On #BlackTuesday, 7x7 had to make a choice: As publishers, do we put up a black square on Instagram and Facebook and go dark to make a statement, or do we continue with our work—after all, we feel fortunate to still have work we can do these days.
There may be no wrong answer, but at 7x7 we feel a responsibility to use our platform to contribute. As an independent, woman-owned publisher based in San Francisco and Oakland, we've always made it our mission to amplify local voices and causes. We regularly champion women movers and shakers and we are longtime active supporters of the LGBTQ rights movement and a media sponsor to San Francisco Pride. We try to bolster indie makers, small businesses, and local nonprofits on the daily. But today we are owning up to the fact that we could have done more over the years to support the Bay Area's Black communities; today we're stepping up to ask what we can do to help. The short answer: We can tell your stories.
We'll start with this, a (running) list of resources for how we can all engage and take action for racial justice now. You can join the movement by supporting black-owned businesses and restaurants; by reading up on how to be a better antiracist; by donating directly to Black Lives Matter; by calling your legislators. If we've missed something great, send it to us.
We are also putting out a call for Black stories. We hope you'll share your suggestions with us on Instagram or Facebook, and also find fresh profiles on incredible Black Bay Areans in the Locals We Love section of our site.
Black lives matter.
Resist! And support black-run initiatives and nonprofits.
Founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's murderer, Black Lives Matter, the East Bay–based global organization and movement for liberation and justice has a slew of resources and ways to get involved on its website. You can start by signing their newest petition to defund the police and distribute funding into black communities, then find creative and artistic programming, educational data, links to donate, and BLM merch. // blacklivesmatter.com
Low on cash in the age of Covid-19? You can still support Black Lives Matter, and its affiliated nonprofits, to get bail funds to jailed protesters without spending a dime. Simply stream a YouTube video where all advertising revenue goes to various BLM-associated funds. // YouTube
Get to know the Oakland-based Black Futures Lab, an org founded by BLM cofounder Alicia Garza that works with black people "to transform our communities by building Black political power & changing the way power operates in cities and states." // instagram.com/blackfutureslab
Black Earth Farms is a grassroots Pan African and Pan Indigenous farming collective growing food in the East Bay. They are taking donations of food both for those jailed during protest and for folks organizing bail funds and medical resourcs. // instagram.com/blackearthfarms, venmo: @blackearthfarms, cash app: $blackearth
Find a schedule of upcoming protests around the Bay Area. // sf.funcheap.com
Be an antiracist.
Our friends at the San Francisco Public Library have put together a reading list with book recommendations for everyone who wishes to be a better antiracist. Suggestions include Ibram X. Kendi's How to Be an Antiracist, Robin J. DiAngelo's White Fragility, Austin Channing-Brown's I'm Still Here, and several more. There's also a terrific list for kids. // For more book recommendations, follow the SFPL on Instagram, instagram.com/sfpubliclibrary.
City Lights Bookstore's Antiracist Reading List is expectedly thoughtful and diverse. Pick up copies of W.E.B. Dubois' Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America;Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Til to Trayvon Martin; Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot, and many more. // citylightsbooks.tumblr.com
Support black-owned businesses in the Bay Area.
Ever heard of the BAOBOB Directory? You have now. The group, whose moniker stands for Bay Area Organization of Black Owned Businesses, is exactly what it sounds like. Sign up to download their list where you'll find a bit of everything: yoga studios, dog groomers, fashion retailers, architects, salons and spas, coffee shops, business services, and more. // baobobdirectory.com
Put your money where your heart is and drop some dollars at local, black-owned boutiques and fashion/beauty brands. There are plenty of beloved brands and shops here—we've curated some of our favorites. // 7x7.com
Visit Oakland is leading the charge to support local and black- and PoC-owned businesses in The Town, in addition to its many ongoing good works to clean up and revitalize neighborhoods. Head over to their website to donate and volunteer for various local grassroots initiatives. // visitoakland.com
You can also donate to the Bay Area Black Owned Business Relief Fund. // gofundme.com
Power change through art.
The Tracy Piper, a San Francisco–based former circus performer turned figurative painter, has launched a highly chromatic and powerful fine art print, Black Lives Matter, along with Voss Gallery. Available for purchase for $80 with curbside pickup, delivery, and international shipping, all proceeds will benefit Black Lives Matter. // At Voss Gallery, 3344 24th St., vossgallery.art/collections/the-tracy-piper
Leave it to the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) to take a creative approach to activism. Typically available in the Black Power section of the museum's Gallery of California History, their Take Action cards are going virtual on Instagram. Each one makes a statement or a suggestion—"Vote With Your Bank Account," "Check Your Privilege," "Buy a Sweet Potato Pie"—then follows with actionable resources for getting involved. Follow along on IG, and share the cards to your feed and stories. If you have an idea for future cards, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. // instagram.com/oaklandmuseumca
Oakland-based photographer Amir Abdul-Shakur captures the dignity and beauty of the Black Lives Matter movement. Learn more about the "visual abolitionist" and follow him on Instagram to see his powerful imagery and get updates on future exhibitions.
Order takeout from black-owned restaurants around the Bay Area.
San Francisco Chronicle food writer Soleil Ho and her team began with a well-organized Google Doc of eateries from Antioch to Vallejo; now, it's an easy-to-search project of the Chron. Order up from the likes of Pietisserie in Berkeley, Alamar and Miss Ollie's in Oakland, and Little Skillet and Ungrafted in San Francisco—and in the organizers' words, "tip heavy, and be kind." // projects.sfchronicle.com
SF Eater also has a roundup of sites and apps highlighting black-owned restaurants. // sf.eater.com
Buy a face mask from black Bay Area designer.
We love Oakland-based Sonson for its gorgeous African textiles in vibrant patterns and hues, and since the start of the pandemic, we've been raving about their face coverings. Hey, if you gotta wear a mask, it may as well have swagger. Designer Rashima Sonson is doing masks as well as combos with masks and headwraps for women and now bowties (their signature product) for the men. Order them before they sell out. // sonson.com
Show up for racial justice.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), which "moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability," has local chapters throughout the Bay Area. They also have a very handy weekly newsletter that features upcoming local events alongside resources for taking action such as specific legislators to call, petitions to sign, articles to read, and places to donate. // surjbayarea.org
KQED has put together a solid list of ways we can all get involved in the growing movement for racial justice, both at home in the Bay Area and in the greater United States. They list resources for how to donate to on-the-ground activists as well as to non-emergency grassroots organizations; antiracist educational programming; tips for engaging with your community; and more. // kqed.org