Over the last few weeks, anti-racism content and resources have been widely circulated on social media. While this has drawn much-needed attention to society's systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement around the world, many have pointed out that posting on social media isn’t enough. There are many ways to be an active ally – from donating, to protesting, supporting Black-owned business, and much more – and it's this action that will lead to real change. Today, we're focusing on the change-making initiatives that
support Black creatives in the UK.
The creative industries have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic; and, coupled with the racism pandemic, this has led to an outpouring of first-hand experiences. Black writers have called out
the toxic environment of publishing. Black actors have discussed the discrimination they’ve faced on the sets of some of the UK's most well-known shows. Black singers have used their platforms to reveal the racism they've encountered.
It seems getting your foot in the door of the creative industries is hard if you aren’t white, middle class, and well connected. So, to champion those who don't fall into the above categories, here are some initiatives that you should know about to
support Black creatives in the UK. 1 Black Girls In Fashion
Black Girls in Fashion is a media group and community that supports Black female creatives working in the fashion industry. Their aim is to "widen the scope of opportunity for Black girls and women", creating content on fashion and business, and cultivating connections and brand partnerships to amplify Black voices and the Black experience.
Support them here 2 Support Black LGBTQ+ Creatives
The Support Black LGBTQ+ Creatives GoFundMe was established by AZ Magazine, an online platform – including a digital magazine and events – created by four Black queer women to represent and share the stories of LGBTQ+ Black people and people of colour.
Support them here 3 Support Black Led Arts In The North
Rheima Ibrahiim-Robinson runs the Sunday Practice, an open mic and community hub in Leeds. It seeks to give Black poets, musicians, theatre-makers, and singer/songwriters from the North a platform and place to share their talents. Like many collectives, the Sunday Practice has been impacted by COVID-19 and is raising money to ensure their creators can carry on their work without anxiety.
Support them here 4 Charity So White
Charity So White started as a hashtag to create conversation about racism in the charity sector. The charity now supports activists, community leaders, creatives, and campaigners, who are working to root out racial discrimination in the charity sector.
Support them here 5 Gal-dem
Gal-dem was established to provide a voice and platform for women and non-binary people of colour. The online and print publication features long-form essays, opinion, news, arts, music, politics, and lifestyle – often profiling Black artists, musicians and creatives. Gal-dem is also incredibly supportive of new young talent.
Support them here 6 Black Ballad
Tobi Oredein established Black Ballad after working in the media industry for years and becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of representation of Black women, both in the offices she worked in and in the magazines she worked on. The online community she has now created puts out content and events to empower Black women.
Support them here 7 Inclusive Indies
Inclusive Indies is a crowdfunding campaign to help support diversity-led independent publishers tell more stories. Funds will help to support representative publishers, such as
Jacaranda Books, who champion BAME authors, and Knights Of, who create "quality content for kids - with as many perspectives as we can squeeze into the making-of each book". Support them here 8 Black LGBTQIA Therapy Fund
The creative industries in particular have called on Black people more than ever in recent weeks, as the conversation around anti-racism continues. This, understandably brings with it increased stress on mental health. The Black LGBTQIA Therapy Fund has been set up to pay for therapy sessions for individuals who are in need of this support.
Support them here