It’s easy to get caught up in the surge of energy around #blacklivesmatter right now. Sharing social media posts, following Black people and expressing disgust at George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police… that’s all easy. It’s a bit harder to take action, like donating to a fund that supports social justice, attending a protest or buying a book on how to end racism. It’s harder still to take ONGOING action.
But if we truly want to see change, we need to take ongoing action. Actually read that book on white supremacy and do the exercises. Vote in every election, not just the big ones. Support Black-owned businesses, Black artists and creators consistently – not just when it’s trendy. We all have different gifts and the opportunity to show anti-racism in different ways. Here are a few of the actions I’m taking as a small business owner to support ongoing change.
Making regular contributions to charities that fight racism
Every Black History Month, at least 9% of Phoenix & Lotus’s sales will go to an organization dedicated to ending racism. I chose the 9% minimum as a reminder of the nearly 9 minutes (8 minutes and 46 seconds) that George Floyd suffered under a white police officer’s knee.
I’m including both February and June 2020 to get the ball rolling.
Learning more about Black tarot and oracle decks
We all deserve to see our stories reflected in the cards. But including images of BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and other people who have traditionally been persecuted isn’t enough; those images need to be used in thoughtful ways that don’t exploit, minimize or misrepresent members of those groups. I’m taking the time to understand why decks like the Ghetto Tarot or Motherpeace Tarot are problematic. Listening to why Black people were angry about the original 10 of Swords in the Light Seer’s Tarot and respecting their feelings.
Beyond that, it means not stocking decks that include cultural appropriation, perpetuate harmful stereotypes, or exploit Blacks. It means looking at every card in every deck I’m considering stocking and asking myself how someone without white privilege might interpret that card. I’ll consult reviews by Black readers to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I want to learn to better identify racism over time by listening to and learning from Black folx. I’m committing to finding decks I can recommend to readers asking me about melanated decks (in addition to Courtney Alexander’s stunning Dust II Onyx Tarot).
Supporting Black deck creators and tarot readers
I will actively seek out decks by Black artists, back their projects on Kickstarter and ask to carry their work in my shop. I’ll get readings from Black readers and recommend their work. I’ll share Black readers’ deck reviews and the spreads they create and ensure I give them them proper credit. I will promote their services, courses and workshops.
Ongoing change takes work. This is some of the work I’m signing up for right now.