Being Black During June in America
July 2, 2015
It’s amazing that June didn’t break us. The headlines surrounding race in America literally seemed like something scripted, too extreme to believe especially considering they were happening one thing after another.
A white woman who lied about being Black to the point that her story involved her “doing hair”, massacres against Black churches and it’s congregations, Black suicide, and as the clock continues to tick there are still countless deaths of unarmed Black men that have not been accounted for.
How. Why. I didn’t write one word all month. After I read about Kalief Browder, I lost it. Soon after that 9 members of a church welcomed in a domestic terrorist with a helping hand and he in turn killed them. There are only so many times I can express that I don’t have anything to express due to the exhaustion.
Exhaustion from watching, hearing, and reading about the mistreatment of the Black community. Exhaustion from watching, hearing, and reading as systemic racism and oppression are discounted and the country looks for other motives that support the narrative of a post-racial society. Exhaustion from watching, hearing, and seeing as the Black community is stripped of it’s identity once again and told to be quiet about it.
It’s amazing that June didn’t break us.
I watched activist tear each other down revealing ulterior motives. I watched two different poems about “Black Privilege” and the rules that come with melanin. I watched as people continued to “not understand why they can’t say the N-Word”.
Through all this, what I didn’t see though, was the wavering of Black Power. Not once, and for that I am proud and through that I found my own strength. Because that’s part of what Black Power is—lifting each other when we can’t lift ourselves.
As difficult as I found June to be, I found it harder to keep completely silent. I found it harder to step away from playing my part in the community because I refuse to be on the wrong side of history.
There is a literal War on Blackness happening now and the Black Community needs as many soldiers as we can get, armed and unarmed.
June showed me that we have the power to change things for the betterment of all people when I watched Bree Newsome take down the Confederate Flag. June taught me that it is our job to not only to steer but dominate conversations in and about Blackness, no exceptions and no excuses.
If you have yet to step up to the plate that your community needs you to step up to, I suggest you do it quickly and I suggest you enlist others in your community to do so too. Find your job. Lead and join discussions. Don’t be on the wrong side of history when your children are learning about how our community changed the nation.
It’s amazing that June didn’t break us, but I am not the least bit surprised by our strength.
AG describes herself as a Panther with a pen. Her background in organizing and passion for writing helped her recognize the importance in telling stories for and about all individuals in the Black Community because that in itself is a form of activism. She hopes to use her platform to provide a record and insight on today's Movement and to inspire others to find their role and participate to move the Community closer to justice.