Well those are words I never thought I would write. Before yesterday I would have said “Who am I to offer anything to this community — I’m a 41 year old white guy?” Then I read an article in Vogue — also words I would never have expected to write before yesterday. Mirielle Cassandra Harper wrote a great article entitled “If you are white and Anti-racist” . in which she talks about 10 things white people can do. So I thought I would do some of them.
Point 2 — talk to your black friends
Point 3 — do the work
Point 10 — start a long term strategy, mentor young black people.
I talked to my friend, asked what she was processing and she said this: “I’ve been broken by it completely. I think Trump’s reaction of disregard will hopefully wake people up and allow deep change to happen … it happens here (in the UK) too, to a lesser extent and it’s hidden away but we don’t see it or talk about it”. She then asked me the following “What’s been your take on it and how are you finding speaking on this?”
This was my response: “I had a great with the Black American Founders Exchange in the US a couple of years ago and we then went out to hang out with the Sozo Foundation in Capetown to see, I guess, the economic apartheid that is there. Without realising it I have been on a journey of posturing towards the black community. Looking at everything on social media, the effect of Covid19 I think it has been something we have ben unaware of as a white culture and now it is firmly on the table. I don’t feel I can say much but I feel I can respond and do as appropriate … I think it takes the conversations to white and black people really healthily. I think before I might have seemed patronising if I wanted to do stuff — but now perhaps that is off the table and what is on the table is opportunity. I would love my app to be used to help young black men in particular (and women as well but I think Ineed a woman on this) to tell their story well, to upskill them so they hjave the advantage to be the best they can be and stand up. I guess they need to stand taller because they have been pushed down more”.
Next week we launch our app on the app store — to help anyone anywhere tell the stories they need to to get the jobs they didn’t think they could reach for, to succeed in business in ways they thought weren’t possible — to unlock people’s voices. This is my long term strategy for change, for not walking in step with the culture that we have been part of. I want to give the app to free for any young black man (and woman) who needs to stand tall and tell their story. Yes I have had to fight for things in life, but no, I don’t know what it is to stoop under the oppression of a culture that may expect me to fail but will surprised when I succeed celebrate me and make me a poster child if I am one of the few who succeed. I don’t know what it is to love like that. But I do know how to help people tell their stories and step into confidence, standing a few inches taller and giving them a platform to do so. That is not me being patronising. That is my job. And I do it well.
If you know anyone in the black community who needs this, if you spot a young person who has potential but is struggling under the weight of all that is going on, if you know anyone who could do with world-class presentation coaching, f you would like to refer someone or you think this would be great for yourself then reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title “Amplify’s Manifesto” and let’s start a conversation. This is the beginning of my long term plan so journey with us to make sure we are walking in step with truth and freedom.