So I guess the cat's out of the bag... I'm Black, like Black Black. Black, like no matter how light you call me a racist will still look down when he sees me coming or clutch her purse when I walk by her. Black, like both my parents are Black so I'm not a coveted or acceptable mixed Black. Black, like my grandparents were a part of the Great Migration Black. Every morning I wake up, I am dripping in Blackness just as I do when I lay down my head and even all through the night. Yeah, I'm Black like I code switch daily because I'm professional.
Now that the big news has been delivered, we can continue on with this unscheduled program. I won't lie and say that Black people are the only ones who have suffered great oppression. I could but won't argue to varying levels of oppression, but I am obliged to gets the wheels of minds turning.
It's easy for folks to compare Blacks, namely Black Americans to immigrants of other arguably oppressed peoples, but "immigrants" is the key word. Before the recent immigrantion crises, even with much opposition for some, immigrants were able to come here and live, work, own businesses, etc. They were afforded the opportunity of not paying taxes for five years. They had the ability to save enough to bring over their families and build their own communities in their new corner of the world. Before I continue, it should be known that I am not anti-immigration. I am stating facts, though some policies may have since changed. I also acknowledge the inhumane treatment of certain peoples within the U.S. that is justified through the infected administration and faulty foundation. Black Americans did not crip walk on ships to sail to the "New Land". Truthfully, Africans and Natives had a lasting relationship way before somebody's entitled grandfather came and discovered what was not new nor lost. This was proven in many ways including the strains of African cotton existing long before Columbus set foot on what is now known as American soil. That was necessary to share. Look it up people.
As we move back to the beat, I have to share that those immigrants even of oppressed people were able to build something for themselves to last through generations. Even after the abolishment of slavery, there was still an uphill battle. We just celebrated Juneteenth! It should be known that even after the abolishment, "freedom" was not immediate for all. As time went on, the housing laws and loopholes were created which kept nearly all who were not Caucasian without the right to buy or build homes in many neighborhoods but left lasting effects on Black Americans. For decades Black people have been instilled in the temporary mindset. To have nothing with your name on it is essentially having nothing at all, and please don't get me started on the abomination of mass incarceration! I can't even start right now with how many Black and Brown people are mistreated. I can hardly stomach watching "When They See Us" because I know that wasn't new then and it surely isn't done today...
Even more so, we have lost our sense of community because since the beginning of our involuntary travel here we were separated. Families were separated and now unfortunately many families have the generational curse of being in shambles. I feel like I'm at the end of Spike's hit School Daze shouting "Wake up!!!" The "crabs-in-a-barrel mindset" is institutionalized! I'm not saying this to enable somebody to not boss up and take life by the you know what and keep pushing! I say that to address the facts. The more enlightened we are the bigger the possibility for us to change the reality.
I'm tired of fearing for the lives of our children. I'm tired of seeing us struggle and depend on the system which cripples us. Aren't you exhausted?
Being Black shouldn't just be a life of grumbling and groaning. We are beautiful and resilient. We know they did us wrong. They know they did us wrong, even the liars, but we owe it to ourselves to love ourselves and heal from the inside out. We deserve to break the barrel. Educate yourself, and to be clear that does not have to always be formal higher education. Find out your neighbors' strengths and share yours, so we can build together. Encourage enterprise, apprenticeships, craftsmanship, and career building. If all of us own businesses, who's working? We need to do things that make sense y'all! It is okay to own, be a partner, be an employee, a contractor, and whoever else we need and want to be! We have to stop looking down at each other's path. Some of us tend to take on the role of the community's oppressor running around throwin' salt on everybody's game because it's been instilled in us still slavery. Who got time? Not I honey! Self-advocacy is also necessary! We need to equip ourselves for the silent battles and learn to tactfully fight them. When we run on anger fumes, we burnout, but when we have health and stamina, we make it to the finish line still running. Building a strong sense of community and reassembling the mighty village may not happen overnight, but all of the events we've endured did not either. People will tell you to forget slavery, but the effects of slavery still haven't been completely abolished. The institutionalized racism has still not be dismounted, so we have work to do.
Let's love and celebrate at every step. Let's pick up our broken pieces and mend.
If no one has shown you, I love you but God loves you better.
P.S. I feel it in my spirit that some wiseguy may try me by challenging me with the notion that I am unappreciative of this nation. Though America has many issues, I am very aware that many other countries lack this country's level of resources. The problem is not that I loathe the U.S., the problem is that the blood of my ancestors built this country and the people who look like me are still being told to go back to Africa when we were stripped away from that Home. No matter how many blood tests we have available to trace our tribes, it will not be erased that families were torn and histories were lost. Roots were ripped. Cultures was ravaged and they still are being ravaged today. At the end of the day, if we aren't striving to be better, we're breathing in vain.