The time for a global conversation about Black Lives Matter is now.
Letters for Black Lives centers around a crowd-sourced written letter from second-generation Asian-Americans to their families and respective communities. The letter describes why black lives matter, too, touting itself as “an open letter project on anti-Blackness.”
The letter came to be after New York-based ethnographer Christina Xu sent out a call to action on Twitter. Xu said she saw “how Asian Americans had reacted negatively to previous police shootings of black Americans and wanted to start changing their perspectives,” as reported by the Washington Post.
The letter was put together collaboratively on a public Google document by dozens of contributors and it has been translated into over 30 languages, including Portuguese, Japanese, Tagalog, Spanish and more.
After connecting with Xu on Twitter, the final letter was edited by Jose Antonio Vargas, the founder of #EmergingUS, a journalism start-up focusing on race and immigration.
You can read the full letter in English below:
In the days since the letter’s inception, its purpose and context has evolved.
“The original intent of this letter was to serve as a multilingual resource for Asian-Americans who wanted to talk to their immigrant parents about anti-Blackness and police violence,” says the Letters for Black Lives website. “But the project has since expanded to include messaging for Latinx and African immigrants as well as people living in Canada and Europe.”
Katie Zhu, an organizer for Letters for Black Lives, told The Huffington Post that “the translations were contextualized for different cultural backgrounds/experiences.”
A video of various individuals of color reading the letter was published Monday afternoon.
The curators of the site are actively looking for other people to send in their own audio and video recordings.
Zhu also told HuffPost that the group plans to have a series of follow-ups to the letter in the form of “essays, ideas [and] myths to debunk/discuss.” As with the original letter, these efforts will be a collaborative project where those who are interested can get involved here.
Share Letters For Black Lives’ letter with your friends and family. Spread the word, we can’t effect change if we’re not willing to act on what’s wrong.
Check out more information here on how you can send in a recording of your own for the project.