Hastings is one of those communities and sitting in Alexandra Park on Sunday, 7th June, surrounded by a sea of white faces all looking determined to work for change, I felt our deep connection and it was new and exciting feeling.
Unlike many previous movements, Black Lives Matter continues to stay in the news with new development and initiatives.
Allies are mobilizing inside and outside organisations. There is an appetite for change – and it’s fantastic!
All the black people I’ve spoken to recently are all engaged in or by the movement But interestingly, although for every person there is a different story, we all seem to have one thing in common – we are all tired! Actually most of us are completely exhausted. Our white friends and allies and sometimes-complete strangers, stimulated into action, feel compelled to ask us what they should be doing. Many of us, if we are not careful are quickly being dragged back into one of the key components for maintaining institutionalised racism, namely keeping black people busy with the needs of white people!
If we are going to be effective and work together for real change, white allies need to risk getting it wrong then cleaning up the mistake by asking black people questions. But there is a big difference between taking action and then asking for help or support and not doing anything until a black person has endorsed it, or waiting for them to lead you.
So perhaps ‘STOP’ is my way off getting the ball rolling!
In fact, since its inception ‘STOP – a message to my beloved allies’ has evolved into a project . Ill be posting anditional information, interviews and short films all of which which I hope will go someway to clarifying the important role of Allies and how we [black and white], can most effectively work together to end this inhuman and artificial division between us.
I’m tired… but extremely hopeful!
Maggie Scott, July 2020