Growing Up Black in America Means…
Being followed around in a jewelry store as a 7th grader.
Seeing very little representation of yourself on T.V. Except on B.E.T. (And seeing arguments that one channel centered on black entertainment is racist).
Having to (laughingly) explaining the difference between a perm and natural hair to, well, a lot of people.
Seeing videos of black and brown people being regarded as “less than” in every single form of media.
Seeing yet another unfortunate viral video of a black or brown man or woman being shot, killed, or strangled, by law enforcement on social media.
Having an AP high school teacher state “I don’t know why anyone would look up to Whitney Houston as a role model. She was a drug addict,” while a picture of Elvis Presley hung on his wall. (He was very much, addicted to drugs.)
Being viewed as the spokesperson for all black people when you’re the only one in the room. Especially at a PWI. (Unless it’s an African American Studies course.)
Having to learn American history at school, and your own history from your parents and grandparents, on your own time.
Sharing stories with other black friends about their experiences with racism because it’s expected.
Seeing this racism on social media, pretty much every day:
Watching Neo-Nazis and white Supremacists protest on national television and seeing an overwhelming amount of silence from the majority, and exhaustion from everyone else.
Yearning to have constructive conversations with people who don’t look like you, but then realizing that no matter what, their priorities are different, because this won’t affect them.
Hoping one day, this won’t be normal.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
– Martin Luther King Jr.
Praying for this country every day, and everyone in it.
2 thoughts on “Growing Up Black In America”
Thanks so much for what you wrote. As being an young African-American professional, I have seen many of those close to me get treated with contempt for no justified reason and they are also young African Americans and amazing role models to those in their community.
It was not until recently that these racial slurs started to hit home for me, even though my family is mixed with African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, and Indian….growing up I would often have people from other ethnicities say comments like “you are not like “them” or “I like you, you don’t act “black” (whatever that means). At first, it used to be a laughable manner until those same people would raise up the confederate flag, in my presence, as though it should not phase me or make jokes about the innocent killings of those of the African American decent. Even in the field I have worked in, I have literally seen 2 young boys, close in age, one Caucasian and the other African American get two different sentences. One robbed a store, the other broke into someone’s house, attacked an state employee, stolen a car and a phone from a prestigious car salesman. Guess who got time? The African American boy who robbed the store. While at the same time, the judge gave the other boy “another chance because he probably had been through a lot”.
Even though witnessing those situations could easily make anyone angry, I have learned that anger through vegence and bloodshed will not resolve anything. As a representative of Christ, all I can do is love and love does not always look like silence❤️ So thank you for sharing your heart, I’m excited to the see ignorance that will be torn down through your love and obedience to Christ💕
Please excuse my typos-responded through my phone ! Lol