“Our voices are starting to get heard, but in today’s conversation I wanted to talk about the action.”
Aliyah Maria Bee uses her platform to support the Black Lives Matter movement through an open discussion video, addressing what we can do as a community to further the actions and protests against police brutality. The video includes the names of Black people who have lost their lives due to police brutality and racism across the United States and in other countries, including Belly Mujinga, who lost her life after she was spat on by someone who openly had coronavirus, and George Floyd.
Aliyah states that she was heavily inspired by a tweet that asked “what are we going tell our kids?” when questioned about our actions throughout 2020. She explained that she wanted to do more than just repost or tweet, but actively open up a discussion with her followers on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Furthermore, she wanted to use her platform to send her condolences to Belly Mujinga and Christian Mbulu’s family and friends, in which Mbulu was closely related to many of Aliyah’s. “I didn’t have to know him to understand the pain of losing such a young, talented, black man,” she says.
“I’m so happy with the protests and the riots,” Aliyah says, explaining how people’s voices are finally being heard across the world, and the importance of what speaking up can do. However, she wants to discuss the action and how we can further our voices, “What can we do to take action and actually make change?”
One of the key elements Aliyah addresses in her video is ownership – “ownership is key” – and goes on to discuss how society needs more Black-owned business, such as schools, banks and hospitals. By supporting small Black-owned brands and business, we are helping to build up the community and are on the road to “taking over” larger brands, such as Gucci and Pretty Little Thing.
She suggests that, by boycotting brands, we shouldn’t just “callout” their wrongdoings through tweets, but, instead, actively take part in switching our consumerism to Black-owned brands and businesses.
“It’s just so frustrating. I just really want change,” Aliyah says, expressing her views on how 2020 will have an impact on all of our lives and the importance of our actions in the present. She once again expresses her pride surrounding the protests and sends her condolences to George Floyd’s family.
Finally, she thanks the video of George Floyd that went viral, allowing everyone to “speak on what’s really happening”.”Can you imagine all the things that have happened, that [don’t] get documented?” She states.
Aliyah ends the video by inviting her viewers to start a discussion, not only in the comment section, but with family members and friends. She encourages others to ask the question, “What can I do? Whether White, Black, Latina.” We all have a part to play in this historical movement. “Little things go a long way” – even donating a small amount can make a big change.
Aliyah has included links for articles, petitions and more ways to help the Black Lives Matter movement in the description of her video, thus, encouraging us to educate, read and further our own knowledge of what we can do individually to make an impact.