I often feel reduced by current events. The death of a young person, the recent bombing of a neighborhood I spent much time in and the presidential campaign, for example. A year ago, I probably would have tried to convince you that you should care as much as I did. This past year, not so much. I created a habit of suppressing my emotions and reducing them to maybe a picture quote of Martin Luther King Jr. posted on Instagram, of course, or reposting an article that resonated with how I felt, receiving a total of 2 likes (thanks guys! You feel me! I feel you!) It has been a lonely year in that sense.
See, my senior year in college I felt everything. Every tragedy, death, historical mishap. EVERYTHING. I took classes called Politics of Whiteness, Social Change and Health Disparities. I cried often and took it all very personal. I would stumble over the facts and details trying desperately to educate and would vomit my thoughts on anyone who would listen without the ability to articulate my outrage or concern in a coherent manner. They were not well received. So I stopped. I stopped having an opinion, stopped trying to wake people up with the magnitude of knowledge I had acquired.
By stopping I would avoid embarrassment, disagreement and the trouble bubbles that accompany those two emotions. I would also avoid connecting with people who cared about the same issues that I do and working out a solution.
By taking a year off I gave myself the opportunity to let all that I’ve learn settle and marinate.I’m not sure what the solution is to institutaionalized racism or environmental segregation but now you know that this is what I think about in my spare time. I think about my little cousins and how desperately I want them to never be stopped and frisked because of how wonderfully brown they are. I think about how I grew up in a neighborhood in which only 13% of adults have a college degree and somehow I am one of them. I’m trying to connect the dots as to what worked for me and how we can make that available to others.
These issues that make me feel so greatly are part of what makes me who I am. They are what I care about. I CARE about justice, health equity and progress. I care and sometimes I don’t know what to do with all these feels. So I’d like to start by sharing them with you (so that we can start a revolution right?!).
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Bumping to: Don’t Touch My Hair by Solange