What is The Okra Project?
The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black trans people wherever we can reach them.
During the Middle Passage, our African ancestors snuck okra onto captive ships to sustain themselves and plant in the new world. Black Diasporic cooking traditions often use the okra plant for its versatility and it is often associated with health, prosperity, and community.
In this spirit, The Okra Project hopes to extend free, delicious, and nutritious meals to Black trans people experiencing food insecurity.
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In Part 1 of this series, I started the conversation of white supremacy and addressed the purpose of protesting to honor George Floyd and to dismantle systemic racism. In Part 2, I share steps to start changing how you look at systemic racism, resources of great social media accounts to follow, and places where you can donate.
In Part 3, I continue to expand on sharing information and resources. I also share great black owned businesses to support and further reading.
Circulate - money into the black community by supporting black owned businesses in your area. Blacks in America have about a $1.3 trillion gross national income. Only 2% of that money, about $26 billion, is re-circulated in the black community.* Money circulation within communities looks like:
- 6 hours in the Black community
- 17 days in the White community
- 20 days in the Jewish community
- 30 days in the Asian community
So, while money circulates the white community for 17 days before going into another community, money only circulates within the black community for 6 hours - often never to be seen again.***
Here is a great article about money circulation in the black community.
Here are some great black owned businesses in Brooklyn, NY (from https://www.blackownedbrooklyn.com/):
Cafe con Libros - Feminist Book Store
Urban Asanas - Yoga Studio
Stacked Yoga - Yoga Studio
Cafe on Ralph - Restaurant
28 Scott Vintage - Second Hand Clothing Store
Ethel’s Club - a clubhouse marketplace with the intention of being a space for people of color to heal and thrive. Due to COVID-19, they are not currently open in the physical sphere, but they are in the digital sphere!
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Start to Unlearn - the racist ideologies and tactics that have been ingrained in all of us since we were born. By recognizing and educating yourself, you can start to untangle the complex system of racism that’s been ingrained in our society for our entire lifetimes.
Understand - Black History is Human History. Black history is not separate from your own. White, powerful people have tried to erase black history, but together we can learn and share black history.
Some Historical Articles To Get You Started
- Before Rosa Parks, There was Claudette Colvin
- The Greenwood District aka Black Wall Street
- PBS’s 10 Little Known Black History Facts
- Who Were The Buffalo Soldiers
- 13 Facts About Black History You Didn’t Learn in School
- Madam CJ Walker
Reading Recommended by Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Confederate States of America - Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union from Avalon Project, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School
In addition to books and articles, there are many black creators in film, art, and podcasting that have been creating black-centric work for decades.
The resources above are meant to be a jumping off point, not an end-all, be-all. Please continue to educate yourself and your loved ones! Dismantling racism and restructuring our society is a life’s work.
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Meet the Author
Mental Health First Aid Certified
As the General Manager for Pongo Power, Izzy helps oversee and manage ongoing projects in all departments. Her knacks for organization and administration help Pongo Power implement the much needed systems for a growing small business!
She brings over 10 years of administrative, client-oriented and managerial experience as well as a personal passion for health and wellness! During her free time, Izzy is often at the gym/yoga studio, on a long walk through the city or searching for a new vegan restaurant!
“My passion in life is to make things as simple as possible. I believe we can achieve anything as long as we truly understand it. We can understand anything if it’s broached to us in a language we comprehend. My goal is to speak YOUR language!”