Black Life Stories

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Listen to my episode on this subject here:

When I arrived in America, I didn't know my great grandfather was Black

A decade or so ago, my kids didn't know we are Black

Both of these things have changed. I obviously adapted to how Americans see skin color. Not only does the government and other institutions make you estate your racial ethnicity repeatedly, but American people constantly remind you that people of color are inferior. 

In the past year, here are a few of the experiences I personally had:

• A young Hispanic millennial couldn't believe that a Black person such as myself could speak 3 languages. 

• A young Caucasian millennial turned to the Caucasian lady next to me and asked her what needs to be done about the plight of Black people in our local community. The conversation continued as more people joined us. She went on to ask another Caucasian gentleman what his opinion was. She wouldn't look at me. She clearly didn't want to hear my voice as a Black person. Or as a person.

• A middle-aged Caucasian woman treated me with contempt because she was embarrassed to be a White woman who was going to possibly clean the home of a Black woman. Needless to say, I didn't hire her. 

Unfortunately, there are more stories I could share. I also have to tell you that I've been the recipient of racist behavior from the small town where I live to the largest cities in the U.S.. Racism is a plague. It is everywhere. 

This month, and for the rest of the year, I am not trying to change people who practice racism. I am not trying to educate or convince them that their actions are wrong. This change can only happen from the inside out. 

This month, and for the rest of my days, I am going to follow the example set by my parents. I was taught that who I am is a gift from God. He gave me this beautiful skin color. He gave me this personality. 

I was taught to hold my head up high and be everything God has called me to be. Regardless of how I am treated, I am demonstrating to my children how a woman thrives in a racist world. 

We walk with our shoulders back, head held high, confidence incredibly intact. 

We are not out to please people: we only want to please the God who gave us the gift of who we are. 

Have you thought about being part of the solution? I suggest listening to stories such as mine. We can all learn and grow.

I suggest trusting that we are not lying or exaggerating. I suggest assuming that life is harder for some of us but at the same time, we carry the resilience our ancestors first possessed. 

We are people of great power, wisdom, and worth. We are part of the solution. We are precious and we are tired of being discriminated against.