Being Black

If I had a nickel for every time someone had a discussion with me about some Black trend or aspect of Black culture, I’d be a wealthy woman. I can’t tell you how many times White and Hispanic people, even Middle Easterners, have asked me something about being Black, i.e., hair, skin, eye color, big booty, mood, attitude, love, etc. I live with being Black every single day. There were actually times that I wished I was white. I thought if I were, my life would have been easier. If I had straight, silky hair, my life would have been easier. The life lesson I’ve learned up to this point is that life is what I make it. My destiny and the outcomes are up to me. Race has nothing to do with it.

In any event, I believe that we are the most misunderstood and feared race of people who walk the earth. I can not express who I am without being labeled “militant” or the “angry Black woman” because I tend to be extremely verbose, especially in the workplace. I can not be my happy ass self because the expectation is that I can not be happier than your white-self if your home life is falling apart. I do not understand how that is my responsibility. I simply want to come to work, build relationships with students and enjoy my job! I am not here to be your friend. We don’t even have to like each other, but one thing is for certain and that is that I will respect you as long as you respect me. I am a professional above all else and I do not need you lurking around a corner to hear what I’m saying to another co-worker because you feel excluded. I do not need you butting into a conversation because you can not stand not knowing what I’m talking about. My reality is that I am not going to share all of my business with you. You may not even be invited into my circle of close friends. So, do not take it personal when I tell you to mind your own damn business and leave me the hell alone! Sometimes I just want to be the heathen and not give a damn about people. I’m not built that way, but I am only going to take so much of the crap. Keep on doing the crap you do, because I don’t give a shit and if the truth be told, you are the VERY reason I write so that I do not have to retire from a career that I love!

You don’t know anything about my “blackness.” So please stop pretending to care or give a damn about it. I don’t give a damn about your whiteness. I already know your ass is “Coo-Coo for Coco-Puffs!” Your craziness is not going to become my craziness.

I have a few non-Black acquaintances  who have said, “I wish my hair would do that.” I even had one white friend stupidly say, “I wish I could walk in your shoes for a day.” Of course you can imagine the stupid look I gave (Mess like this is why I can’t excel in this area). Anyhoo, let me tell you something! If you had to have my hair or walk in my shoes, you wouldn’t make it until 10:00AM. You’d hate it! You wouldn’t know how to deal with the brillo-ness or dryness of my hair. You couldn’t stand the texture or smell of the hair grease that I sometimes have to apply to hair and scalp. God forbid if you were Black for a few hours. You’d be trying to pull that flesh right from your bones, because you’d always be identified by “that Black woman with the light skin…dark skin…big ass..big nose…big lips…” My plight is my plight. Don’t think for one moment that by walking in my shoes you can ever begin to know my daily plight. You can fake it all you want to, but you will not make it.

Author: Redbone & Rice

Member in the ranks of the library profession since 1994: Academic, Special, School and Public; Lover of books; and Awesome!

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