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Happy While Black | Around & Within Episode 22

We all know whats up we can’t ignore it. Another black person has been killed by a police officer and riots have dispersed across the nation. Question, when huge moments happen do you ever take a moment to think shit… I’m living through major historic moments. Like when 9/11 happened or Obama became president there was an air across the nation that we felt. The same one I feel now. However, we are in this conundrum of history literally repeating itself and that question you asked yourself when you looked at the civil rights movement and you saw pictures of protestors the question of “would that have been me? Would my face be on the front lines if I lived back then?” I’m confronted with the same question now and while my answer would have been “yes” back when I was 10 I’ve grown and realized that the answer is “no” and that is okay.

In 2016 I was pregnant and quiet about bringing a black boy into this world yet very loud about black lives mattering and the injustices that have to stop. I would write Facebook think pieces, had discussions, discourses and arguments and went on an unfriending rampage. I was perpetually angry and everyday I woke up stressed. Stressed about what my son would have to endure and how I could be a mother to him and hurt about just how racist this country still is. Then I lost my son. I look back at how angry I was throughout my short pregnancy and wondered if that played a role in me losing him. I asked myself what my Facebook posts and conversations did and I realized that I didn’t change any minds I just negatively impacted myself. It was then when I decided to take a step back for my mental and emotional wellness.

Upon taking a step back I realized how many people were contributing to the conversation kind of making things hard to hear not really knowing what point to follow. At the same time I saw activists that I could stand behind and organizations I could support.

Now I’m at a place where I have learned that I can’t help anyone if I don’t help myself. I can’t make any change if I’m mentally unable to see past my anger. In the midst of it all I have to take care of myself. I have to find happiness. I have to learn how to be happy while being black. James Baldwin said, “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” And he was right I’m trying to learn how to suppress my rage and make happiness a priority without feeling guilty about it.

To black people don’t feel guilty about how you handle trauma and pain. You are not less than or ungrateful if you choose not to yell and scream when things hurt you. Simply consuming the information is exhausting. I’m tired don’t feel bad for taking a break. Don’t be ashamed of finding a way to multitask awareness and happiness. I love seeing black people do things that make them happy at a time like this. Continuing on with life things and humor. Consuming ourselves with this is not healthy. And it’s mental health awareness month?!? Be aware of yourself and your needs. I think we will be surprised at what we can come up with once we figure out how to manage our anger and think strategically.

To every other race, we need you because we are tired. And honestly we can’t do it alone. We didn’t do it alone when we were freed, we didn’t do it alone when we fought for our rights and we cannot do it alone now. When our voices are weary from singing the same song please stand up and sing it for us. Stand in the gap between us and racists. Make racists the minority by standing up to it. Please stop sitting back and saying damn that’s crazy. We are tired.

I will end on this. I believe that while marches and riots worked in the past when we had absolutely no rights and no other options to impact the country. However, now we have buying power, we own things, we are in powerful positions, we can vote, we have evolved. I think we should try to exhaust all of the options and rights we do have due to the civil rights movement to make the changes we desire. and if that doesn’t work then tear some shit up. But what is it that we desire? What do we want? Who’s stepping up to define and lead that or all we all angry and screaming into the air.

This week I affirm that leaders from all current generations will emerge and take the reigns to make more than hashtags, social media pages, and well worded speeches but create clear and concise agenda that we can stand behind and a consistent push and plan of action to get those demands met. I also affirm that In addition to being happy that I am black I will also be happy in the midst of it all!

Peace and love,

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