Photo Credit: Christina Morillo
I am fiercely and wholly dedicated to unapologetically uplifting and centering Black women and Black women’s issues. I suppose I have always had a higher than average sense of Black pride but it was reinforced in recent years as a means of surviving an especially rough year as a Black professional in a culturally dis-affirming workplace. Microaggressions, macroaggressions, and a lack of accountability were rampant and eating away at my core.
There were days when I thought my spirit would never recover. By the grace of God, instead of becoming bitter, I channeled that energy into something positive—writing. I have always spoken up for myself but respectability politics and other forms of political correctness to which I no longer subscribe, kept me silent in the workplace. Writing about my experiences allows me to process them in a healthy way.
I initially worried that calling out and challenging white supremacy, especially while centering Black women and Black women’s issues would bring reproach upon me. However, my dignity and self-respect wouldn’t allow me to remain silent…and I have never felt more liberated. One of my goals for the coming year is to continue to use my voice to speak truth to power…for my own sanity. If systems are changed in the process, that’s a bonus.
I used to worry that people would misinterpret the love that I have for Blackness as a slight to others because one of the biggest myths about being “pro-Black” is that it equals “anti-White”. This cannot be further from the truth. Loving, embracing, and affirming my Blackness is not an affront to Whiteness.
To be clear, I do NOT hate white people. I hate white supremacy. I hate injustice. I hate systems of oppression. It is unfortunate that some people see those as one and the same. One of the many yokes associated with being Black is that we are expected to make our messages palatable to those who oppress us, so as not to offend them, despite them not caring when we are offended.
I completely reject the notion of “respectability politics” which tells us that we should think and/or behave a certain way to be accepted by the dominant culture. Why should we water ourselves down to be more acceptable for a system that has shown us throughout history that we are not and never will be good enough?
As such, anyone who equates calling out oppressive systems and behaviors with hating anyone simply doesn’t get it and I don’t have time to help them get it.