How to channel your anger over Michael Brown’s death productively

OPINION - You hear that another Black boy was killed in cold blood by a cop and the rage goes from the top of your head and travels all the way down to the bottom of your feet...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

You hear that another Black boy was killed in cold blood by a cop, and the rage goes from the top of your head and travels all the way down to the bottom of your feet.

You tremble because it’s another day and another one of your skinfolk murdered just for existing and just for having the nerve to be in the wrong place at the wrong time in front of the wrong bastard with a license to kill.

Last month, it was Eric Garner. Saturday, it was John Crawford and Mike Brown. Tomorrow, it could be my brother, my uncle, my cousin. Why? Because America still doesn’t recognize the humanity of Black people. It’s that simple.

But the rage. James Baldwin poignantly said “To be Black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage.” Yes. Absolutely. It keeps you up at night. It gets your blood pressure up. It sits on your shoulders, and you walk slower because of it. What do you do as your people are being slaughtered with what is implicit permission from the system of oppression?

What do you do with it? What do you do with all that anger? How do you feel less helpless? I’m not fully sure. But I like to feel like I can DO something even if it’s minute. Complete helplessness brings utter despair, and I can’t allow myself to fall into that. I need to feel like I can make some sort of difference, no matter how small.

I want to encourage us to channel what we’re feeling into doing some work to advance the stare of social justice and equality for Black people and other marginalized groups. Everyone might not be marching, and that’s perfectly fine. But you can do something else that matters.

* Donate to an organization that’s doing the work.

There are groups like the Dream Defenders, BYP100, United We Dream, Million Hoodies and Freedom Side that are youth-led activist organizations doing organizing work. Many people say millennials are lazy and we don’t take action, but these collectives show that some of us are actually putting some effort where our mouths are. Support these groups!

* Record police exchanges you witness.

If you’re ever in a place where you’re seeing someone exchange words with the police, pull out your phone and record it, because it is your right to document that! In case they take your phone or destroy it (both of which are illegal), have your phone’s photos and videos syncing with something in the cloud automatically. There’s iCloud, DropBox and Google Drive, amongst others.

* Continue to speak out.

Do not let what’s happening far too often now get you numb. Do not look at another Black body face down on the street and shrug because you just saw one yesterday. Please, continue to be impassioned and use your voice to let people know why what’s happening is not fine. It doesn’t have to be every single time something happens. I can’t write about every piece of injustice (because of self-care), but I can’t be quiet about all of it either (because of rage). We ALL need to pick some sort of battle to step into. Every battle is not for all of us to jump in, of course, but we also can’t remain silent on everything.

I just want to encourage us all that in the face of injustice, and in the feeling of helplessness, know that people are fighting for better. Also, we are not helpless or hopeless, because Black people in America have overcome much worse. We need to keep that fighting spirit as we get more news of another one of our brothers and sisters murdered by the men in blue who are supposed to serve and protect.

We have to just dig in our heels, because the road is going to be long. But we have to do it, because Black lives matter. We have to let this righteous indignation move us to something greater. All I know is that the state of current affairs must change.

The revolution might not be televised, but it will be recorded on camera phones and posted to Vine, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Luvvie is a serial ranter and blogger who talks pop culture at Awesomely Luvvie, technology at Awesomely Techie and is the head behind She can also be found on Twitter (@Luvvie), Facebook and Instagram.