Now is the time to educate yourself on what it means to be Black in America and in the Hospitality Industry. At this point in history, we have the opportunity to create lasting change. But, we need to press forward towards a safer, more equal world based on a foundation of truth, not perception or pure emotion.
If you are a new ally, welcome to the conversation. You have taken on the mantle of learning how to be empathetic to a generations-old struggle and there is much you need to learn. Make sure to use trusted sources and scholars to get your information. The American education system has embedded in us that Black history started with slavery, but that is far from the truth.
Did you know…
- The Moors in Spain were responsible for bringing Europe out of the Dark Ages. Scientific progress in Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Geography, and Philosophy flourished in Moorish Spain.
- Nubians in about 4800 BCE developed the first archaeoastronomical devices.
- The oldest known mathematical artifact, the Lebombo bone, was found in the mountains between Swaziland and South Africa.
Black history is not just a story of oppression. It is a story of royalty, intelligence, grace, compassion, and advancement.
After you educate yourself, it’s time to build relationships. Don’t just get to know the struggle; get to know the story. Now is an amazing time to educate yourself, but you need to eventually move from the academic knowledge that teaches how we find ourselves in this current predicament to lived-in truth. You can only reach that higher understanding by realizing that Black people are much more nuanced than you could ever glean from words written by even the most prolific authors.
Systemic issues plaguing the Black community need widespread action and policy change, but the first step happens as you shift your perspective and confront your own biases. Only when you begin to see Black people as “same” instead of “other” will equality begin to take root and reach the hidden shadows of our society.
Are you unsure where to start with your anti-racist efforts and allyship? Are you feeling overwhelmed with the abundance of anti-racism information available? There are a lot of lists of books and websites that have incredibly useful advice, but they can seem daunting if you are at the beginning of your anti-racism journey.
Confusion, shame, and frustration will stop you before you even get started and you need the right tools to move forward with confidence. Your participation is critical to making enduring change.
A great video to watch to understand the Sociological frameworks of race is “Coffee Chat with a Race & Ethnicity Expert.” Presented in a casual, non-judgmental way, Brandon Harris, M.A., a Sociologist, race and ethnicity expert, doctoral candidate, and college professor, breaks down the concepts and theories you need to take action.
You have the decision-making capacity to navigate your upliftment, learning, and growth. You have the power to evolve. If we all take hold of that power, imagine how much better we could be to each other.