The Center for Black Progress
Daily existence within this Black body weighs on me heavily. I find myself in a constant battle for peace and well-being. Since my “awakening” years ago, my official transition to the (overused and now cliche) status of being “woke” has made it all the more difficult to obtain that peace. When you know, you know. You can’t un-ring a bell!
My life is forfeit.
I must now border on near-minstrelsy to ensure that I remain jolly and non-threatening enough to continue co-occupying White spaces. At any moment, I could be fired for being reported as “too aggressive, not the right fit.” I could be labeled as an extremist, as a “reverse-racist” (*eye roll*) simply for loving myself and My People. How dare I? I could be killed for something as foolish as a sudden sneeze, if that sneeze causes a White citizen or policeman to “fear for their lives” and “stand their ground.” At any point, an annoyed White woman can choose to weaponize my own Blackness against me. She can mobilize the full force and violence of the state, simply to rid herself of the inconvenience of my existence. And she knows it.
How can I delude myself into thinking that I am different from Jonathan Ferrell? Have I not engaged in the same activities as Tamir Rice and John Crawford III? Why do I deserve to live and they don’t? Haven’t I been pulled over like Sandra Bland? Couldn’t anyone be Yvette Smith? Wait, do I deserve to live? I believe so, but I seem to be in the minority, in more ways than one. How long will it be before my number is called in the ever-growing line of those whose causes of death were “unfortunate Blackness?” What is there to stop me from sharing their fates?
My life is forfeit.
What more can I do to combat the constant mental and emotional numbness that sets in with each new Black death at police hands? What will happen if I disarm this defense mechanism that protects what little sanity I have left? Should I even kid myself that the murderers will even be charged, let alone convicted? That there will be any modicum of value found in a Black life to warrant the slightest empathy for the total loss of existence, identity, impact, and future potential? How many more times must I be inundated with “WhAt AbOuT BlAcK oN BlAcK cRiMe?” Why am I told to place faith in a justice system that has failed US at every level, again and again exactly as it was intended?
The Center for Black Progress (CBP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to uplifting and empowering Afro-descendant communities worldwide. We work systematically to dismantle and remedy the most pressing issues that hamper Black life.
The Center for Black Progress exists to provide training, education, leadership and grassroots activities that comprehensively uplift Black life. We cannot do this alone. Contribute a monetary donation and know that The Culture will benefit immensely.