|Photo courtesy of Google|
Life in Black skin in our current society means to live knowing that there could possibly never be a time that we can relax in our lifetime. Exhausting. The white supremacy imperialistic society that we have is one that hopes that we will become so tired that we give up and concede. White supremacists and by extension whiteness doesn't see Black humanity. Which is what makes it incomprehensible for them to understand that our humanity is what will continue to drive us to fight to have lives that include the agency, equality, equity and freedom all people deserve.
Cutting the cord with whiteness which is continually perpetuated by all of us is an action that too many of us aren't willing or ready to do. It would put most of us in the precarious position of having to choose to give up seemingly happy and comfortable lives. But if that perceived happiness requires us to conform to and sacrifice being our whole selves, due to the racist restrictions that are placed on our lives in order to prosper in this society, then is life really that happy or comfortable.
Complacency is an extremely dangerous mindset if living while Black. "If they just stay over there and leave me and mine alone" is a sentiment that is heavily ingrained within the Black community-- because it was required for our very survival-- but that attitude has devolved over time and created a dead end for all of us. There is no real escape if we continue this way because white supremacy will continue coming for us. We represent the "great" life that they could have if only we would make it easier on them and consent to be slaves.
None of us could ever imagine living the lives of our ancestors that were kidnapped from their homeland and brought here and to many other countries around the world. And yet that could be the future that we leave our children if we don't stop excusing white people's need and desire to remain unaware and unaffected by their actions. Stop choosing to cover them and challenge them on every racist, capitalistic, imperialistic and murderous degradation that they inflict on those who can't easily check their preferred box of white. No matter what box we check, choices and actions that preserve white supremacy are not evolved or humane.
Education, Economics, Health and Autonomy
I was born in Chicago and lived there until the age of 12. Most of my accessible memory of living in Chicago is from the time we lived in Morgan Park in a diverse neighborhood that was filled with Black people. Until this day I still remember the phone number because it was at a time in my life when I was expected to know critical information that would keep me informed and safe. It was a wonderful time but the area had its limitations.
A busted furnace created some problems but it also created an opportunity for me to experience a predominantly Black elementary school for the 5th grade. Black teachers were everywhere I looked; there was morning assembly with the Black national anthem and posters along the hallways and in classrooms of people who had done great things and looked like me. Sure, my parents exposed me to some Black history information but to be immersed in it in a place where I spent the better part of my day was extremely affirming. What Black child could not use more of that? I went back to my former school for my last year in Chicago, completely engaged and critically aware of my surroundings.
We need our own schools and programs that combine an African Diaspora education with an improved secular educational system. An education beginning in elementary that includes Black histories around the world. An education that focuses on math, arts, sciences (including geography), and languages being taught by people that respect them, prioritize them and look like them. I am convinced that this is the primary way that our children will have great futures.
What better choice than to give our children an education that includes critical awareness. To know that there is more to who we are than the dissected history and propagandized treatments that white supremacy chooses to emphasize. To give in to the truth that we are more than the meager existence that we have managed to cobble together in spite of them. To believe that we are more when we are united around the world. A mission like this would eventually overturn current society and create an enormous obstacle for those who would try keep us down.