It can be hard to have this conversation with your family and inform them about what is going on. But to be a good ally is to bring this up with the people in your life, even if they will disagree with you. We need to stand up and start to make a change if we want to see improvement in our country.
Coming from a family of immigrants, sometimes it can be difficult to talk to family members about the prejudice other people face in America, especially when your family is just glad to be here. These are some steps to follow when having the important conversation of anti-blackness and how we can work to be anti-racist.
1. Be Patient and Clear
It can be frustrating to talk to people who don’t want to listen. But in order for your family to understand the severity of what is going on, we cannot shy away from these difficult conversations. We have to persevere when they question what we say and explain our points in a way that is easy to understand. It’s important to continue to discuss this not just right now but always.
2. Explain The Movement
There are ways to explain this movement to a family member. Let them know that this does not negate their experiences as immigrants, because that is something they might try to argue. Being an immigrant comes with struggles, but right now Black people need our support and help.
Something they will likely try to say is that all lives matter. Try telling your family this: yes, of course all lives do matter, but all lives are not being threatened right now. Black lives are being taken away unjustly, due to racism ingrained into the system.
Another thing to mention if your family members are non-Black immigrants or people of color is that we need to stand with Black people who are facing racism and make sure we know what’s happening to them. Colonialism has negatively impacted many immigrant communities, and Black people are being oppressed, so don’t we have a responsibility to stand up for them as well? You can also discuss how many of our rights in America come from Black people who have protested for them for years in America, maybe before your family immigrated here.
3. Recommend New Content
Uplifting Black voices is so important, not just now but always. One thing to suggest to your family is watching something that they might be interested in that can teach them more about the oppression that Black people face. Good examples are below:
- If Beale Street Could Talk
- The Hate U Give
- Fruitvale Station
- See You Yesterday
- Dear White People
- When They See Us
- Little Fires Everywhere
4. Show Them Examples and Ways They Can Help
The mainstream media doesn’t show us everything. We need to go beyond that and search for content shared to social media by protestors and advocates for the movement. Videos from protests and information on systematic racism can help facilitate the conversation and show whoever you may be talking to the reality of the situation.
Sharing links to petitions, funds, and organizations can also be a helpful way for your family to learn more. Some great places to start are these links: