Photo: Black Livest Matter Protests in New York/Credit: Instagram – @the24thgallery
Is it possible to feel outraged yet serene? Oppressed yet hopeful? Silenced yet heard? Passionate yet weak? Valiant yet terrified? Despite the paradoxical nature of my words, if anyone were to ask me how I am doing that is exactly how I would reply. Admittedly these past few weeks have launched my mind, body, and soul into a whirlwind of countless emotions and feelings. I feel that I have lived more vivaciously in these past 14 days than I have in my entire 19 years of life on this planet. Especially, while being black in USA.
I suppose that this is what living through a revolution does to one’s mind. Being black in USA means constantly being enraged and tormented by the oppressor. It means constantly fearing for your life and the lives of your black counterparts. Describing this rage and fear in a subtle and non-overzealous manner is going to be a challenge, but I will do my best.
Being black in USA: “A police officer kills a black man in broad daylight and often gets away with it”
When the video of George Floyd being savagely killed by a police officer was released, I think collectively as black people, a switch went off in all of our brains. We were all simultaneously triggered and immediately traumatized. That video was a spit in the face to black people. It was also a message: A white cop, even amongst cameras and in broad daylight, can kill a black man and get away with it.
This is when I understood that our previous attempts at obtaining peace clearly weren’t working and never going to work. That our grievances were being heard, but just that no one cared. In fact, it seemed that we were being laughed at by our own “justice” system. It should be to no one’s surprise that we are reacting so harshly. There comes a point where anger is no longer containable and despite the consequences, it must be unleashed.
Being Black in USA – “Tired of not being heard, tired of being killed”
Black people are tired of not being heard, tired of being killed, we are angry and have every right to be. I guess you could compare our emotions to a dormant volcano finally erupting and engulfing everything and everyone in sight with it’s ill-tempered, unforgiving lava. Ahmaud Arbery had just been killed several days before George Floyd, as if murdering innocent black men was some kind of trend. I think we all knew that if we didn’t react as soon as possible in a turbulent alarming way, we’d be watching another modern-day lynching probably the very next day. So I took to the streets and shouted “NO JUSTICE NO PEACE” till my voice was completely obliterated.
Being black in USA means that my heart hurts from constantly fearing that one day my little brother won’t come home from soccer practice. Why? because in America the idea that all young black boys are violent criminals has been perpetuated by our society for years. Essentially these young men have targets on their backs. I fear that my mom could get pulled over and be shot on sight solely because she is a black woman. Those are our daily worries for being black in USA.
Being black in USA: “We must not accept a few victories and then be subdued into believing that America has changed”
These are legitimate fears that black families face regularly and the world needs to understand that. That is why I protest, for my family and the families of others. I have no idea how long I will have to march but I won’t be able to rest until some palpable changes have been made to the system. I think it is essential that no matter how exhausted we are we must not stop. Being black in USA has to be made safe and we need to continue speaking up.
We must not accept a few victories and then be subdued into believing that America has changed. We must not fear President Donald Trump’s threats. We must not be embarrassed or ashamed by the media’s false implications that we are “thugs”. At this point, we’re not just protesting police brutality. We are protesting the social, economic, and political chokehold that white Americans have put us, black people, in! We demand that police officers be held accountable and we demand legislative change!!! So that being black in America can be a part of the American dream.
Related article: Unsung Heroes Series: We Refuse To Forget 15-Year-Old Black Revolutionary Claudette Colvin, Whose Refusal To Stand Up Inspired Rosa Parks Protest – Claudette is one of the original heroes of the black lives matter movement.
Being black in USA: “Included are LGBTQ black which also means Trans black”
I think the most beautiful thing about this revolution is the domino effect it has caused. Black people are using this revolution as a chance to bring attention to topics beyond police brutality. Difficult uncomfortable conversations are being had even towards members of the black community. For example, we are no longer letting the hate the LGBTQ community gets within the black community slide.
Being queer, transgender, or gender fluid does NOT take away from the fact that you are black and that your life matters! It may be hard for the older generation to comprehend that we no longer live in a heteronormative society, but that doesn’t mean hate and ignorance will be tolerated. Being black has many facets.
Another beautiful flower I see blossoming is the rise in support for black-owned businesses! Supporting black-owned businesses is essential because it creates independence and generational wealth for people within the black community. This closes the racial wealth gap and allows more job opportunities for African Americans! It also makes me happy to see people speak against their employers and the unjust treatment they receive at work!
People from all kinds of job backgrounds are speaking out. Actors, models, managers, nurses, teachers, writers, accountants, etc are tired of being underpaid and overlooked in their work environment! They deserve the same opportunities and treatment as their white counterparts. Being black has to be included in all industries.
Related article: Will the Diversity in Victory of Last Year’s Oscars 2019 – 91st Academy Award Winners Ever Be Repeated? Will the Oscars speak up for justice and actively take part in the Black Lives Matter movement by recognized talented black cast and crew?
Being black in USA: “Understanding the importance of voting and actually VOTING”
Voting has always been important but unfortunately, it isn’t very advertised in black neighborhoods. I am witnessing conversations about the importance of voting. Thankfully, I think young adults are finally realizing the consequences of not voting. Voting isn’t only important during the presidential elections! We must vote for our local mayors, judges, and governors because they have a heavier impact on our day to day lives. Being black and casting your vote for black issues will make it count.
The most critical aspect of Black Lives Matter that has been amplified is the importance of educating yourself! Education really is key and the oppressor is much smarter than you may think. We must educate ourselves so we can become leaders in our community who have the power to make a difference.
Related article: Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us is about racially targeted attacks on innocent African-American Boys Due To The Law Being Infested With Systemic Prejudice and shows why the Black Lives Matter movement is needed.
We have to know how our oppressor thinks, and all the ways in which they try to corrupt us. Never be foolish enough to believe that the only way in which they hurt us is by killing us in the streets. Systemic racism is the real threat, it is intricate and more subtle and can disguise itself without us realizing it. Being black means KNOWING systemic racism is the real threat.
The wealth gap, employment, housing discrimination, government surveillance, incarceration, drug arrests, and immigration arrests are all infiltrated by systemic racism. No worries because we cannot be duped if we stay educated and alert.
I feel prideful to be a part of a generation that is tenacious and conscious. My generation, despite always being labeled brainless selfish millennials, is brave enough to fight for what we know is unjust. We are resilient and compassionate. I am proud of everyone who is helping in any way that they can. It melts my heart to see the marches that are being held all around the world too!
Black Lives Matter is globally recognized. Being black has respect all over the world. The power that holds is astounding. We are going to incite remarkable change. I can feel it. It is heartbreaking that he isn’t here to see for himself, but George Floyd sparked a revolution that will be remembered forever! And we will forever remember him. May he Rest In Peace.
Written by Sera Kuny
Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally are a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard. Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”
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