One Small Step For Racial Justice
June 01, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Looking to keep people encouraged, Hulu’s “One Small Action” campaign is amplifying powerful voices like author Frederick Joseph, who recently shared with Blavity his thoughts on injustice, fighting fatigue and reminding us all that every small step is essential in the fight toward systematic change.
This editorial is a commissioned op-ed by Frederick Joseph.
As a Black person in America, I’m tired. Tired of waking up and not knowing what new trauma will seep into my bones. What new video of injustice will be etched into my memory. What new name will become a hashtag.
Whether I will become a hashtag.
But I keep going, because I learned a long time ago that the road to racial justice is daunting, long and filled with uncertainty. But like any road, it’s about taking steps and meeting other travelers with the same goals along the way.
On this particular road, those steps are defined by the actions we take to combat racism and white supremacy. While there are many different things one can do to support racial justice, I often choose to use my time physically demonstrating. But when I can’t be on the frontlines, I use social media platforms and writing, such as my new book on racism and white privilege, The Black Friend, to inform and uplift others.
But the way everyone takes action looks different, and that’s okay. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as you’re doing something. Again, every step, big or small, is still movement in the right direction.
My late grandmother was the person who taught me the importance of taking action and getting involved.
When I was growing up, she was always in the community doing something to help others around her. She was the kind of person who would give food to the neighbor if they were in need, even if we were in need, too. For a long time, I didn’t understand why she would help others while we were struggling.
I recall being about 9 years old and my grandmother telling me to take some biscuits over to her neighbor because they didn’t have any. I knew we needed the biscuits as much as they did, so I decided to pretend as if I brought them but then snuck them back into the kitchen. Needless to say, my grandmother caught me.
She called me into the kitchen, where she was holding the extra biscuits, and asked why I hadn’t brought them to the neighbor. I explained that we needed food, too, and we shouldn’t help other people.
Her response defined the rest of my life. “Frederick, our family is a miracle. With nothing to our names except the clothes on our back, we came up to New York to escape threats by the Klan back in North Carolina. The only reason we were able to do that is because people helped us, and as long as this family stands, we will return the favor by helping people on their journey.”
That’s why regardless of how tired I am, I know there is always something I can do.
Thankfully, as was the case for my family, I never feel like I’m walking this road alone. There are many individuals and groups who are taking up the challenge of being allies, and that helps give me the energy I need to keep walking.
One of those allies is Hulu. Understanding the need to not only speak up, but to also support the voices and work of the people being oppressed, Hulu has created campaigns such as One Small Action. This is a resource for individuals seeking information on initiatives and organizations that are doing the work to combat racial inequality. The site also provides small actions that can be taken to support the highlighted organizations.
This campaign is important because it gives us all a chance to take action in ways that are best for us. Hulu also understands that it’s not about their company being the leader of this journey; it’s about uplifting and supporting the people who have been doing the work long before and making sure they are resourced and given the largest platform possible for their voices and work.
This is what more media companies and allies need to do. Listen, learn and create space for a wealth of Black voices and organizations helping further demonstrate just how dynamic and diverse we are.
The way Hulu has chosen to take their step, it doesn’t have to look the same as mine, nor does it have to look the same as yours. What matters is that we are all on the road — together.
This editorial is brought to you in partnership with Hulu.