I shared the below in Instagram but I wanted to share here as well, and expand.
My heart has been heavy as of late, and I've been processing the recent devastating losses of people who look like me. If we're being honest, I've been processing being black in America since the first time I was called a nigger in the 4th grade by a friend's parent, to my face. I've been processing being black since being told, "I don't see color" by a white in-law as an effort to silence and deflect. As if seeing color and acknowledging blackness is a shameful or wrong. For my non-black folks in this community, please see my color. Being black isn't bad. It's not a slur. It's not offensive to be in my black body and have people notice and/or see me.
I've been processing being black since the group of white mothers walked passed my kids and me and said, "I didn't know they could afford those types of strollers" with a chuckle, and since being followed around stores asking "can I help you" when really I was being watched closely. I have been processing being black since my husband was profiled, followed home, and pulled over just for being a black man driving. "Sir, do you live here?" I've been processing my blackness for as long as I can remember. It is tiring to always be in process. It is tiring to constantly be on edge. It is exhausting to constantly be fearful because you're in the body that you're in.
Every time my husband leaves the house, I pray for his safe return. At the moment, I don't know what else to say other than I'm tired. I am heartbroken for the families losing their loved ones to senseless acts of violence, hatred, and brutality. It is time to act and rally together, and support one another. Not just saying we do. BUT ACTUALLY, doing the work we are called to do. I can't name that for you. However, I know what my work is. I encourage you to dig deep and figure out what yours is.
There aren't enough words to express how painful this is, each and every time it occurs. I am a black woman, raising black children, married to a black man in America. It is very real out here for us. As long as that is the truth, we will be in process, and we will do our best. And we will be proud to be in our bodies.
We cannot be shamed. We will not be silence. We will continue to show up.
I have so much more I want to say, but written words really aren't enough.
Today, I am choosing the restoration of my body and soul, finding new ways to lean into community and advocacy, + activism off of social media. I am deep in prayer and moving meditation. Send me your name if you want to be added to my prayer and meditation list. My husband could've been George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery. I could've been Breonna Taylor. My heart is aching. And yes, I am angry. As much as I try not to be ruled by fear, I am frightened for my children. Even with that being true, I will not be swayed. I will not cower.
There is so much work to be done. I love you. I feel you. I am standing with you.
Folks that have been providing support for my processing during this time are listed below. I highly suggest you tune in when you have space.
1.@JamilaReddy's latest IGTv chat
4. @rachel.cargle's resources
5. @nedratawwab's lists
If you have the resources, please donate to The Loveland Foundation.
Below you can find this month's writing practices. Please use and share them.
PS. Action requires rest. Make sure you're giving yourself the space and permission to do BOTH. You cannot fill the cup of your neighbor if you're depleted. Black folks, you deserve restorative self-care.