Inspiration (Music): Black Butterfly / Deniece Williams
Set the skies on fire. Rise up even higher. So the ageless winds of time can catch your wings.
How do you speak when you’re speechless? How can you be heard when ears that could and should be making a difference turn in the opposite direction? Oh, I guess they’re deaf now / Suddenly they blind too. Where do you begin when its been the same thing over and over again?
I’m tired. People are tired.
Of inequality and injustice. Of violence and hate. Of RACISM.
BLACK people are tired. Tired of unconcerned and oblivious voices telling us that our experiences are invalid. News Flash to the unconcerned voices: Microagression is real and definitely plays a part on the mental health of minorities (Learn More). Your lack of experience with it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Tired of somehow being turned into and seen as the aggressor when taking a stand on injustices + standing up for ourselves. Still, we rise. Tired of being left out of important conversations.
Tired of our natural hair being referred to as “unkept and unprofessional”. Pause: You telling me that the straight hair that grows naturally out of “insert name here”s head is professional, but somehow the coily hair that grows naturally out of mine isn’t?
Make it make sense. Nevermind, we don’t need an explanation, we’ll rise. We’re tired, but we’ll rise. Tired of our histories being erased. Tired, but we rise and we build and we create for ourselves since there’s no seat at the table (See: Tulsa, Oklahoma). Guess we couldn’t have that either. Rise. Tired of being treated as unequal in a country where there’s “liberty and justice for all“. Tired of being shown on live television and through the justice system who’s lives matter.
We stand upright. We protest. We cry. We speak up. We pray. We vote. We sigh. We volunteer. We sing. We make calls. We write. We donate. We try and we try and we try. And we rise. Movement.
Note: Within this movement keep in mind that rising up is not a one size fits all. There’s space and a necessity for every action and interaction. Whats a well-oiled machine without all of it’s moving parts? Sometimes, mentally and/or physically, doing the most can be difficult for some, so it is important that we understand and remember this. Words so beautifully structured by Nayyirah Waheed (from her book, Salt. – Highly Recommended) floated insistently in my mind as I wrote the words above.
you do not have to be a fire
every mountain blocking you.
you could be a water
soft river your way to freedom
[from Salt. by Nayyirah Waheed]
So now you want to know: What can I do? How can I be an ally? or What’s next? Right now is what’s next. The banding together and the increase of understanding and empathy. Putting the money where your mouth is. Educating yourself. Listening to your friends sincerely. Watching videos and reading articles (+books) on history, advice, and experiences (from different perspectives) can help as well. I’ll link a couple of videos from some of my favorite content creators, an informative website, and a petition below to help get you started, but remember that the work doesn’t end here.
- My Advice and Experience as a BLACK Woman – Patricia Bright
- RACE and How to Be an Ally – Jo Franco
- Why We Protest (+ How to be a Real Ally) – Amber’s Closet
- George Floyd’s Death, Racism, and How to Fight Injustice – Rev. Michael Beckwith, Lewis Howes
CHANGE IS NOW.
Thank you for reading and as always, much love to you.