#AskABlackChick: How Can White People Be Black Allies?

Emily F. Asks:

Ask A Black Chick Black Allies

I definitely believe there a white people out there that empathize with the black struggle. Throughout history, there have been white allies in the fight for racial equality. I think, now, a lot of white people aren’t sure the part they should be playing. They might now want to seem too eager and take away from the movement but know that sitting back not saying anything is a problem.

Jessica-Brittany says:

The best thing an ally can do, is listen. Our community is still mobilizing, figuring out how to go about our own liberation, socially, economically, politically, psychologically, etc. There is so much work to be done.

The best thing an ally can do, is listen. 

When your help is needed/asked, listen to what is being said and try to act accordingly. Do not justify an action or words with “oh well I didn’t mean to…” or “But I’m not racist…”

Just no. Listen, and start from there.

Diana Says:

I think that in order to be a better ally to anyone in general, it’s important to try to put ourselves in the person’s shoes.

To be a better ally to anyone in general, it’s important to try to put ourselves in the person’s shoes. 

In order to be able to do that, we first need to:

1. Spend time with them to get to know how they do things and why they do them. When you spend time with someone, you get to immerse yourself in their world, which helps you learn about the things they do differently on a day to day basis and you also learn about how they think and why they think the way that they do.

2. Ask questions no matter how dumb you think the question is when you don’t understand something. Asking questions is the only way to deepen your understanding of things and of people. Too many people are afraid of asking questions because they think that doing so is a sign of weakness or because they fear the reaction of others. I believe that the more questions you ask someone about themselves, the deeper your understanding of who they are will become.

3.  Look beneath the surface of what you see.
For example, let’s say you see a black woman walking on the street, dragging her children and yelling at them. If you judge from what you only see, you might think to yourself: “There goes another angry black woman”.
But if you were her friend, you would know that she’s a single mother with a past of physical abuse, trying to do everything on her own while dealing with a man that not only doesn’t want to be in the lives of his children but that also gives her a hard time when it comes to giving money every week for his own children.

Latifah Says:

If white people want to be good black allies, I think they first have to understand that they do not have all of the answers. They have to understand that they are not the savior. A lot of times, that is what gets well meaning white people in trouble. They want to swoop in and save the day. Take a seat in the back, let us drive the movement, and jump up when needed.

In everyday life, I think there are endless ways to be an ally that may seem small and insignificant but truly make a difference. Speaking up, which I find many white people do not do and to me it shows that they are cool with what is going on. Speak up, show your white friends and family that you do not cosign these terrible acts.

Speak up, show your white friends and family that you do not cosign these terrible acts. 
Diversity is also important. Try to acquire some black friends. FRIENDS. Not co-workers, associates, people you know; But friends so you can learn from them and diversify your understanding of blackness from an actual human.
Look, I do not think white people have to be out on the front lines of marches and sit ins and all of that to be allies. You are being an ally by speaking up on behalf of the movement, having a diverse group of people around you, and educating yourself on the issues. Actively deciding to participate in equality, that makes all the difference.
Join the community and have your voice heard here. Or ask an anonymous question here.
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3 comments

  1. “They have to understand that they are not the savior. A lot of times, that is what gets well meaning white people in trouble. They want to swoop in and save the day. Take a seat in the back, let us drive the movement, and jump up when needed”
    yassssssssssssssssss i could not have said it better myself

    Like

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