I’ve seen this artwork circulating around social media off and on for a while now. Every time I see it, it speaks to my soul. But no time, as much as right now. The recent events in this country and the world has me sad, depressed, and lacking motivation in all areas of my life. My fitness goals, which I’m proud to say that since the first week of January, I haven’t missed a full week of working out. But now, I’m lacking the motivation to go every day. My writing has also taken a hard hit and I’m finding it nearly impossible to immerse myself in the fictional world I was creating. I tried not to let it, but 2016 has been a beast and we’re only halfway through the year and it has officially burst my nicely insulated bubble.
As anyone knows or has gathered from my previous blogs, I’ve always felt like I was on the outside of the black community. My writing though has opened up a world of amazing black women that I can finally relate to, as well as causing me to spend a lot of time on social media in recent years, talking about and promoting my books. Which opened up the world I was trying to hide from. The ugly parts.
You see, purposely (and forced sometimes) staying in my bubble with my white and Latino friends, gave me a false sense of security. Where I could pretend that the level racism and racial bias that infects the world, weren’t that bad.
But with every killing of innocent and unarmed black men and women, being brought to light with videos from camera phones and the speed in which to upload them.
Every article about relationships and how black women aren’t wanted for whatever reason, by white and black men alike.
Every video or ad of some fashion magazine appropriating black and brown culture, renaming it and calling it trendy after telling black and brown people they looked ghetto, unkempt, and/or unprofessional with the exact same style.
Every time a black man turns up his nose at my natural hair. Brainwashed into thinking a black woman’s hair in its natural state isn’t beautiful. A natural state that grows out of his own head, by the way.
Every troll that makes racist comments about a model’s big beautiful lips, while non-black women are praised for having “black features”, see Kylie Jenner for the lips and Kim Kardashian for the ass, just to name a few. Or they harass a wonderfully funny and beautiful black comedian. Or they attack the President’s daughter because she was accepted to Harvard, not unlike many 1st children that have been accepted to Ivy League schools.
Every Trump supporter that screamed, spit, and punched at black, brown, or Muslim protesters.
Every person dismissing our cries and woes by telling us to shut up with “All Lives Matter,” when it’s apparent they could give a sh*t about black lives, so, in fact, we don’t matter, which then turns into a vicious argument that circles round and round.
Every movie that comes out about the Kings and Queens of Egypt (a country in AFRICA) they depict them as tan white people or any other whitewashing done by Hollywood to other ethnic cultures. Yet, in turn, the minute someone wants to put a black man as James Bond or make Iron Man a little black girl, fictional characters I might add, people get butt hurt. FYI: sorry to burst your bubble, but Jesus was BLACK (hair of wool and skin of bronze and all that)!!! A real person who is always depicted as a white man. That goes for Moses, The Lone Ranger (Yes, the Lone Ranger was based off a real black man named Bass Reeves), Cleopatra…
Every blog post, I read about the publishing industry not being diverse enough, only for them to ask white authors to write about diverse characters, instead of actual people of color (ME!), only to get it so wrong that it’s offensive.
Every time only one… ONE of the thousands of literary agents is “woke” enough to see that there are little to no representation for children of color in YA novels and has to call out to authors of color for their stories because no one else will (I submitted my YA novel to her and she was, of course, inundated with queries because there are so many talented authors of color with stories to tell, for children who are thirsty to read them).
Every time we’re just trying to have fun, like everyone else, but literally get kicked to the curb because we’re not supposed to have that much fun.
Every famous black person who advocates for fairness and equality in this country (which is not unreasonable to ask for) who then gets called racist and a petition is made for him to get fired from his job. Essentially telling us we don’t have freedom of speech either.
Every black man who decides to fight violence with violence (which is actually very few) and everyone automatically assumes we all want to kill cops because we couldn’t possibly have our own minds. And then the day after the Dallas attack on cops, a cop trails behind me and then rides slowly along beside me, basically saying “Give me a reason.”
Every time my dad and mom leave the house and I have to not think about what may happen to them, or trying not to worry about my brother in Chicago or my nephew that is dark-skinned, tall, and muscular. By the way, none of us have any criminal records or are violent in any way, but that won’t matter to the wrong cop if we move too fast or not kiss enough ass.
Every article, I read about cities in Europe where black skin is welcomed (there shouldn’t have to be articles like that) and then one of those cities I was thinking about visiting gets attacked during a festival (can’t win for losing).
Every time a black athlete’s career is essentially ruined and endorsements lost because of mistakes in his private life(see, Tiger Woods). But Maria Sharapova gets banned from tennis tournaments for the next couple of years because of performance enhancing drugs in her system and then she gets into some Harvard business program.
Every time a black woman is viewed as so strong that her needs are neglected or she’s looked down upon because she needs help. But a white woman stubs her big toe and a battalion is sent to tend to her (See, Taylor Swift). Or when a black woman falters or is fighting depression, her mental health is ignored by her own community as well as others. Because “we don’t get depressed, we just need Jesus.”
With every single one of these, and keep in mind that I’m probably missing a ton, my bubble has burst. In fact, it burst so violently, it was like a tornado ripped my house right off of its foundation. And now I’m standing in the middle of this sh*t-storm brewing around me and in my head with no signs of letting up because these things keep happening over and over again, throughout history for centuries with no end in sight.
Does it make sense now? Does all of that finally outline some of the turmoil a black woman faces? And believe me, I’m just scratching the surface. Education, housing, employment, health care, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…
Yet, we’re constantly called angry. Did it ever occur to you that we have every reason to be? Here’s a pair of my shoes… Try walking in them for a few days, let alone 37 years. I bet you’ll be angry AF. And my suburban upbringing isn’t even close to what people of color in urban areas have to deal with. Wear their shoes and your head would explode.
***Post may be amended as other issues come to mind.***