Dear Black America

Dear Black America,

I hope you didn’t think I was going to let us slide during this series since it is “OUR” history month. I’m indifferent as I write this because on the one hand, I am so proud of all the movements that have been built in the last few years; Black Lives Matter movement, The Natural Hair movement, or even the push towards to Kemetic knowledge of self—just to name a few. On the other hand, it is disappointing to see us destroying and burning our communities to the ground. We’ve already been set back 60 years since the presidential election, it’s only a matter of time before Trump comes for us too. We cannot afford to keep holding ourselves back. If we want white America to give us a break, WE must be better and do better.

1. Stop Killing Each Other

 

Last year in Chicago, there were 762 homicides reported (CNN). That is only ONE city and only what was reported and documented. So, you mean to tell me, on average, TWO people died every day in our neighborhoods? Black on Black crime is crippling us. We are killing each other for no reason, for silly reasons, or sometimes reasons that is not ours to carry. Gang violence, drug violence, domestic violence—these are all the things that we CAN control.

2. Protest Productively

 

The last four years have been emotional as we watched our men, children, and women get gunned down. The anarchy that followed brought awareness but also brought about destruction. Destroying the neighborhoods, we live in is counterproductive. We know how the media portrays us, so WHY are we feeding into it? Our anger can be channeled into marches, phone calls to our elected officials, or towards building up our youth.  Learning to harness our anger into a productive result is so important for progress.

3. Dark Skin AND Light Skin are all MELANIN

Yo, It is 2017 stop allowing a narrative from the 1600s continue to infiltrate our minds. Melanated skin is beautiful in ALL shades. Most importantly, there is power in our skin. “Black don’t crack” is not just a saying because we can age to 95 but look 52. Melanin protects our bodies from skin cancer. Melanin aids in all of our internal functions (Organ health, brain power, nervous system health). Melanin is so powerful, laboratories tried to recreate it synthetically in order sell it to those without it. 

APPRECIATE WHO WE ARE

4. Being Black and Educated is OKAY

Shaming each other for “speaking white” and being smart is like grabbing your friend’s ankle while they are trying to swim away from a shark. Let’s not lose sight of the common goal here. We all want to uplift each other, not continue to live in oppression together.   

To all our white allies, it is not that we do not want to share black culture with you. You are welcome to our music, our hairstyles, our essence but DO NOT forget to give credit where it’s due. That’s when you cross from being an ally to an oppressor. If you don’t understand, remember that you can chose to “Try On” the culture. Please know that we appreciate you in this fight for equality.

Yes, we ARE oppressed by White America, that’s a fact. But right now, focus on WHY we are oppressing ourselves. They started it, and we are perpetuating the oppression?  If we want America to do better on our behalf, we have to stop keeping ourselves down.

Sincerely,

A Woman Who Wants Change

 

 

Tonja ThompsonComment