We’ve recently found ourselves in the middle of an awakening as a society where “stay woke” takes on it’s true meaning. My generation is getting a front row seat to the shit show that is The United States of America.
Those that were allowed to pretend that we don’t live in a world where the government is designed against the very group of people that built this country... those people are uncomfortable and on behalf of ourselves and our ancestors I would like to say...
Welcome to Black Existence!
Here you will finally stop telling us that we all have the same opportunities and understand that I could never live a life as free as yours.
In high school, you were doing normal teen stuff. Skipping class, smoking your first joint, attending unsupervised parties in your neighborhoods, walking home after dark or picking up a snack from the local store without a care in the world. We were all attending the same classes but black kids had an additional course. We were being trained to understand that partaking in any of the activities above was seen as a crime when accompanied by any skin tone deeper than beige. By all means go to that party “but don’t wear that skirt because our women are fetishized, you’ll understand one day.” By all means have a good time “but take off that hoodie and don’t let them see you reach into your pockets.“ I know you’re just chillin ”but you don’t want them to think you’re suspicious”. By all means go out “but please be home before the street lights are on because after dark they can’t tell us apart.” ”Did you see that boy that got killed in broad daylight? They can’t tell us apart in the day either, you should just stay home.”
The various rites of passage you were allowed to experience with no hesitation was tainted for us with the ways of the world. “It is what it is” became the slogan for Black Existence. We were forced to learn it young because it would eventually become an answer for our questions throughout adulthood.
“If I wear my hair as it grows from my scalp will I get this job? Or will I get it anyway because you’re forced to diversify the office?” “If I speak up will I be marked as angry or difficult?” “Why are they surprised by what I know and why do they keep highlighting how articulate I am?“ “If I call the police will they actually help me or will I end up dead?”....
We wonder why mental health conditions within the black community is always at its lowest (though we’re not allowed to talk about it or we’ll give another reason to devalue us)... its because Black Existence is wrapped tightly in anxiety, using it as a form of protection.
So when you tell us how we should handle being black and how we’re over thinking every situation, remember that for most of us ”over thinking” keeps us from an untimely death due to someone that doesn’t think enough.