Baby before I begin let me make this abundantly clear…I’m black with a capital B. No need for POC or African American. Blackity black black BLACK! The state of the nation has encouraged me to make that known. Here’s my perspective on the state of things.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock that’s nestled under Earth’s core you know the Black Lives matter movement has taken the front stage of media all over the country. Of course, due to yet another series of police brutality incidents around the nation. This time though, it feels different. These things have happened before. We feel outrage, we express our outrage via social media, press conferences and even written responses such as this and then lives go on. While of course lives have to go on…what’s happening now feels different.
My Thoughts Could Be a Book
We are in the midst of history. Writing about every thought I have on the state of things would truly turn into a novel. I could write about the outrage that literal blackness is perceived as a threat. Or perhaps, my people even young children feel a different type of fear during a police encounter. Then there’s learning to properly handle microaggressions at work, because we don’t want to be seen as confrontational or my favorite “the angry black woman/man”. How about we discuss that police brutality is the just the tip of the iceberg in relation to race matters in the United States? No we are no longer slaves but it now has a new name mass incarceration. Then there’s the fact that black history is vast and extensive but tends to focus on slavery and MLK in the schools. I mean…clearly this is a book with umpteen chapters but I decided to streamline to just my thoughts about what I experienced today (June 18th).
Originally, I intended to write about why I am a black teacher to black students on purpose. I believe that article is still in me, however I changed my mind after the events of the day.
This article will be published on Juneteenth. Not so fun fact: I didn’t know a damn thing about Juneteenth until maybe five years or so ago. Much of what I have come to know and learn about black history happened when I became an adult. I wanted to do something to commemorate Juneteenth and support the movement so my teammate and friend had shirts made and we decided to visit the now burned down Wendy’s here in Atlanta on University Ave. If you aren’t aware, just last weekend Rayshard Brooks was murdered there. Read a bit about his story here.
Visiting the burned down Wendy’s
Listen y’all. When I pulled into that Wendy’s parking lot there were so many people out there. In front a collection of balloons for his daughter whose father was murdered on her birthday. Candles and the names of several black men and women that were victims of police brutality sprinkled the drive thru parking lot. The first feeling I felt was sadness. Obviously. I got out the car and started walking around and saw the debris from the fire and how people had begun to graffiti the building with sayings such as “Being black isn’t a crime” and “The revolution will be televised.”
The second feeling I felt was pride. In all of the destruction, and debris I was proud of my people. A bunch of strangers were out there taking in the scene. While my friend and I snapped a few pictures, others gathered and began to protest. News crews came and as we stood near the storefront saw cars and trucks going by honking and holding up black power fists. The third and final feeling was empowered. What began as my friend and I wanting to celebrate Juneteenth with our shirts and a few pictures turned into us joining complete strangers in solidarity towards the fight.
Black with a Capital B
Today was a moment I’ll never forget. Yes, my people are hurting but all this hurt inspired conversations that are 400 years overdue. Brands (some very shallowly) are beginning to listen and show support for the movement. Black voices and businesses are being pushed to the forefront. Allies are beginning to see that we can’t do it alone.
I’ve always been proud to be black. Even prouder to be a black woman. In the past, by now the momentum of the outrage and support would be almost nonexistent. However, as I said this feels different. I feel that this is only the beginning. Many are speaking out that haven’t before, educating themselves on the history, and making it a point to support everything that’s blackity black black. I gathered a few other talented black bloggers that had something to say about what’s going on. See what these black bloggers had to say about all of it, here. The world is beginning to see that black lives truly do matter. I am so black and so proud.
Always remember…black with a capital B.