Many people have been equal-parts moved and horrified over the last few weeks by reports and images of unrest around the country. In practically every major city in the United States, protestors have taken to the streets to make their voices heard against the problem of systemic racism. The inciting incident for this round of civil disobedience was, of course, the specific way in which racism so often rears its ugly head: through police brutality against black people, as exemplified by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and countless other tragic incidents.
It's been encouraging to witness the degree to which Americans still possess a working social conscience, as evidenced by their apparent willingness to give of themselves for a cause that's greater than any single individual. At the same time, the current moment has included its share of frustrations and dead ends too. Feeling powerlessness and the stupefying friction of inertia that accompanies it are understandable as well.
Some people haven't been able to join an in-person protest for a number of reasons. They don't live near a place where protests are happening. Maybe they live with someone with a compromised immune system or feel themselves susceptible to the coronavirus and can't risk large crowds.
Whatever it may be, there exist other ways to get involved. As the protests have dragged on well past the point that anyone expected them to in the beginning, some people have been busy brainstorming, coming up with their own creative ways to contribute. Colleges have cancelled summer classes to dedicate time to constructive dialogue concerning race. A group called The Great American Takeout is trying to incentivize a day for supporting black-owned restaurants across the country tomorrow, Thursday, June 11.
They're encouraging everyone to order takeout from a black-owned business and to post a picture of their meal on social media with the tag, #TheGreatAmericanTakeout. For every social media post that uses the hashtag, sponsors of the initiative will donate $5 to the social justice group Black Lives Matter. Their donations will cap at $20,000.
To find a list of black-owned restaurants in New Orleans, download the EatOkra app or see this Twitter page or the list below.