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Black Lives Matter: Ways to Educate Yourself

{By Lina Hilal)

There are many prominent issues within the blind and visually impaired community--all equally problematic and impactful. Unfortunately, little is done to address and resolve these issues, rendering many individuals ignorant to their problematic behaviors, which may potentially harm a blind or visually impaired individual. This is unfortunate, especially since the blind and visually impaired community is one of many others that faces discrimination and ignorance from others simply due to a factor outside their realm of control. Due to these precise and unfortunate circumstances, it is up to the community to band along with others in a show of solidarity to educate others and secure basic respect and rights.

[Image of multicolored hands intertwined]

Recently, George Floyd, an innocent black man, was killed by officer Derek Chauvin. Many question the relevance of this occurrence in relation to their own lives, and it is important to understand that this is in fact very relevant to all communities. The blind community faces discrimination to some extent due to our society’s failure to educate others on the topic of visual impairment. It is currently our job as people coming from every community to protect and support the basic human rights of all people, especially communities of color. If society has failed the marginalized groups within itself, then it is the duty of the people to rise up and reclaim their right to proper justice.

[Image of woman holding up a sign that says "We Will Not Be Silenced"]

Many may find it difficult to become involved; however, there are many ways aside from attending protests to contribute. One of the most important things for any person to do, regardless of the ability to go out is to educate themselves on the topics of current racism and injustices within our society.

One way to be a significant contributor to the Black Lives Matter movement is listening to related podcasts and audiobooks, as they educate many individuals and give them the information they need to support the movement.

Some podcasts I would recommend are: Sandy and Nora talk politics, Still processing, and The Stoop.

Some books you could listen to as audiobooks that I would personally recommend are: “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo, “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, and “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander.

It is important for everyone to educate themselves before they seek any sort of change. Everyone must do their part to stand up against oppression of all kinds. I am starting to listen to some of these podcasts and will begin reading or listening to these audio books soon. This is no longer about politics; people’s lives are on the line, so please try to do your part in bringing about change for not only the black community but for all marginalized communities. The journey starts here and now.

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