Perhaps you could even set boundaries with your exposure to the news and social media. You could say you will only read the news twice a day, for thirty minutes at a time. You can change settings on Twitter too, so that videos do not autoplay. Remember, you can stay informed and involved without being glued to the information on your phone at every waking minute.

I would also like to suggest some more general self-care resources that I have found useful in the past. I enjoy following accounts on Instagram, so that my feed is filled with little positive reminders. The ones I enjoy are:

@thortful

@constantbageltherapy

@selfcareisapriority

@thehappynewspaper

@selfcare4yu

@theblurtfoundation

@sunnybloominspiration

Also, there are a number of mental health websites and helplines with loads of useful resources to help you cope:

Lastly, please remember this: You matter. You are loved. You are worthy.

UK Protests

Politics Editor: Duncan Henderson 

Protests have formed around the world in response to the Minneapolis Police Department’s killing of George Floyd last week. In the coming few days, protests are planned across the United Kingdom to protest racial injustice and the impacts it has, which have sadly been fatal for so many people.

The current dates and locations for the widely publicized protests across the UK: 

  • Glasgow (George Square, 7th June 12noon)
  • Edinburgh (US Consulate, Regent Street, 7th June 1pm)
  • Inverness (Bught Park, 6th June, 1pm)
  • Aberdeen (Union Bridge, 7th June) – Postering the bridge, not a mass gathering
  • Dundee (City Square, 7th June 2pm)
  • Leeds (Town Hall, 6th June 1pm)
  • London (Parliament Square, 6th June, 1pm)
  • London (US Embassy, 7th June, 2pm)

Protests have already taken place earlier in Manchester and Cardiff, and it’s possible that other protests could be planned and gain traction across the UK. Similarly, a number of protests are now being held in virtual, digital or online formats – check the media sites for these events as they appear. 

Of course, COVID-19 is still a consideration, and the legal restrictions on gatherings still apply across the UK. The organisers of many of these events have promised to attempt to uphold social distancing, but some may prefer to support the cause from a distance. If this is the case: 

Other ways people can contribute and show their support are:

  • Contacting their elected officials, such as MPs and MSPs to raise their concerns and ask about what they will do to both tackle racial injustice in the United Kingdom and if they will ask the Government to raise this on an international level
  • Donating to some of the organisations listed in this article, if you can afford to
  • Sharing posts with information on racial injustice on social media
  • Talking about the topic with friends and relatives to raise awareness
  • Attend alternative non-physical protest spaces
  • Sign Petitions 

Staying Safe

Current Threads Editor: Holly Ellis

In this ongoing fight for change and justice we understand that many of you who are able to do so, will be attending physical protests across the UK and in your respective home countries. It is incredibly important that we act but also that we protect the health and safety of ourselves and those around us in the given circumstances (especially in light of the recently released BAME report). First and foremost check your respective government information channels to make sure that you are acting – to the best of your ability – in accordance with the government guidelines pertaining social distancing measures. Advice changes between regions, especially in the UK, be mindful of this. We want to protect as many people as we can, whilst showing our support for the black lives matter movement. For those who are unable to attend protests due to health, safety or legal concerns, the previous section outlines some other alternative forms of protest. Official advice can be found on your respective government or NHS websites, and on protest event pages. The points mentioned below are just the tips we have found applicable for UK protestors: 

Protection with Covid-19 in mind: 

  • Wear a mask to protect those around you. 
  • Two Metre distance. Wherever possible maintain a 2 metre distance from those around you. 
  • Hand sanitizer. Continually use hand sanitizers throughout the day. 
  • Two-Week Isolation. If you attend the protest, it is advised that you follow a two-week isolation procedure afterwards.
  • Vulnerable people. Consider the people you live with, if you live with high-risk people consider the risk-factor involved with attending, look into alternative forms of protest. 

These protests are peaceful protests but here are some other ways to prepare unrelated to Covid-19: 

  • Do NOT wear contact lenses if you believe you will come into contact with tear gas, the combination is potentially harmful to the eyes. 
  • Wear protective gear. Protect yourself from crowds and unrelenting weather. This might also mean bringing along water and snacks to sustain yourself. 
  • Do not have anything in your possession that might lead to an arrest.This means weapons, drugs and any other illegal entity, for those still in Glasgow this includes alcohol. 
  • Milk if unrefrigerated is not sterile. Be mindful of the weather and the effectiveness of the products you intend to bring along.  
  • Have emergency contacts written down. This allows other people to help you in an emergency situation. 
  • Bring identification. This helps you identify yourself or allows others to identify you in an emergency situation. 
  • First Aid supplies. In the event of an emergency it is always useful to have access to a first aid kit. 
  • If you are attending and do not wish to be identified for any reason. Disable your face/touch ID, use airplane mode and disable data. Wear nondescript clothing, do not wear identifiable brands, and cover any identifiable tattoos. 
  • Do NOT bring an All Lives Matter sign. This sign does not align itself with the black lives matter movement. 
  • Check protest etiquette. This is especially important if you are white. There are some chants and gestures that are NOT yours to use. Make sure you are aware of these before you attend. 

This is not the time to be silent, if you cannot attend physical protests, use whatever means you can to raise awareness and amplify the voices of black people. If you don’t understand why people are protesting, choose to educate yourself rather than challenge those who do protest. For those of you still in Scotland wondering why this movement is needed here take a look into the origin of Buchanan and Glassford Street, look up the name Sheku Bayoh, and scroll through the comments on the UofG’s twitter condemnation of racism and discrimination. Our ancestors may have been complicit, but we will not be. We need to dismantle the structural inequalities that propagate racist systems. This is a struggle against intolerance, prejudice and discrimination that began a long time ago and will continue until our world is just. 

Reputable Sources of information

Showcase Editor: Imogen James 

With the endless stream of information concerning the protests over the George Floyd murder, and the Black Lives Matter movement, it can be confusing and difficult to keep up with accurate and honest portrayals of events. It is often overwhelming to sift through dozens of videos and articles in order to get to the truth of the matter. This list is of people sharing updates on protests, petitions and updated ways to help, useful guides on how to safely protest, and the truth of the situation without it being twisted.

Short Guide:

  • Twitter: Firstly, twitter itself has proven to be the most accurate and up to date form of information spreading in this instance. Each second new info is posted, videos and photos with the proper explanation of events before mainstream media construes them, and also live information of protests so you can be safe wherever you are. 
  • Instagram: Instagram has many useful guides and links, under the #blacklivesmatter and also through many accounts. People are constantly sharing ways you can help wherever you are and new photos that are incredibly symbolic, as well as informative.
  • Mainstream news: Many news outlets, especially American ones like CNN or NBC have been portraying unjustly and biased commentaries of events making peaceful protests look violent and changing footage of the police acting unnecessarily abusive so they look good. If you want to consult mainstream news, be careful in doing so and look at a few in order to find the full story.

People and organisations to follow:

Protest Updates

Twitter: @protestupdatez

#blacklivesmatter on Instagram and twitter to keep up to date with goings on

NAACP

Twitter: @NAACP

IG : @NAACP

Legal Defense Fun

Twitter: @NNAP_LDF

IG: @naacp_ldf

Black Lives Matter

Twitter: @Blklivesmatter

IG: @blklivesmatter

Until Freedom

Twitter: @untilfreedom

IG: @untilfreedom

Harper’s Bazaar

Twitter: harpersbazaarus

IG: harpersbazaarus

New York Times

Twitter: @nytimes

IG: @nytimes

Time

Twitter: @time

IG: @time

Layla F. Saad

IG: @laylafsaad

Rachel Ricketts

IG: @iamrachelricketts

Rachel Cargle

IG: @rachel.cargle

S. Lee Merritt, Esquire

IG: @leemerrittesq

 

Moving Forward: Over the next couple weeks

Artworks and Graphics coordinator: Jaimie Chow and Media Coordinator: Nina Munro 

  • The G-You instagram account will be featuring black artists for you to follow and support. 
  • Our social media pages will be updated with information about the BLM movement.
  • We aim to create some accessible infographics to keep people informed. 
  • Anyone who has an article or pitch in mind relevant to the movement please do not hesitate to contact us at libraries@guu.co.uk

Silence is Compliance. 

Francisca Matias, Fuad Kehinde, Olivia Swarthout, Ewan Galbraith, Duncan Henderson, Jaimie Chow, Holly Ellis, Beth Leishman, Imogen James, Nina Munro, Catherine Bouchard. 


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