The world is on fire, or at least it was. I am not sure anymore, I have not been keeping up with current affairs. When I last read the news, the world was taking to the streets in support of #BlackLivesMatter ✊🏾
Across the globe, many stood in solidarity against the brutal killing of black people by the police. Who would’ve thought antiracism would be a conversation we needed to have – in 2020!
I find the narrative that black people are the most dangerous animals on earth questionable, because history tells a different story. It was not black men who travelled the length and breadth of this world, killing entire populations of people to colonise their land and claim their resources 😒
Many people took to social media to show support and spread awareness. Remember #BlackOutTuesday? The black squares led to more posts about racism and antiracism. It was heartwarming to see people take initiative and educate themselves on how they can support black people beyond social media ❤️
Education is important because racism is systematic, it goes beyond hating black people because you think white people are superior. Racism is how the world works, beyond police brutality. It is seeing an old white lady clutch her purse when you walk by because the colour of your skin makes you a threat. It is being followed in a store because you look like you are there to steal something. It is being denied proper health care because you are being a typical “angry black woman” when you’re telling medical staff what you know is wrong with your body. Racism is being denied proper schooling because of where you are born and raised – which just so happens to be a direct result of the oppression your parents have had to endure. The list is endless 🤯
This system is deliberate and effective, which is why after decades of political freedom black people continue to suffer. Things can change however, and it is people like you and I who can change things. Some of us have to be willing to learn, while some of us have to be willing to teach. That said, please understand that it is not the responsibility of black people to teach white people how to be antiracist. It is tiring to constantly have to call out racism when you experience it daily. As a black person, I do not have the privilege of switching off the screen, or closing the book when the content gets heavy 😣
As a young black person, I just want to live. I want to have dreams and pursue them fairly without the boot of injustice stomping me down. I was thinking about Sarafina on Youth Day. Not just the film and its importance in depicting South African history, but Sarafina’s character specifically. How she was a vibrant black girl with big dreams, like me. I was thinking about the way the system crushed her until she lost her innocence. It is disheartening because her story is every black child’s story. We are no longer captured to be tortured by grown white men until we break, but we continue to fight the system 💣
Remember #FeesMustFall? On our road to success, there are hurdles upon hurdles we must overcome. Your success is never yours alone. It is pointless if you do not pave a smoother path for the black youth who come after you. When you are a young black woman, you cannot simply exist to be soft, delicate and frivolous. You have to be conscious and strong. You have to make something of yourself while fighting racism and sexism. You are politics on legs, society demands it 💥
This Youth Day, I did not watch Sarafina and talk about racism and antiracism on social media. I watched a Marvel marathon instead, not even DC! As a black woman, I have decided to give myself space to be soft and innocent. I am delicate and frivolous. I am also angry and unashamed, how could I not be angry?!
I do not keep up with current affairs when I choose. I am not woke, I am a nerd, and that is different. I am a walking contradiction of ideals, and I give myself the right to be everything the world tells me I can never be. I have to.
Yours in Inspiration,