Here is the link to the full transcript of the speech.
I read this piece by Questlove today and can’t get it out of my mind.
I recognized the honesty of Questlove’s story because it mirrors so many stories told by African American’s across the socio-economic spectrum…for those who have the courage to listen.
Also? As a 6’2 African American female, I have lived a portion of his truth. Many people are jarred when they first see me as they take in my height. Most of these people are White. Some shrink away from me, some don’t answer doors when I make business calls, and some are just rude and dismissive.
Their dislike, fueled by racism, and real or imaginary stereotypes, is hard enough to bear. But to see fear on someone else’s face because of your race and physicality is always deeply disturbing. It always blows your mind and creates cognitive dissonance. Especially, if like Amir describes, you have diligently worked to craft your demeanor, speech, or appearance so as to be less “threatening”…to no avail.
Like I did, for years, slumping in attempt to hide myself and diminish my stature. As if that was possible. Or, crafting my speech to not sound “ghetto” as if I could separate myself from the shadows of neo-racism. Or, most telling and shamefully, the years that I closed myself off from Black friends because of self hate that I failed to recognize and worked hard to overcome.
Disturbing psychological ramifications are manifold…
– The feeling that you will not be judged as individual no matter what you do.
– The knowledge that to some “people” you will never be “right” (or worthy of human consideration) because they have shrunk your human possibility and potential to fit in with what they’ve been told, taught, or see on some stupid ass reality show.
– The fact that you must find a way of coping with this injustice and work around the people and systems who uphold it in order to survive.
…is a pretty fucking horrible feeling.
I feel Questlove and honestly, I doubt there is a single African American who read this story that did not. I applaud him for the courage to speak on this deeply personal subject, in direct contradiction to his famed persona, and reveal his very human, vulnerability and pain.
No one knows the shoes you walk in.
We love to say that but sadly it’s not always true. Some parts of the human experience are not individual but collective.
And when the Zimmerman verdict was announced, the pain, the rage, the shame, the horror and the sadness seemed collectively shared by Black America. You could read it on social media and hear it on TV, all before the search for equality and justice took us to the streets again.
I have no children but if I did this is not the reality that I would wish them to grow up with. Pain, that they did not ask for or deserve. Realities that they must learn to cope with our be broken by. The psychological scars of racism that ‘post racial’ America would like to pretend does not exist, in order for some to assuage their guilt and for others to perpetuate the system which their forefathers created.
I learned of the verdict on Sunday and spent most of it in a black cloud.
It was NOT just another day…for millions of Americans.
I sobbed inconsolably for the Martin family and my people. Some unlucky person tried conversing with me on Twitter about Black on Black crime and how things would not change until we treated ourselves better. So great was my rage and pain that I nearly imploded. before I could combust I blocked her instead.
My overriding thought was how insane it is that my pain must be the lowest possible denomination of what my ancestors must have felt, in the 60’s, in the 50’s, in the 40’s, in the 30’s…going back to the 18th century.
But America has changed, yes?
It has not changed enough and we must demand for future generations that it does.
Elegant Combinations for Garden and Container
Digging into memory
keep louisville natural
Poetry. Politics. Food. Art. Thoughts. Ideas. Opinions. Facts. Truth.
Mixed Heritage | Mixed Culture | Mixed Identity | Mixed Parenting
Espiritu en Fuego -- A Fiery Spirit Expressing Herself
Perspective, Purpose, Passion
The Essence of Literary Art
Rick Cooley's Blog
Marala & Alyssa's Blog
Voracious readers tell you if that book is going to suck.
A Normal Brother on the Road to Extraordinary Things
WordPress blogging tips tools & tutorials
Where Crunk Meets Conscious and Feminism Meets Cool
God comfort the mourning and warn the unruly.
hold a mirror up to life.....are there layers you can see?
Keeping a watchful eye on black politics
A fish study that pales in comparison to the brainwashing of humans
A great WordPress.com site
"News and views from around the world"
Everyday, Everywhere We Are Guided Towards Happiness
Channelings and words of inspiration
Turning the lights on brightly...
A Writer With A Difference
Photos and poetry from a former band camp survivor
A great WordPress.com site
Snark is always an option
Troubling the Surf with the Ocean
Fotografie, Bildbearbeitung und mehr
In your light, I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest, where no one sees you.
Self-Publishing Book Company
Just another WordPress.com site
You are included.
Adventures in madness, cooking, disbelief, and whatever else I want to write about.
Civets, science and the sustainable life.
Where the Truth is Sometimes Stretched and Re-imagined
Spirit Builder by Design
politics,pollution,petitions &pop culture
My collection of free short stories. Because nothing else in life is free.
Don't rush me. I'm still thinking...
I Think You're Smart and Pretty
(I Should Have Been A Blogger)