A collection benefiting the Loveland Foundation. Inspired by the words of writer and activist Natalie Guerrero, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Revolution for racial justice.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
We discovered Natalie on Instagram Live. She spoke of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Of feeling devastated, powerless and terrified to live in her skin. As she spoke, she sipped from a pink bkr bottle. And in the most bkr way possible, she told us how she transformed her pain and fear and took action.
100% of net proceeds from each bkr sold will benefit The Loveland Foundation, an organization founded by Rachel Cargle, that is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways. By purchasing these bottles, you will be helping to empower, heal, and liberate Black women and girls by giving them access to culturally competent services and mental health care.
A TRUE COLLABORATION
Immediately after watching Natalie’s Instagram Live we amplified, sent her love and support from bkr Nation, donated money to her grassroots fundraiser, and encouraged others to do the same. Natalie was such a positive vibe. She asked if we’d ever want to do something together–she loved her bkrs. Over texts, phone calls and months, this project was born. The words are Natalie’s, inspired by her life and her poetry. We are honored to use our platform to amplify this inspiring Black woman, writer, activist, and quintessential bkr girl.
CHANGE IS NOT SILENT
“There’s this Audre Lorde quote I live by: ‘your silence will not protect you.’ Every time I read it, I remember that it does me no good to stay small. It reminds me that if I want something for myself or for the world I better speak up. So, when I thought about what change required, I knew that its main ingredient would be loud and heartfelt and unrelenting. I knew it would have nothing to do with silence. I knew that if there was even just a touch of silence in the recipe, nothing would change at all. Change is not silent because change is made by the voices bold enough to speak it into existence.”
VIVA LA REVOLUCIÓN
“When I think about a revolution, I think about life. I think about all the life that has been lost. I think about all the life there is left to live. I think that Revolution is everlasting. Maybe one of the only things to transcend time. Revolution is forever. I think that’s why Chairman Fred Hampton said you can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t kill a revolution. Because revolution is a seed and once it’s planted it grows roots so deep that you absolutely cannot dig it up. Revolution can’t be killed. So, when I think about these words, viva la revolución, it’s a reminder of that. To water the revolution and revolutionary that lives deep inside your soul. To speak to it kindly. To laugh when things get so absurd. To fight like hell when you’re down and they’ve counted you out. To live in your own brilliant revolution.”
Natalie Guerrero is a writer and activist from New York who currently resides in Los Angeles, California. All her work, written or otherwise aims to uplift people of color through highlighting their humanity. She works full time in film development and is the co-founder of Know My Story, a digital movement on a mission to share true stories from Black people and intersectional voices.
WHAT TO DO
Written by Natalie Guerrero
When the world lights up on fire and protests are raging, and police are shooting and you are tired but there is work to be done and you don’t know where to begin, I hope you pick up this poem.
I hope you pick up a pen.
I hope you write letters and sing songs and do exactly what you were meant to do.
Even when it seems like there is nothing left.
I hope you do.
What to do
1. Reach out to your black friends
2. Reach out to your white friends
3. If you’re white take yourself out the center
4. You are not the savior.
5. If you’re Black take yourself out to dinner
6. You deserve the world
7. And more
8. Spend time mourning
9. Spend time writing
10. Tell your story
11. Tell your neighbor's story.
12. Replace “I can’t believe it” with
"I did my research and…"
13. Ask the hard questions.
15. Be the voice
16. But not when it erases the work.
18. Sit down.
19. Stand up.
20. Film the police.
21. Remember that Martin Luther King was not the polite man your 4th grade teacher taught him to be.
22. Get angry.
23. Make noise.
25. Say all their names.
26. Now roll up your sleeves
27. Get your hands dirty
28. Lose your fear
29. It is not as important as a human life
30. See yourself on the other side of the fence.
31. Count all the ways you woke up free today
32. Now subtract your privilege
33. Ask yourself what’s left
34. And when you get tired
35. Which you will, get tired
36. Take a seat
37. Take a sip of water
38. Take a big bold breath
39. And then get up
40. Keep fighting
41. Be strong
42. Be soft
43. Be whatever it is you need to be to keep yourself going
44. Have faith
45. Have a burger
46. Have a nap
47. We’ve only just arrived at the mountain
48. We’re looking up
49. The top is miles away and we have to keep climbing
50. So take your break
51. But not for long
52. Tired has taken too much of our time.
53. Have your dreams
54. Have your bath
55. Have your love
56. Sleep well
57. Then carry on
58. Raise your fist
59. Raise your voice
60. Raise your boys
61. And little girls
62. Give them joy
63. And a popsicle
64. And a long drive with Lauryn Hill on high
65. Then promise them better.
66. Say Black Lives Matter
67. Say No Justice No Peace
68. No racist police
69. Put war paint on your face
70. Put combat boots on your feet
71. Go to war
72. Go to brunch
73. Go on to making the world like you want it.
74. And if you’re white
75. And you’re tired
76. Welcome to a lifetime.
77. I have been on this earth twenty six years and it is barely my halftime.
Now, go on and build me something new.
I deserve a better place like my ancestors built for you.