Black Lives Matter: Resources, Support, and Thoughts on Racism and Intersectionality

A Regularly Updated Resource Guide for Allies

Hello all,⁣

I have seen so many great resources online on how to support the Black Lives Matter movement and those actively fighting against systemic racism and oppressive regimes on the front lines. ⁣

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, like one person doesn’t matter, but that mentality will never get us out of this mess. ⁣

Below, you’ll find links to articles, books, and organizations the support in the fight against racism. It’s not perfect yet and I’m still adding links, but I wanted to get it up and running in case you find it useful. ⁣

This resource guide also features some thoughts and analysis on intersectionality and white privilege. As a privileged white woman, myself, I am forever grateful to the amazing college educators that I had who opened my eyes to these important topics, and helped me to see the world with a more compassionate and understanding eye. As anxious as I am about saying the wrong thing, I hope that these thoughts might help open other people’s minds, and they certainly won’t do any good just swirling around my own head at 3 AM. ⁣

I will also be adding information about Black-owned businesses to support, inspired by a couple of great Instagram posts I’ve seen (the Insta posts themselves are currently linked below). ⁣

The world is a depressing place, but education is a inspiring. Embrace its warmth and share it with others.

Goals for this Resource Guide for Allies

I intend this page to be a resource guide for allies supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and protests currently taking place throughout the country. It is my plan to update it as I come across new information, so please check back for more information in the coming days.

Register to Vote

First and foremost, register to vote and sign up to receive your ballot by mail, if at all possible. With all the COVID-19 uncertainties, now is not the time to assume you’ll have a chance to go to your polling place on Election Day. Voting by mail is easy and secure. Sign up now and you won’t have to worry about it when November comes. is making it SUPER EASY to check your registration, to register to vote, and to sign up to vote by mail.

Educational Resources to Promote Awareness and Understanding of the Black Lives Matter Movement

News, Articles, and Videos Relating to Black Lives Matter and Systemic Racism

Infographics/Instagram Posts About the Black Lives Matter Movement and Ways to Support BIPOC

Books Relating to Black Lives Matter and Systemic Racism

I am linking most of these via Amazon or a publisher’s page, but encourage you to buy from small, independent bookstores — preferably Black-owned book stores — if possible. I’ve added a list of shops you might consider further down on the page, with links.

These are books I’ve either read, am currently reading, or have been recommended.

The Amazon links are affiliate links, and I plan to donate any money I earn from these links to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Organizations to Support and Donate To

Easy Ways to Reach Out to Government Representatives to Demand Justice

Black-Owned Businesses You Can Support From Anywhere in the World

Black-Owned Clothing and Jewelry Stores and Boutiques

Home Goods, Art, and Decor Stores Owned by BIPOC

Black-Owned Independent Bookstores

I’ve seen a handful of informational Instagram posts about independent Black-owned bookstores to support, including this post. I’ve gathered the direct website links for the listed shops below.

Skincare & Beauty Companies Run by BIPOC

Links compiled below are from this post by @idewcare. @esteelanundry has a huge list here and are regularly posting updates.

Historical and Academic FAQ

I don’t want to add to the noise, but I wanted to share some perspectives on intersectionality and white privilege. My eyes were opened by some amazing liberal arts teachers in college, and I hope I can share that insight with others.


Intersectionality is an important theory and lens with which to view politics. By viewing events and actions with an intersectional lens, we may break through discomfort and recognize the different facets of the human experience that affect us all.

Intersectionality is often referenced in regards to intersectional feminism, which traditionally focused on the interaction of race and gender. Intersectional feminism calls on us to listen to different experiences and kinds of feminism, as opposed to simply those experiences we have felt ourselves.

Aspects of our identities that may impact one another in such a manner include, but are not limited to: gender, race, age, class, socioeconomic status, physical or mental ability, gender or sexual identity, religion, or ethnicity.

Life is complicated and our identities intermingle, which can and often results in an interplay of various types of discrimination. The ways we are raised makes a big difference in how we see and interact with the world. Intersectionality allows us to view the compounding forms of discrimination an individual or group of people experience.

Viewing current events through an intersectional lens basically boils down to recognizing that someone’s experience is an amalgamation of different identities.

For example, white women and Black women both experience sexism, but the sexism experienced by Black women differs in the sense that it is also racially motivated. White women maintain some social capital based on the color of their skin, then, even if they are nonetheless subjected to sexism. Throw in socioeconomic status, for a further complication, and picture how society treats a wealthy white woman, versus a poor white woman, versus a wealthy Black woman, versus a poor Black woman.

White Privilege

In my mind, thanks to some amazing liberal arts teachers I had during college and law school, intersectionality and privilege are almost bookends within which we may engage in social analysis. Relatedly, it appears to me as if these theories — especially the concept of white privilege — are major factors for the “all lives matter” backlash response we’ve been seeing so much of lately.

Privilege — white privilege in particular — is an uncomfortable topic. Everyone faces difficulties in life, and no one likes feeling like those difficulties are being sidelined. However, that is not what is truly happening when discussing privilege.

Having white privilege and recognizing it is not racist. But white privilege exists because of historic, enduring racism and biases. Therefore, defining white privilege also requires finding working definitions of racism and bias. 

What is White Privilege, Really? Recognizing white privilege begins with truly understanding the term itself – Cory Collins, Teaching Tolerance

White privilege can be seen in all aspects of society, from the seemingly-innocuous (IE: hair care for white people being held in the “hair care” aisle while products Black people need are separated in a smaller section labeled “ethnic hair products”) to the overtly racist (IE: Amy Cooper).

Through white privilege, inequalities compound, not unlike how discrimination compounds through the lens of intersectionality. Many of the benefits conferred through white privilege — such as society viewing white as “normal,” society giving white people the “benefit of the doubt,” and society conferring historically accumulated power and wealth on white people — are hardly new. Instead, they are the results of centuries of racial injustice, which can be traced back to the first white European invaders and settlers on the continent.

Health Disparities Case Study: How Intersectionality and White Privilege Interact to Cause Greater Inequity

As I touch on in my statement below, many of the disparities in daily life — notably, at the moment, in access to health care and police protection — are fueled by intersectional experiences of discrimination and a history of white privilege.

It is well documented that racial and ethnic minorities face challenges in accessing medical care in the U.S. It is easy to have a knee-jerk reaction and say something like “but doctors are not being racist and, therefore, that this cannot be true.” However, to do so disregards the complex layers of discrimination that cause such inequity.

For racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, health disparities take on many forms, including higher rates of chronic disease and premature death compared to the rates among whites. It is important to note that this pattern is not universal. 

Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity – National Academies Press (2017)

When one considers the term “disparities,” it is often used to refer to differences between racial groups or ethnic groups. However, it can also be used across other socioeconomic dimensions, as well, including gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, etc. (not unlike the categories listed above under intersectionality). What’s worse, the ramifications of these disparities often pass from generation to generation, making the results cyclical and even harder to break.

Look, for example, at the interaction of poverty and health care. As I touched on in my thoughts below, there is a historical pattern of the best health care or the privilege of being able to avoid illness being reserved for the wealthy. During the plagues in Europe during the Middle Ages, the poor suffered disproportionate levels of illness to the richer social elite. Why is that? At the risk of being overly brief, the wealthy were able to pay more for doctors, afford better resources, and leave cramped cities for spacious country estates where the threat of contamination was automatically going to be lower.

All this is to say that, without even considering how race plays a part in it, individuals in the United States with a lower socioeconomic status have persistently been unable to access the health care they need.

Now, ask yourself this: who is more likely to be poor in the U.S.? Based on 2018 U.S. Census data, the highest poverty rates were found among Native Americans and Blacks (25.4% and 20.8% respectively). (Click here for more statistics and sources.) Without getting into why this is the case — beyond, to say, intergenerational and inherited wealth most often associated with white families — layer the discriminatory response one faces as a poor person, regardless of race, with the racially discriminatory response Black people face.

This is, obviously, a topical analysis, as there are many factors that could be discussed further to explain the health care disparity in the country. Government policy on health insurance plays a major role; the prohibitive expense that private insurance can cost, along with the fact that insurance is often tied to one’s career, also interact with this to make an even greater mess of it all.

So, look at the outrage people felt when individuals wanted to open up the economy in order to get their hair done. If you don’t look beyond the surface, and if you forget for a moment the fact that COVID-19 is an incredibly contagious disease, then one may almost see why this can seem an innocuous sentence. (Ok, I’m tired from those mental gymnastics)

However, to do so disregards some important and uncomfortable truths. One should consider the essential workers already risking their health to keep necessary resources available. Medical professionals and support staff aside, many of the essential workers during the course of this pandemic have been minorities, particularly in the service industry. The CDC states that the “risk of infection may be greater for workers in essential industries who continue to work outside the one despite outbreaks in their communities, including some people who may need to continue working in these jobs because of their economic circumstances.” The CDC goes on to note that “nearly a quarter of employed Hispanic and Black or African American workers are employed in service industry jobs [which required them to continue going to work during the pandemic] compared to 16% of non-Hispanic whites.”

So, demanding the economy reopen so you can get your hair done disregards many of the risks that essential workers, who are disproportionately Black Americans, are already taking. It also disregards the extra risks that they would have to take in order for the reopening to occur.

What I Commit to Doing to Support Black Lives Matter and Racial Equality

I hope this page has been helpful and useful to you, but I also want to comment on what I commit to doing as an ally in support of Black Lives Matter and racial equality. Part of the discomfort many white people have been feeling is in recognizing our own failings.

I commit to expanding my understanding of intersectionality, and intersectional feminism. As someone who is passionate about women’s rights, I recognize that what I thought had been intersectional feminism in my life was not sufficient. I will be better, more cognizant of this in my daily life and in my content.

The first thing I have done is expand who I see on social media. Like many of us, I fell into the trap of following only people who looked like me. This affects our worldview, and it has certainly affected mine. In the past few days, I have followed a number of new accounts from BIPOC creators. I will continue to be mindful of this going forward.

In a similar vein, I commit to buying from more small, Black-owned businesses. I have been trying to buy from small businesses, and to use my consumerism as a small vote for the world I’d rather live in. But, related to the lack of diversity in who I was following on Instagram, I realize now I was largely looking at white-owned small businesses. I have already found so many amazing shops that I can’t wait to buy from, thanks to many of the posts on Instagram I linked above. It is my hope that you enjoy them, too.

Some Personal Thoughts on the Matter

I’m afraid I don’t have the right words, but what are the right words, really? I have felt increasingly powerless, watching as people I know – some that I love – share science-defying articles, become outspoken racism apologists, & support the US’ intersectional classist divide. I am heartsick, frustrated to feel like I’m grieving the loss of a pre-COVID “normalcy” that shouldn’t have been normal. ⁣

The CDC found that COVID-19 has been disproportionately affecting racial & ethnic minority groups. This is hardly surprising if you consider history’s pandemics. In the medieval plagues (which infected & killed indiscriminately like COVID-19) poor populations, crowded into small homes, tended to suffer disproportionate levels of illness. Society’s wealthier elite secluded themselves in large homes or countryside estates, where the risks of disease were lower. ⁣

Today, by demanding things like haircuts as a primary reason for reopening the economy, people ignore the reality of what that means. They do so at the peril of essential workers, those less fortunate than themselves, and those often of a different skin color than themselves. ⁣

For some, it is likely easy to look at this public health crisis, the maliciousness of Amy Cooper, & the outrage at the brutal murder of George Floyd as unrelated. But these things don’t occur in a vacuum. There are intersections everywhere, including between racial/social inequality & access to public resources (health or police). ⁣

I’m not here to say I know everything (I certainly don’t) or that I’ve been a perfect ally (I certainly haven’t). But I am here to say that I am tired, disheartened, & worn down by the seemingly insurmountable nature of it all. ⁣

These things are not caused by COVID; instead, this public health crisis has merely highlighted tensions & struggles that have been boiling for centuries. Our lack of leadership – the lack of humanity in their choices – highlights the limited role scientific knowledge plays in public policy, how little certain lives mean compared to others. ⁣