James Baldwin said it best...
I'm a Christian who is African American.
I'm a Christian,
But I'm also black.
Black mixed with more black.
I was raised to acknowledge my blackness first, then everything else.
This is something that I still struggle with from time to time because I love God, but I also love my blackness and they aren't interchangeable.
I'm a Christian.
But I'm also black.
So with everything going on in the country right now, these are the times when I really have to check my flesh and seek God wholeheartedly, but sometimes it's hard.
It felt like another kick to the stomach when I heard about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile because that could have been me!
Or my brother.
Or my uncle.
Or my daddy.
Police manage to de-escalate situations with white people all the time, so why can't y'all figure it out with us?
History has shown us that it doesn't take much for this country to justify the murder of black people and I'm tired.
I'm tired of "All Lives Matter" (because you say it to try and silence us instead of trying to fix the solution).
I'm tired of the 'Black on black crime' argument (our country is still pretty segregated, so when a crime occurs, it's highly likely that the perpetrator will look like you. There's no such thing as 'white on white' crime because we just call it crime. Same with 'black on black crime'.)
I'm tired of everything that tries to deflect from what going on and tries to justify what's happening to us.
And when it happens so much, you begin to feel helpless...
One day I was on Tumblr and I came across this picture:
I read her shirt at least 10 times.
I let the words roll around in my head.
I internalized them.
I thought about my great-grandmother.
I thought about the woman she is and the woman she had to be to grow up in the time she did. I think about her and my aunt looking at me and telling me that they are proud of the woman I am.
And I gain strength. I allow the pride of two of the women I admire being proud of me drown out any self doubt or fear I have because of what I look like.
I am not helpless.
I have Psalm 27 tattooed on my wrist because it is one of my favorite characters in the Bible of all time!! I discovered it during a particularly rough time and I feel like it was God's way of telling me 'I got you.' Ive been reading it a lot lately because it reminds me of who my Daddy is.
He got me.
He got us.
And we gon be alright (Kendrick voice)
So I say all that to say that with everything going on, please don't live in fear.
We are called to stand up straight.
To be confident.
And to proud of who we are, regardless of how others feel about it.✊🏾✊🏾