How active allyship can support black communities beyond marching, social media

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The death of George Floyd has sparked overwhelming support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the fight to end racial injustice. It has also ignited social media campaigns like Blackout Tuesday, shining light on the movement and support for the black community.

Also evident is the growing number of allies taking a stand against racism, but what does true allyship look like, even when the marches fade?

"In homes with families, in organizations and churches, and corporations, there's so much pressure here, so we take what started out online and in hashtags, and come back into our offices, in our homes, and sit at the table, and say, 'What are we going to do about all those things that we just said?,'" Dr. Felicia Harris, Assistant Director of Critical Race Studies at the University of Houston-Downtown told ABC13.

She says it's critical for non-black allies to continue putting pressure on systems that perpetuate racial inequality.

"Now is the time to say, 'Well you know that policy, that seems to be a little harmful for people of color.' Let's really do an audit of all the policies, the systems, the practices, the processes that we use every day and see how they could be contributing to this larger structural systemic racism that we're experiencing in the world today," she said.

Harris says educating yourself on racial injustice is important in continuing the fight for equality.

"Starting with a Google search, ordering a book, reading a book, listening, maybe just spending some time soaking up all the things that you're reading online and processing it is obviously a good place to start," she said.

Harris also encourages people to support black businesses and organizations, and to speak up even when it's uncomfortable.

"It may seem like a small thing to do, but every single interaction, every single opportunity to challenge and confront something that can contribute to systemic and structural racism is really impactful. It means a lot," she said.

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