We just want to start off by saying thank you to everyone who purchased 411 merchandise over the last couple of weeks. We were able to donate to The Minnesota Freedom Fund, ALCU, and the NAACP. As we start to share some of our regular content we want to reiterate the importance of continuing the conversation. We will continue to share resources, ideas, and posts that resonate with us. This movement is a marathon, not a sprint, so we all need to be sure to keep our foot on the gas. The power of people coming together can make a change, and we are dedicated to being a part of such a change. We are working towards listening more with open ears, doing research on our own, and donating to funds and organizations we are passionate about. Doing your part no matter how big or small makes a difference.
Background Information On The Organizations We Chose To Donate To:
Minnesota Freedom Fund - The Minnesota Freedom Fund “pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for those who cannot afford to as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing”.
ALCU- The American Civil Liberties Union's ( ACLU) mission is to "defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States”.
NAACP - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's vision is "to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.”
Our collective goals are to learn more, educate ourselves, and do research. We have always loved to read and continuously give book reccommondations to our followers. That being said, we have compiled a few of our most valued, eye-opening reads that we have gained the most knowledge from. These books are all ones we have read and are in the midst of re-reading. Take a moment for yourself, get outside, and read these books. The content and lessons found within their pages contain immeasurable value and everyone should be encouraged to read them.
BOOKS TO READ
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas- I read this book right before the movie came out in 2018. I was enrolled in a creative writing course during my senior year of undergrad and we were allowed to choose any book to write a report on. This book was highly suggested, so much so that it was sold out or back-ordered almost everywhere at the time. I waited nearly 3 weeks to get in from the library and began reading. This was a book I finished in almost one sitting. This book is relevant to the George Floyd case, and sadly many others. In this book, Starr Carter is a young black female who struggles to balance the two opposing sides to her life. She attends a prep school that has mostly white privileged students but she lives in a mainly black underprivileged community. This balance became more of a struggle when Starr witnesses her childhood best friend get shot and die at the hand of a police officer. Starr faces a lot of pressure but uses her voice to make a difference in her community.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - This book is a historical fiction novel that touches on many different events over the course of hundreds of years. Each chapter is similar to short stories and is written in the voice of many different characters all of whom are descendants of an Asante Woman. The book goes from slavery in Ghana all the way to immigrants in America’s society today. This book has already won many awards and was one of my favorite reads of the year.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates - I read this book for my social work class in college during my freshman year. The book was written from the point of view of letters between a father and son who came to terms of what it means to be black in America. It highlights experiences from his childhood home, at college, and in his everyday life. This book illustrates the past and gives us a vision on what to do moving forward. The first time I read this book, I was trying to finish it as fast as I could to write my paper for class before the deadline. The second time around reading it, it is now on my own time and I am taking away so much more information to better myself and gain more knowledge.
A People’s History of The United States by Howard Zinn - This was another book I read for my social work class. This book highlights everything that was never mentioned in our history books in high school. It is raw and uncomfortable but such an important read. It shows you a different side of history that shapes the lives of black individuals in society.
As you know we love a good podcast. We have spent this week listening to some new podcasts. Here are some of the ones we listened to and reflected on this week:
PODCATS TO LISTEN TO
1619 by New York Times, Hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones
CodeSwitch by MPR (we suggest one of the most recent episodes “A Decade of Watching Black People Die”)
United States of Anxiety by WNYC
Shut off your usual Netflix binge and put on one of these documentaries/movies. These specific ones have opened our eyes, started conversations, and allow us to reflect on black lives in America today.
THINGS TO WATCH
When They See Us (Netflix documentary)
13th (Netflix documentary)
The Hate U Give (Hulu)
We encourage you to support the black community in any way you can. As a small business, we wanted to share some incredible black owned businesses as well as other black influencers that we have found and love.
PEOPLE TO FOLLOW - These individuals are people who we follow that we think have an authentic sense of style and aesthetics that we love. These ladies have used their platforms to educate, speak, and shed light on the Black Lives Matter Movement.
@thelanguageofyolande (Blogger *watch her story highlight on what it is like being a black blogger in the U.S*)
@Valencia_valencia (Teacher, helps develop more progressive and impactful lesson plans)
@Asiyami_gold (Brand owner and major fashion inspo)
@aurorajames (Brand owner and posts important resources)
BRANDS WE LOVE- Here are a few of the black owned brands that we love including clothing, home decor, beauty, and everything in between.
@Omathelabel (clothing and the cutest jewelry)
@brandyreneeshop (digital artist)
@byzeena (stylish accessories)
@golde (health and beauty)
@briogeo (hair products, smells AMAZING)
@brothervellies (really cute shoes)
@homebybe (home decor #housegoals)
We want to thank everyone we have had uncomfortable but important conversations with this week. We have collected these resources throughout this whole week with some newly followed by us, some old. We will continue to post and vouch for all matters that are important to us and we thank you for your continued support. If you have a suggestion for another resource or person to follow we would love to hear from all of you.
Sara & Julia