Police Brutality, Lynching, and Higher Education (the modern day trauma)

I swear my heart hurts so bad write now but writing is currently my therapy. I feel like I need to call on my ancestors and burn some sage in order to cleanse all the killing of black souls that have been happening in the last couple of years. I have a duty as a blogger to write how I feel along with reporting whats going on as an educator but a storyteller of the struggle.

I feel like ever since “The Election” of our new president the world has had there….as Paul Mooney would say….”the Nigga wake up call”! Everyone seems as if they are walking on eggshells just because at any moment the state of the nation can get really ugly, well technically it already has been ugly. American history was naver made for the minority. Politically our thoughts and ideas to better this country that lives of the idea of “manifest destiny”(which was a lie, and a scare tactic to come and rape, murder, and steal from native Americans buy saying it was Gods plan….was pretty fucked up) has never been welcomed either. We are reverting back to the 1950’s and Jim Crow era along with Bull Connor (aka Donald Trump) back tracking and promoting bullshit. Hate producing hate, racism producing racism, and shady politics promoting more shady politics.real-racism

Sometimes self care is the best care. Everything isn’t going the way it’s suppose to be in life sometimes and these last couple of months are trying times. People are in a mass sense of depression and worry. I pray for the state of the nation, I pray for the national government. I pray for all minorities that are willing to stand with each other in solidarity.

Even though I am a newly college graduate, I am still a black woman and that will never change. I can still get shot, raped, and arrested. I can have everything taken from me and still be told “you didn’t work hard enough….your being lazy”. Even though it took me 6 years to get a degree, I now have a $50,000 price tag by the federal government that I have to pay off too. Slavery can come in many forms, from the school to prison pipeline all the way to taking 10 years to get financially stable after going through undergrad, masters, and Ph.D. My black excellence matters but it took me almost half of my life being in my own skin to be able to love myself.

They tell you growing up that you can be anything that you want to be yet they make it 100% harder than anyone else. Well hopefully, times are going to change.

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The tactics with police brutality in the last 20 years have been to me considered modern day trauma. We have to stand together no matter what! IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP!

All Lives Matter vs. Black Lives Matter

Why can’t we have our own shit! Yup I said it, and I’ll say it again.Why can’t we have out own shit. I feel like this phrase “Black Lives Matter” makes people who are non-white uncomfortable. I swear this is something that we should be able to have. What is the problem? No seriously, what is the problem because as an educator I have learned children don’t see color, yet for black children there is that one moment in there life with other children when they learn who they are because there classmate making a joke, a slur, or a goofy drawing that mentions there identity. In other words this is where this starts the concept (TO ME) the young scholars “black experience”. It bothers me that I can’t go down the street without being cussed out by a white man for wearing a shirt that says “Black Kids Matter, What’s Your Purpose?”. I am a African American female who works in a low income school district with the majority of my children in my class being black or brown. So what do you expect me to feel when I see black children and teens getting harassed by the police or murdered? Okay so like I was saying black kids do matter lol!

Yes all lives do matter, but at the same time right now at this very moment black lives matter because ever since we were kidnapped from our motherland of Africa, sent off to various parts of the Americas and the Caribbean, and forced to to labor work among white Europeans who would beat, rape, and kill us because of various ridiculous reasons we have never mattered. EVEN THOUGH we built the white house!

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As a community we are tired of being sick and tired but we do have a lot of issues in the community. We are not perfect yet we will stand for each other because that is in out nature. Like my granny use to say “all ya skin folk aint ya kin folk” and sadly I believe that is so true. Some black people don’t agree with the concept of black lives matter, and I understand there reasons why. That doesn’t change my view lol. Yet in this day and age we need to say basically the affirmation “BLACK LIVES MATTER” to keep moving forward because it seems like society is moving backwards.

I swear saying all lives matter is like a fire truck putting the water on every other house in the neighborhood but the house that is burning!
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Cultural Appropriation #1: The Box Braids Debate

 

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I was once asked on tumblr a question from a white (or not person of African decent) a question about a topic that I had a strong issue with. Looking in my inbox this person asked, “How do you feel when you see white women, or other women who aren’t black, wearing box braids? Does this make it cultural appropriation?”.  At first, I was stuck on this question, and I thank this person for asking this question. I know people wear Native American, Latino, Middle Easter, and various Asian costumes during Halloween, along with many white fraternities and sororities wearing blackface with “Kanye Western” or “Compton Cookout” party themes. People have spoke out about this issue saying that this is “cultural appropriation”. For some who don’t know this term, this usually means another non ethnic culture, usually the oppressor, taking various different elements of the oppressed culture, and making it usually relate or reinforce negative stereotypes for example,the concept of blackface.

Now as black women, we have this magical gift of changing our hair to whatever we want it to be. And one of the most common is Box Braids, a type of hairstyle statement that has been around since ancient Africa and variations can be seen in different parts. Now that this style is making a comeback, being phased as “Poetic Justice Braids” or “Patra Braids”, every black women has rocked a pair of box braids with little gold or wood beads either shoulder length or all the way down their back. But now this simple hairstyle has became a fashion trend among mainstream media. Once non-women of color put this style in their hair, they may start to feel their attitude changing, including their walk, speech might become different, and then finally they become this “alter ego” of a “black woman”, ready to take on the world with plenty of neck rolling and hair flips. Yet, this can be seen negatively as cultural appropriation and usually can be brushed off by the media and fashion industry as “white girls being cute and on a curve of a fashion trend”.

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My answer to this question was this, yes this is considered cultural appropriation. No matter how you feel about it, mainstream media along with the fashion industry really haven’t been recognizing black women for the many fashion trends that we helped create and make popular. Go ahead and wear box braids if you want to, but don’t be surprised if I laugh at you in the process!

What grinds my gears #1: the concept of “White Student Unions”

 

cultural appropration 1Now I am only going to write about this one time and one time only. Over the last couple of weeks there has been a outcry from many students of color on PWI campuses (which for some of you who don’t know, these are private/public white institutions). There has been an issue with safety on campus, requesting more professors and staff of color, and even more classes on racial diversity. My issue is, If we don’t feel safe and have been saying that then someone in the administration has been doing one of two things, 1.) hears the concerns of students but because of funding (either federal or state) doesn’t want to address the issue or want to care, or 2.) has seen the issue and concern of students, wants to help address the issue, but yet because of politics going on in the administration, can’t do anything about it!

That’s why on campus we establish organizations like Black Student Union, African Student Association, The Divine Nine (which are the nine predominately African American fraternities and sororities), and other academic clubs on campus to bring awareness as well as a community on campus for the representation of the Pan-African diaspora on campuses all over the nation. These clubs give black students a chance to come together and find a community within a bigger community that most of the time doesn’t except us. These organizations are our safe spaces, places where we can go and vent out our frustrations, issues, and concerns being students of color. We build our own social networks within each other by asking about classes that people have taken, events going on campus, and even finding people to study with or even hang out with.

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So when I found out that these same universities are creating “White Student Unions” for white students to gain solidarity and feel like the have a community on campus, I felt really baffled and confused. The majority of the white students on these campuses have social capital (what this means is either social or economic benefits that come from preferential treatment and/or cooperation between individuals or a group). They can sit in a class and see someone that looks like them, they can join various organizations and not have an issue with membership because they either know someone or have the financial gain, and by the time they graduate college they might be able to earn a career because they have gained enough social capital that they can walk into a career. Now not all white people have this but the majority do. I feel like this is another way of cultural appropriation to be honest. As black students, we have to work twice as hard and also deal with being in places of higher education.

Do I agree with the concept of “White Student Unions”? Nope I don’t, and I don’t think I ever will.Do I agree that the “White Student Union” is needed? Hell no! I feel that it’s just another attempt for white students to cry out white tears about an issue that they can’t understand nor will they ever understand. They have there own organizations and things to make them feel like they belong as students. And to be honest, the idea of “a few rotten apples can spoil the bunch” totally applies when it comes to the attempt to create “White Student Unions”.

707f6dec487b64c79d5b6ec07a867c6e at least you tried