Happy second week of 2018! Wow, the year has been going by slowly and quickly at the same time. I hope everyone who is residing in the colder parts of the world is doing well and not too snowed in. Thank goodness for those two snow days in New York last week. I hope your week has been going well so far and you have been feeling blessed, grateful, loved, and humble.
This week has been a rollercoaster for me, literally. I have had highs and lows, gone up and down the spectrum, a little twist on Tuesday (because of a surprise Yoga session after practice), a few spins on Wednesday, and a jumping twist Thursday morning (thanks to an 8am dance class. It’s been a jammed pack week, but I still managed to write essays, submit school work on time, go to practice, do my pushups, be a vegan, go to work, and still find time for a small life. But, hey, I want to be a global physician so I need to put in that extra time, right?
Let’s start with my two issues that I have encountered growing up and most recently I have experienced.
- When your white friends and their parents assume that your family is not together and thriving (simply because we are black).
- Please don’t be this person and make a stereotype true because in reality many black families and black parents are thriving in their marriage (25 years plus) and if they are not married 99% of the time their co-parenting skills and beyond marvelous.
- Black families come from long-haul struggles and many families have grown up with #BlackLove.
- That black love is an unbreakable bond (at least the eyes that I have seen growing up), please don’t degrade us and our relationships with your negativity
- When MLK day is nearing closer and suddenly the whole community has something to say about “Woke Black”
- The room starts to shift when you walk in, the presentations seem a bit forced, and all of sudden all eyes are on the black people (at least I feel this way)
- But then you get that one group of people who feel sympathy or the other group who take it to the extreme and are singing “We shall overcome”.
Here is a little guide to how to successfully not walk on eggshells around a black person and how to successfully not get into an argument that most of the time no one wants to deal with or has the time. You’ll thank me for that time when I saved you from assuming that a black girl’s parents weren’t together because she had a younger sibling (over a 10 year age gap) and you thought it was the “second go around” (meaning she had a half-sibling). Nope. They are blood-related and her parents have been together for over 30 years. Congratulations, you played yourself. #NotWokeEnough
The Do’s and Don’ts of being #WokeBlack:
- DO be supportive of black culture
- DON’T be black if you’re not
- DO talk about Dr. Reverand, Martin Luther King, Jr.
- DON’T brainwash his message and the struggles of black men and women
- DO uplift your black friends
- DON’T say ” I totally understand” when they are explaining their struggles unless you are in their shoes (or at least somewhat)
- DO try and understand why that was not appropriate
- DON’T brush it off because you are then making it a bigger issue
- DO ask questions if you are not sure
- DON’T assume
My biggest takeaway for you, my readers, would be not to believe in a stereotype and make the assumption. It hurts and chances are it’s not true. The saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover goes a long way”so be sure to ask questions, have a conversation, hang out with the person (if you can), and get to know them BEFORE you make a set in stone assumption.
I love being black and I wouldn’t trade my skin color, my black beauty, my curves, and edges, or my history. Being black has taught me to love myself, to be open-minded, to be aware, and to most importantly encourage myself and others.
I hope you have been able to get a takeaway from my series #GrowingUpBlack. Be sure to check out last week’s post here!
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Peace and Love.