Every time we end up in a moment similar to the one that is currently happening, you ask about how to be an ally. And to be honest, I usually pretend not to hear the question. But this time I got you.

To be clear, I’m not here as a champion of the Black capitalist brigade (Because: Capitalism, *insert side eye*). However, I think it’s important that you open up them wallets and purses since you know the power of the dollar bill. And you know how hard this country has fought against letting us have that 40 acres and mule.

You hear us every February talking about “Support Black-owned businesses”… why do you think that doesn’t include you? Why should the fight for freedom only be funded by a people who have a net worth dwarfed 10x over by white Americans? We have less access to business loans, redlined, and are pushed out of our historic neighborhoods whenever a city feels like rewriting the rules. All this, done in favor of gentrifiers who “love the culture” of the area… but not always the folx who were there before them.

What an Ally is NOT

Today, I am telling you that you should put your money where your “thinking of you” is. Everyone needs to divest from racist institutions and performative wokeness (See: PR stunts of Black Lives Matter from notoriously racist institutions)

Featured below are 5 Black women to follow and support. Their work centers around joy and wellness, rooted in their identities and inextricably linked to the communities they come from:

Meet Elyse & Be More Connected

Be More Connected supports leaders, changemakers and visionaries to become more aligned, inspired and energized through yoga, mindfulness and Human Design; because our ability to serve the world expands in relationship to our ability to care for our mind, body and soul. 

Offerings:

  • Human Design Readings
  • Yoga and Meditation Sessions
  • 1-on-1 Mentorship
  • Workshops and Trainings

Where to Find Her:

Her Story:

Elyse started her career as a youth development professional who experienced overwhelm and burnout in the direct service field, and set out on a journey to learn how to better care for herself and her community. In her process, she became trained as a yoga instructor with Baltimore Yoga Village, studied trauma-informed yoga with BodyWise Foundation and completed Human Design Reader Training with World Leading Expert, Jenna Zoe.

Be More Connected was created to inspire healing, self-understanding and personal empowerment for leaders and changemakers seeking to center their healing while being of service to the world. Elyse is particularly motivated and inspired to support changemakers of color to come home to themselves and lead change in their communities in a sustainable and aligned way. To learn more, visit www.bemoreconnected.net

Support Elyse’s Work:

Meet Jessica & With Love By: Jessie

With Love by: Jessie provides affordable baked goods and treats including but not limited to custom cakes and cupcakes, cheesecakes, chocolate covered items such as strawberries and Oreos, and a wide variety of other items.

Where to Find Her:

Her Story:

With Love by: Jessie started as a means to alleviate the stress of daily life. Something about surrounding myself with ingredients and making magic happen engulfed me. It is something that I find comfort in doing. It helped me to learn patience, both with myself and others.

Support: CashApp – $jmrose213

Meet Ololade & The Fit Lade

The Fit Lade, Ololade, is a fitness enthusiast and proud advocate for all things self-care and maintaining mental health.

Where to Find Her

Her Story:

I started working out in college because I wanted to change my appearance and become more attractive to society. (Obviously, I realize now that was problematic lol). But, I noticed it was having a positive impact on me mentally as it helped me better manage my anxiety and boosted my self esteem. After years of falling in love with exercise and gaining a stronger and healthier body in the process, I decided to start @thefitlade with the hope to encourage others to fall in love with their bodies with exercise and have a better relationship with food. 

Many people are chasing this mythical idea of perfection or “body goals” which can have them frustrated in the long run, because oftentime these “goals” might not be attainable/sustainable for the average person or worse, some of these goals might not even be natural/real (i.e photoshop or surgery).

Fitness to me is more than what the body looks like, it is holistic. I share health facts to enlighten people about simple things they can do to positively impact their lives. I want people to understand there is no one standard representation of a “fit” body. If I can help just one person feel motivated to exercise, eat healthy and not bash their body, I know I have fulfilled my mission.

Support: CashApp – $oethomas

Meet Kezia & Native Tongue

Kezia is a spoken word artist, author, poetry coach, child advocate & mental health advocate. She also has a t-shirt line called Native Tongue

Where To Find Her:

Her Story:

I’ve been writing since I was 7 years old. It was my outlet for an otherwise very shy & introverted little girl. I was convinced to take speech & drama courses in high school and my love of the stage flourished from there. I’ve been performing spoken word for the last 14 years. Words is my thing and words on a t-shirt? Boom. T-shirt line.

I believe the purpose of my poetry is healing and I’ve experienced countless examples of healing for myself & others over the years. It’s the way I connect and impact both people I know and people I don’t.

Support: Paypal – heytherekezia@gmail.com, CashApp – $kezias

And Then There’s Me 🙂

Pat Pontificates is a platform born of a commitment to share my story. A commitment to live and express the musings of my most authentic life, and to encourage everyone to keep mental wellness at the top of their priority list.

Where You Can Find Me:

My Story:

Prior to now, I tiptoed around people’s feelings as much as I could. I allowed people to make me second guess myself. From hyper humility to general insecurity, I often shrunk myself for the sake of the others in the room once I felt like I was possibly doing too much. I wanted to be picture perfectly unthreatening and “professional” but honestly, I’m a chunky black woman who wears 20-inch weaves, long nails, hoop earrings, and high waisted pants religiously. I was never going to be cookie-cutter enough for anyone. Read More About Me.

I encourage everyone to create their own box when they box someone tries to force you in doesn’t fit who you are. Thank you all for supporting me and engaging with my content thus far.

Always remember: #SupportBlackWomen

Additional Reading: More resources on how to be a ally

how to be an ally - pinterest image