Her words, "The store owners should grab their guns and blow them all to hell." Those were the words of a white coworker and friend of mine on Facebook in August of 2014. Ferguson was all over the news because Mike Brown had been killed, and there were riots. Those words struck me, they hurt. How could anyone place more value on items in a store than someone's life and then subsequently wish them to Hell?
I was so angry and hurt, we were supposed to be friends, and I'm Black, how could she miss my Blackness when she made that statement? I screenshotted her words, unfriended her and shared them on my Facebook profile and captioned it "This is what's wrong with America". What followed was a slew of text messages between the two of us after someone alerted her to my post. A year or so later, she sent me a note apologizing for what she had said.
While I felt righteous indignation, that whole experience put a bad taste in my mouth. Shortly after that me, the social justice warrior who was always loud and proud on social media became quiet and didn't talk about race anymore. It exhausted me. I was tired, and I made the decision to divest from White people. That's right. I was done trying to be friends or have debates about my humanity. I just wanted to focus on what I could control, being the best mom I could be and celebrating Black people and all of our beauty and resilience. I was just going to love us hard and ignore the rest. We deserve that kind of peace.
Over the years, I started therapy and began my healing journey. During that journey, I learned many things about the sociology and psychology of humans. I became fascinated with how we were socialized in this society and how we relate to each other. I understood myself better. I got some tools under my belt. I learned to practice mindfulness and not take things personally and still hold boundaries. I learned how not to assume what was not mine. I also continued to keep quiet on social media regarding race and politics. I was just doing my work and minding my Black ass business.
Now fast forward to June 2020 and imagine my surprise when I finally decide to dip my toe back into the pool of talking about race on social media. I was so inspired by Generation Z and all of their passion. So, I decided to create content, drawing the correlation between people using oppressive tools to raise children and then wanting them to respect other's humanity. Well, that escalated quickly. It was just some of my notes that I was preparing for Janet Lansbury's podcast that I was set to record with her. Then that aired, and it got even more attention.
Ten thousand followers later, and oh shit! I accidentally got myself here. How do I proceed without being triggered, inform and set my boundaries, protect my energy, and be authentic? How do I show up with and apply my tools? How can I best use my gifts? I had gone from revolutionary social justice crusader to let me just be quiet some years ago. I did not know that I was resting up for this divine assignment. I didn't realize I was gathering tools to have these kinds of real vulnerable and brave conversations. In fact, I rejected it at first. I thought I hope they don't get used to me talking about race because I am DONE! I'm going to write this little guided journal as a resource, which will be my final offering. Yet, I still feel called to this work. So here I am, doing this the best way that I know-how. Honoring the energy that I carry, the energy that gently transforms yet insists on change. Also, honoring my Blackness and my ancestors. So I will continue sprinkling anti-racism content on my social media platforms. It may spark some discomfort, and that is okay.