BLACK LIVES MATTER... SO DO BLACK MENTALS
Following the callous, unlawful murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020, the world has seen protests, riots and calls for change. Starting in the United States and reaching even down under, Black people have mobilised, declaring that “enough is enough”. And while enough has been enough, while the persecution and consistent abuse of Black people has always been fought against, it seems as though, this time, something might actually give.
As well as in support of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the countless lives lost by the hand of police brutality, the United Kingdom has also rallied together with protests and petitions to highlight the death of Belly Mujinga, a Congolese mother and TFL worker who died after being spat at while working on the front lines. Time and Time again, the UK has showed us that it is not for Black people, it doesn’t care about the welfare, nor the rights, nor the humanity of the 3% of Black people that live scattered across this island.
So we have had to show them how to care.
Equally as important though, is caring for our wellbeing during this time. Constantly viewing the abuse the police – worldwide – is draining, traumatic. These are scenes we have viewed time and time again – from the deplorable treatment of the Windrush generation, to the initial colonialization of our people by the British empire, and its long-lasting effects.
I implore all of my Black people to care about their mental health during this time. While I understand the importance of “staying woke” and being up to date with the ongoing events, we have scars that date back from the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and even now, 401 years later, the wounds of racism, colourism, persecution and abuse are always being opened.
So I say take time with your Blackness – take quiet walks in the morning, write about how you’re feeling, disengage from social media. Spend more time with family members – preserve your mental health. Remember, we’re having to protect and prove our Blackness in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, and that alone is enough to drive anyone crazy.
Below are a number of resources I’ve linked – some that pertain to protecting your mental health, and some that are for amplifying the cause.
Whether it be signing petitions or buying Black, we (and non-Black allies) can do so much to turn the tide on what has been a constant battle since colonialism took us from our homes. We need change, and we need it now.
ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER.
RESOURCES FOR BLACK MENTAL HEALTH:
RESOURCES FOR THE BLACK CAUSE: