For Black History Month every February, Afrozilla—the diverse, global community of Black Mozillians, which includes Pocket employees—creates a slate of programming for Mozilla that focuses on Black joy, not Black trauma. This year, however, this focus is made more difficult with the recent release of footage of Tyre Nichols’ murder by yet another racist police institution.
Our membership collectively hurts and grieves for the loss of yet another of our brothers by those sworn to protect. We grieve for his mother, who will for the rest of her life juxtapose the beauty of her son’s birth with the tragedy of him calling for her as he tried to make it home. Once again, we find ourselves saying THIS HAS TO STOP, fully aware that Tyre will likely not be the last. However, in the words of Dr. King, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
How to Show Up
If you are an accomplice in the fight against racism, now is also the time to consider how you show up in solidarity. Now is not the time for “allyship,” a concept that makes it easy to separate your freedom from ours. Today and every day, we need co-conspirators in the fight, people who are actually doing the work of banishing anti-Blackness, who know that our fates are tied, who have skin in the game. If you truly are an accomplice or a co-conspirator, live it. Show, don’t tell.
Action Through Learning
To get you started, we’re offering a list of relevant media—handpicked by the members of Afrozilla as an internal resource, and now shared publicly. We hope you’ll intentionally read up on the recent killing of Tyre Nichols and countless other victims of police brutality around the world. We hope you’ll spend time looking into the other challenges associated with what it means to be Black in white-majority societies. Most of all, we hope you treat this as a starting point—not a line item to check off, but a muscle to keep limber. We hope that this stays on your mind long beyond February.
Warning: some links may contain graphic content. Image by Lucy Garrett / Stringer.
“I want him to be remembered as the kid smiling in the skate video and not the kid that was fighting for his life.”
Mental health experts talk about the toll viewing violent imagery can have on Black people.
Bonus Read: To Cope With Release of Violent Videos, Manage Stress and Know Your Own Limits, via CNN.
Required reading for those unfamiliar with the city’s history of demonstrations – and police’s history of surveillance.
Body cameras, once touted as an important tool to reduce police misconduct, have had decidedly mixed results.
In this powerful call to action, New York Times bestselling author Mariame Kaba and attorney and organizer Andrea J. Ritchie detail why policing doesn’t stop violence, instead perpetuating widespread harm; outline the many failures of contemporary police reforms; and explore demands to defund police, divest from policing, and invest in community resources to create greater safety through a Black feminist lens.
Protests in Australia, Brazil, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and elsewhere turned Floyd’s name and some of his final words, “I can’t breathe,” into a rallying cry heard around the world.
Bonus Read: Paris Protesters Mark Fourth Anniversary of Adama Traoré’s Death, via The Guardian.
Activists are increasingly pushing back.
Bonus Read: Brazil: UN Experts Decry Acts of Racialised Police Brutality, via UN Human Rights.
Key voices reflect on events that sparked civil unrest affecting a generation of young people.
Bonus Watch: Stephen: The Murder That Changed a Nation, a documentary on the 1993 racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in the U.K., via BBC.
Puncturing the bubble of Canadian smugness and naive assumptions of a post-racial nation, Cole chronicles just one year—2017—in the struggle against racism in Canada.
This celebration of Black resistance, from protests to art to sermons to joy, offers a blueprint for the fight for freedom and justice-and ideas for how each of us can contribute.
Bonus Read: How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.
In Automating Inequality, Virginia Eubanks systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America.
Bonus Read: Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want, by Ruha Benjamin.
Raising antiracist children is a noble goal for any parent, caregiver, or educator, but it can be hard to know where to start. Let Britt Hawthorne—a nationally recognized teacher and advocate—be your guide. Raising Antiracist Children acts as an interactive guide for strategically incorporating the tools of inclusivity into everyday life and parenting.
Bonus Read: Do the Work!: An Antiracist Activity Book, by W. Kamau Bell and Kate Schatz.