As we come into the final days of Black Empowerment Month, it has caused me to reflect on a lot.
All the things that the media would have us to think that is accurate about our people; all the things that you we have been trained to believe about ourselves; the self-doubt that fuels what we choose to tell ourselves; there is something else there. It is a question that few have thought to ask:
What is it about us (our melanin, our skin tone, our ethnicity) that causes other people to upset or make other races feel as if we should be oppressed?
I have had this conversation with White people, and some told me:
“We are raised to feel superior and never educated ourselves on anything different.“
“In feeling superior, learning new things, or regarding, all the works others have done, I feel intimidated.”
“According to media, Black people are all on food stamps and welfare.“
“Black is associated with dark and darkness is very scary.”
Most of these conversations I have had at work and my responses are typically:
“Well, we must learn something new every day. Like dealing with how laws are different for us, then they are you, even if we committed the same crime.“
“You shouldn’t feel intimated but empowered to learn more. Learning that most of everything that is in this country was built on the backs of other shouldn’t make you feel that way. Is it intimidation or is the feeling of inferiority that you have never had to feel before? Is it really the fear of thinking that maybe one day your superiority will be gone, and you won’t be left with anything else?“
“If all Black people were on food stamps and welfare, how would I be able to have this job. I make too much money to have that, there wouldn’t be enough food stamps and welfare for other ethnicity and not all black people have kids. In order to get welfare, I would have to have children. Which I do not.“
“If Black is associated with darkness, why wear the color. By your definition its scary so at this point you should avoid all things Black.”
I have plenty of conversations as well for people who understand what we go through. Truth is, the only thing that white people can do is understand!
They would never be able to fully get it because they were not born Black!
They were not raised Black!
Even a White people in the hood would still get better treatment than a Black person in the hood. I say that to say this:
My people don’t just celebrate Black History Month in February. Celebrate it every day of your lives!
Black history is something that we carry in our essences.
We carry it in our spirit.
We carry it deep in our souls.
Its something that we can not avoid, deny or hide. And, why should we? Be proud of who you are. Be proud of the things that your ancestors have paved the way for so that you can have a voice and let that voice reach the masses!
Be a light in dark place. Don’t worry about what other ethnicities feel about who you are. You don’t have to fight to be accepted by anyone.
Regardless of what is being said, you are enough. You are powerful, you are beautifully and wonderfully made. You are God’s greatest gift to the world. Everything that you are is what some people hope for and that is the real fear. The fear that your #torchlight will shine bright enough to blind the others and the world will give you credit for your greatness.
Let’s face it!
The world already knows about how great you are. They take from your culture and the being of who you are daily. The problem has always been the recognition or credit. Since we know that something that may never happen, why wait for it. Go and let your #torchesburn bright and high.
Let the fire do the work of burning through the sky and piercing through all the hatred, anger and rage that tries to come against you. The brighter is burns, the more undeniable you will become.