Maybe you’ll understand more when you know our stories; here’s mine…
Black lives matter because it is more than racism, there are no handouts, there are no shortcuts, it is more than the color of our skin, the way we dress, the way we cook, it’s hardcore and rough, but this is MY LIFE; it’s OUR LIFE!
Imagine being born the color of the skin that is hated most in a country you were birthed in. Imagine being raised in a rundown neighborhood where gunshots are fired throughout the day and/or dealers selling at the corner of your neighborhood. You don’t have the option of choosing who your parents are or where you come from, how you are raised, or what mentality you gain from your hood. You can only focus on moving forward and trying to be someone with class, structure, pride, and dignity. You move with uncertainty but you make sure you rise to the top with professionalism and opportunity while trying to maintain and display confidence.
Let’s start from the beginning:
Childhood: As a child I grew up in DC where our doctors, lawyers, and judges, we’re black. At the age of 15 my mother moved me and my twin to Oklahoma. Imagine leaving a melting pot of wealthy minorities to come to a state that is fully Republican and known for racism. I had to be damn near perfect for EVERYTHING yet still looked down upon. That meant crossing my t’s 3x and triple checking my work; there was no room for error. In school I received detention for not calling my teacher “sir” when asked if I were present during roll call; instead I simply said “here”.
Growing up my family never used the terms “Mam or Sir” as it made them feel old. We we’re taught to defend ourselves and to never do something we don’t want to do if it makes sense. My Mom backed me in fighting the detention against my teacher. From then on he looked at me as a student that would challenge him instead of following his room guidelines when I simply disregarded his way of greeting and respectfully answered a different way. This is not being rude and in his eyes since he was a former Kernel he felt he could control how the students spoke to him; yet that’s not the way the world works. Let’s just say I ended up passing that class with a low C average with a big bowl of problems. He tried to find ways to fail me and sabotage my gpa. He was very hard to work with when I was sick or out for an extracurricular activity.
Social life: One day we went out to eat at a place that is no longer there but called “Delta Cafe” in Edmond, OK. Everyone was white and as we walked in the entire restaurant stopped and stared at us. We had no welcome greeting nor we’re we ever asked if we needed help. Me and my sister told my mom we were uncomfortable, she said so was she so we left. In the car we had the conversation about the awkwardness in the restaurant. Of course we didn’t understand. How do you explain to teenagers that people stare at you and make you feel unwelcome because your black; because you are you. We never had this issue in DC. She couldn’t make it sound acceptable we just had to accept the reasoning she gave which was “were not white”. At a young age my Mom taught me to “never cry or show fear outside of the home because those people do not care! Our home is our safe haven! When we walk through that front door every morning we put on a show like nothing ever happens and you vent when you get home”. I have racial stories for days!
Skip to College: In college my plan was to become an entertainment lawyer. Apart of my courses I had to take a government course and ended up in an auditorium of over 50 students with a professor that dismissed the entire right side of the room for one persons cell phone ringing. In private he told me I would never be anything nor an attorney and should consider another field of study due to my C+ average in his course. He felt as though I was not prepared and would never be prepared for such a difficult job. This all stemmed from me confronting him about a prior test I had received a D on. I asked for extra material to help me study better and he would not offer them. Instead he belittled me and forced me out of his classroom claiming to super busy. Worst of all he was a man of mixed race and would continuously belittle Obama during our class sessions.
To wrap this up! To me the Black Lives Matter Movement stands for the black race that have and still are continuously humiliated! As if we are literal trash; we are killed daily. More publicized then ever! Our streets and neighborhoods are run down. We are given nothing and have to fight for everything as if our life depended on it because it does! Our people must fight for a 4.0 gpa with a perfect record and still get disqualified in being accepted into a prestigious school. It’s the unequal paved way that whites receive. Living in fear everyday as our families step outside the front door and now even sleeping in our own homes scare us! Telling our Black boys and girls that your dream is not society’s dream they have for you. In order to achieve greatness you will have to fight long and hard to TRY to become someone. Even if you make it to the top you will always answer to a white man. They will never completely respect you for who you are because you are BLACK!
A black woman