The daily news is a constant source of discontentment and outrage. It really doesn’t matter what your views may be. As a black person in this country, you cannot get around the emotions and conversation surrounding the devaluing of black lives. And if you can, something is wrong. There is no shield for it. There is no cover. You wear it and no matter your proximity in the sectors of society, it’s is at your feet. As you scroll through social media you will find these headlines. All pointing to the lack of humanity given to people who look like you. In the comments of the post lies a myriad of skewed solutions as well as varied perceptions of what the problem is. In my experience regarding many, I find this common phrase “We need someone to step up and do something!” “We need a leader to get us there!”
I wonder who this “someone” is?
So much of the history we are fed about black people is a projection of martyrdom. The key people that did this or did that. While it is a significant part of our history, it certainly is not all. It has always taken a collective to make things happen for ourselves. We get so caught up in their narrative that we forget that. The school’s teach black history centered on key people and not the collective effort of the masses. That is why our children white and black, know more about MLK than they do about Black Wall Street. We as a collective is a scary thought for far too many. Do you ever wonder what the reaction must be of the white supremacist mind when they see a two black hands holding up a red and blue rag tied together?
It seems too many of us are saturated with their narrative and the talented tenth ideology. It starts with having the same idea. Having the same idea is about the knowledge of self. There is nothing left to use that will hide who we are and have always been as a people, yet we catch ourselves in the corner of ignorance while in the age of information, that mind frame will no longer suffice. We always had to break our own shackles. Contrary to popular opinion, no one ever did that for us. They may have spoken words that sounded like the song of freedom but we still had to move under new evolved oppression and bust down doors to get an inch further.
I had a conversation with a good friend who paraphrased the feelings I had expressed to her about my 9 to 5 life. It made me think about the fact that we sometimes find ourselves stuck at a wall beating our fists against it until they are bloodied trying to break it down. The whole time never utilizing our peripheral vision to see the wide open space around it. We only imagine the space on the other side of the wall to be better than what we already have access to. The thought resounded in my head and I find it applicable here.
There is no legislature that will love us better than we can. There is no education system that will do what we can do. Together as we, not just he or she, we can move as a collective to change the paradigms of those well meaning enough and force them to move their feet. We can give our kids the voice and inner power needed to use this world as a queen is used on a chessboard. Just us, WE ARE ENOUGH.
I am a mother and I think just as much as the next vigilant mother about who my children are and how they will navigate life. My sons must be prepared for their individual destiny. I can’t help but find myself in a battle with the state of the world. I can’t help but be on edge regarding with the school system, mass incarceration and policing atrocities. What I can do is call to my village and expand it. To help educate it and do whatever I can no matter the amount to help better it.
I know the power of WE. I know what happens when WE get the same idea. I know what happens when WE stand up. I know what happens when WE change the game. Here is the not so hidden truth, everyone else in the world does to too. Make no mistake about this. We can expand our understanding globally and change the course of the world. And in a more personal sweep, make America truly great for the first time. Isn’t that a euphoric idea?
Get out and learn about who we are. Challenge the “norms” that subjugate you. Lose the shame that was placed on you. Grow the babies close to you. Tell the truth residing inside of you. Explore the things foreign to you. Be a voice for the people who matter to you. Never let the outside strike fear within you. Let me mean we and your understanding will use you.