5 Ways For Families To Put #BlackLivesMatter Into Action

July 12, 2016  |  



Like any decent human being, my world and sanity took a nosedive after witnessing the horrific deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile last week via social media. I was broken hearted, disturbed, angry, confused, perplexed, stressed, and traumatized to witness two innocent men lose their lives without sound cause.

I stress the word innocent, because in America we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Why is it that 250 years post our Declaration to Independence, 150 years post the Emancipation Proclamation, and 52 years post the enactment of our civil rights, we are still struggling with how to avail life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all Americans?

As Americans, we live in the wealthiest and most diverse nation in the world, where complex technology and algorithms are more understandable to the masses than peace and love.  Talk about a travesty, and I am, quite frankly, sick and tired of being sick and tired.

In the words of Martin Payne, “can’t we all just get along?”

At the end of each day, I close my eyes and I say a prayer for a better tomorrow. I do not say a prayer for a better tomorrow as a Black woman, as an American, as a heterosexual, etc. I say a prayer as a human being hopeful and positive and desiring of better conditions for all human beings. You know why?

Because I recognize, that if my neighbor’s house burns down, well, I am at risk of becoming homeless too.

Yes, #BlacklivesMatter because #alllivesmatter, but the point of life is to live it well. In this regard, #BlackLivesMatter has yet to be proven.

If you would like facts on the quality of life for Black people in America and you cannot get it anecdotally from a Black American you love and trust, begin with The American Human Development Index Report. This reports measures the wellbeing of individuals in the United States based on life span, education, and income.

According to the AHDI, Black Americans have the second lowest AHDI at 3.81 out of 10. The quality of life for Black Americans is slightly higher than Native Americans who rank the lowest at 3.55. Both ethnic groups are well below the national AHDI of 5.03. Black Americans have the shortest life span of all racial groups in the United States of America.

We can debate about why, how, who, when, what, but it does not matter. We cannot change the past, and we cannot impact the present worrying about it. We must act now by organizing sound solutions to implement. Sounding off on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter helps to release stem, but is not going to get the job done.

I highly doubt Harriet Tubman screamed outside Master’s door for hoping he would finally free her. No, she had patience and sense enough to make a plan, connect a team, and put it all into action.

I present to you my five ways for families to put #BlackLivesMatter into action:

Self Love

People that love themselves do not need permission to live well, they just do so by all means necessary. No more excuses, we matter, and we know it. Now is the time to live like it. The hope of Black excellence is why our ancestors cancelled out suicide as a resolve to slavery. We must finally begin to love ourselves to the point where external validation is irrelevant.

Focus On The Family

Family is the backbone of humanity. We must prioritize filling our homes with love, joy, peace, faith, and truth at all times. If we cannot get along with our own loved ones, we are doomed with strangers. If you have never read The Moynihan Report, get to it quick fast and in a hurry. Then go check out some YouTube videos by Dr. Joy Degruy. If we are going to heal, we must be able to pinpoint our wounds. Love for ourselves and each other are seriously the greatest assets we could ever invest in.

Financial Boycott

We must stop the economic rape of the 99 percent. Stop spending! Black Americans are the highest consumers on paper, and the lowest producers. A dollar circulates less than one time in the Black community. The average Black-owned business makes $77,000 a year in revenue. The average white-owned business makes about $470,000 a year. We have no equity. Philanthropy is not a business model, and business is the number change agent of all time next to war.


Protests should disrupt business as usual, highways, banks, stores, congress, etc. shut it all down until #BlackLivesMatter is a living truth in these United States. People are dying and death is non-refundable. This is a serious matter. If boots on the ground is your call, get to it. We must be in formation. Another way to disrupt culture is to work our way from the inside. We must get in position to make decisions. We must have seats at tables where our cultural currency disrupts the norm. There are many ways to protest.

Think Happy Thoughts

Mental health and wellness is everything. Our power lies within a peaceful mind. A broken-hearted, disturbed, angry, confused, perplexed, stressed, and traumatized mind cannot and will not change a thing. We must be able to think clearly and positively towards the future.

These solutions are not one-size fits all. They are an offering of revelation after a week of hopelessness and despair. I believe we can all try to implement at least one solution, do our best, and keep it moving. Like Biggie said, “we cannot change the world unless we change ourselves.”

The relationship of the oppressor and the oppressed is symbiotic. The moment the oppressed realizes their God given freedom to be, they will quickly retreat from operating as less than free. It’s freedom time!


Clarissa Joan is a spiritual life coach and editor-in-chief of The Clarissa Joan Experience, a multi-media inspirational platform. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband, their two baby girls, and a yorkie named Ace.

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