Following the senseless killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Aubery, and countless others, the world is asking for real change, for true education, and actionable unlearning. These Patreon creators didn’t wait for recent events to take action. They’ve long been taking on the emotional labor to dismantle systemic racism, police violence, white supremacy, and the countless injustices taking place across the world. They’re an inspiration to us and we hope this list inspires you to join them.
Blake Simons and Delency Parham are the co-hosts of the Oakland-based podcast, Hella Black, and the co-founders of #PeoplesBreakfastOakland, which serves the houseless population in the East Bay. With each episode, listeners get to hear two friends discuss all things related to Blackness, from culture to politics, as well as guests like Chicago rapper and community leader Noname. While there’s no lack of pundits in the podcast world, Blake and Delency are uniquely positioned to speak on the issues in their community because they’re both activists and educators themselves. In their own words, “In the wake of global white supremacy, it is important to support organizers who are in the field.”Embedded content: https://youtu.be/N7uzGfWiaqM
The Conscious Kid creates parenting and education resources through a critical race lens. Their aim is to promote children’s books that feature characters from underrepresented groups, and get those in the hands of kids and parents everywhere. With Patreon, they’ve created an intimate community where they can get to know their patrons and create space for in-depth, personal discussions with their audience as they navigate intersections of race, equity, parenting, and education. Through the books they promote, and their dissection of racism within even the most famous pieces of children’s literature, the nonprofit equips parents and educators with tools they can use to support racial identity development, critical literacy, and equitable practices in their homes and classrooms.
Chicago rapper, Noname, created this online and IRL book club to “highlight progressive work from writers of Color and writers within the LGBTQ community.” The club uplifts the voices of readers of Color by highlighting two books each month (recent picks included Blood In My Eye by George Jackson and Race Music: From Bebop to Hip-Hop by Guthrie Ramsey). They’re great to follow on social media not just to build out your reading list, but also for timely takes on a plethora of topics, including music, art, politics, and organizing.
Rachel Cargle is a public academic, writer, and lecturer based out of New York. In addition to her activism and writing — check out her piece for Harper’s Bazaar, Why You Need to Stop Saying "All Lives Matter" — Rachel uses her 300K+ grassroots community on social media to circulate tools and information “that explore the intersection of race and womanhood,” according to her website. Her most recent move was to found a bookshop and writing center to give voice to marginalized people in her hometown of Akron, Ohio. In her own words, “My work here on Patreon is rooted in providing resources and critical discourse to aid in unlearning. I believe in knowledge leading to action and I use this platform to both provide education and inspire meaningful action.”Embedded content: https://youtu.be/leBPMyQ60HM
Entrepreneur, investor, and teacher, Nicole Cardoza is dedicated to the reclamation of wellness so that it’s accessible to anyone and everyone. Her goal? To plant seeds that will increase representation and equity throughout the wellness industry. Nicole recently launched an anti-racism newsletter where she shares “tactical actions to take in your relationships, office, yoga studio, and everywhere else.” Though her newsletter is free to read, those who help support her work through Patreon or elsewhere can feel good knowing “all funds generated will support the scholars, leaders, and activists already doing so much work.”
If you live in New York City and are looking for a good book, keep an eye out for the Free Black Women's Library. Founded by OlaRonke Akinmowo in 2015 as an experiment in social art, this pop-up mobile library moves around New York City at a monthly cadence, ensuring that as many New Yorkers as possible have access to its collection. As Akinmowo shared with the LA Times, “the purpose of the library is definitely building community, bringing people together, creating very intergenerational, multiracial spaces that feel very affirming and nerdy and fun and deep and critical and creative and radical."
Dr. Cornel West called New York-based author and activist Margaret Kimberly “one of the few great truth tellers who, along with Glen Ford, Adolph Reed, Jr. and Bruce Dixon, preserved her integrity during the Obama years.” As an editor and senior columnist at the Black Agenda Report, she shares commentary from a Black left perspective and with the support of her patrons she shares exclusive videos and political commentary.
8. For Harriet
Writer and culture critic Kimberly Foster launched For Harriet back in 2010 while she was still an undergraduate at Harvard University. A decade later, the blog has evolved into a community, allowing Black women creators including writers, editors, video producers, and illustrators to share stories and narratives overlooked in other publications. For Harriet is one of the few digital media companies completely owned and operated by Black women and is able to sustain that independence through the support of patrons.
Historian Blair Imani and comedian Kate Robards are launching a new podcast and anti-racism education initiative aptly titled America Did What?! The podcast will be rooted in U.S. history and will break down all forms of bigotry including sexism, colorism, homophobia, transphobia, and more. Their patrons will receive educational content, weekly readings, challenges, and activities to confront white supremacy all in the name of (as they put it) “making sense of American nonsense.”
10. Benjamin Dixon
Through videos, podcasts, and articles, Benjamin Dixon provides news and commentary from a progressive perspective. On Patreon, he shares timely political analysis while “creating the dopest progressive podcast in the game.” He’s spent the majority of his career advocating and covering social justice and is on a mission to uplift Black voices through his platform.
Remember, these resources are a great place to start, but the true work starts and ends with all of us. For additional resources, and opportunities to donate and get involved, visit the Black Lives Matter website.