I haven’t been very vocal on here because the past few days have awakened old wounds and created new ones. I even shared a little bit of how I felt on Instagram a few days ago on this post.
Seeing so many people speaking up and coming together to claim that Black Lives Matter has warmed my heart. But I cannot help but feel anger because I have been suffering from these issues from a long time. I have tried to raise awareness to these issues for years and I was always seen as the “Angry Black girl”, which was degrading and frustrating. I was always conflicted because I would meet new people, confide in them, love them and they would randomly say something racist and I didn’t know how to react: speak up? Call them out? Laugh It off? Lose friends? I felt like I was betraying who I was when I didn’t, but I also didn’t like how I was being seen. Learning about racism is a privilege, young Black children do not have.
I ask you today to be allies, to speak up, listen to Black people and their experiences, believe them, support them, call out your racist friends, relatives or even strangers. Speaking up is never easy, it costs you but it matters. You will make mistakes, you will hurt people but take comfort in the fact that you are doing the right thing. As they say “practice makes perfect”. You can listen to interviews, podcasts, read books, essays or have conversion with Black people and it will help you in knowing what you can say when the time comes. And remember Black Lives Matter, and they have always mattered and they will always matter.