top of page

BWIB is a blog dedicated to fostering the professional growth of Black women

Black Metal
  • Writer's pictureTaylor The Creator Web Designer

How to Avoid Performative Allyship

Updated: 6 days ago

Firstly, what is performative allyship? I think we need to break the question down even further to what is an ally? Think about war for a second. We have an opposing force, the people we are charged to protect and our allies. Think historically how important allies have been in efforts for Women's Rights and the ending of slavery for African American people. Think simply, with your teammates or coworkers. Your ally is usually HR, a manager, your colleagues etc. Someone who can voice, support and amplify your efforts. 

Performative defined: 

Relating to or of the nature of dramatic or artistic performance.

Most of the artists, rappers or actors we know are performing. We have a clear grasp on the definition in entertainment. The lines are blurred in reality when people assert themselves in performative allyship roles for personal gain. 

Secondly, How useful is your ally if they’re “performing”? 

“Performative allyship is showing up when it is convenient and self-serving. This could be due to various reasons from news-cycle activity to prioritizing one's own ego above the needs of others. In contrast, active allyship is a consistent, intentional approach of supporting others over time.”

Lastly, here are ways to spot and avoid performative allyship:

  1. Avoid symbolic gestures: Performative allyship often involves engaging in symbolic actions that appear to support a cause but lack substance. Instead, focus on taking meaningful actions that contribute to real change.

  2. Listen and amplify: Give marginalized voices a platform to share their experiences and perspectives. Listen actively and amplify their voices by sharing their work, supporting their initiatives, and advocating for their rights.

  3. Educate yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about the issues facing marginalized communities. Read books, articles, and studies, and engage in conversations with people from different backgrounds.

  4. Challenge your own biases: Everyone has biases, but it's important to be aware of them and challenge them. Reflect on your own beliefs and assumptions, and be open to changing your views when presented with new information.

  5. Support organizations doing the work: Many organizations are working to promote equity and inclusion. Support their work by donating, volunteering, or getting involved in their initiatives.

  6. Hold yourself accountable: Performative allyship is easy to fall into, so it's important to hold yourself accountable for your actions. Regularly reflect on your behavior and make adjustments as needed.

  7. Be humble and recognize your privilege: Recognize that you may have privileges that others don't. Be humble and use your privilege to uplift others and create a more equitable society.

  8. Be patient and persistent: Creating change takes time and effort. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Be patient and persistent in your efforts, and continue to work towards a more just and equitable world.

Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another's uniqueness.

"The Nimble Entrepreneur is a blog pushing the boundaries of culture and power consciousness. Dedicated to fostering the professional growth of Black women."

Founder / Writer Taylor Smith


bottom of page