The Not So Subtle Art of Surviving While Being Black in America


We lose count. We lose count of the black people that are senselessly murdered each year. We try to remember each person’s name before another is added to the list. We march, we cry, we sign petitions. We whisper about  how maybe if they had been a little quieter, a little less combative…a little…less…black…maybe…just maybe they would have been alive. We sell our own selves lies on how being a good negro will keep us alive and, attempt to convince ourselves that if we live within the lines, if we don’t step out of place, if we never wear hoodies, or talk back to police, if we’re simply a little less us and a little more them, maybe just maybe us, our sons, daughter’s, husband’s, wives, mothers and father’s, maybe our lives will be spared, and each and every time we are taught, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that we never committed a crime in our lives. It doesn’t matter if we go to church every Sunday or graduated top of our class. It doesn’t matter what we do or how we choose to live when it comes to the racism that we face in our very own country, states and hometowns. All that matter is that we are black, and to them that is all that mattered when they made the choice that our lives were not as precious as their own.

The moment a black person is murdered by a police officer or racist, the victim becomes the criminial. The media works overtime in finding anything negative they can about the victim as an attempt to in some way justify their murder. The debate then becomes, well how innocent were they really? How much did they truly deserve to live? What were they actually contributing to society. Time and time again we see this displayed. Well, he was selling bootleg property. She was talking back. He ran. She had spoken negatively about police….he was…walking at night. She was…playing video games with her nephew. He was….sleeping on the couch. She was driving her car…he was in his own backyard. We go back to marching, and signing petitions, and protesting and crying. We wait for arrests and verdicts, we’re disappointed. We become numb to the idea of a black person ever receiving justice. We become numb to images of black people being murdered. We become numb to children being manhandled by police. We become numb to five year olds being arrested. We become numb.

Yet somehow, we find a way to survive. Find a way to live, to laugh, to love. We celebrate ourselves. We create trends that inspire generations and span across cultures and countries. We start businesses from nothing, that rival those who were handed everything. We find a way to find humor in our darkest hours. We create music that tops charts. We create dances and language that has the whole world imitating us. We influence style. We influence hair. We influence…everything. We find love, and we make it. We create beautiful children that will someday be even better than we are. We go on despite the tragedies that we face, we’ve always had this innate ability, this unmatched drive to go on. We keep working and fighting. We let the tears fall and wipe them away just as fast because we don’t need anything blurring our vision on our journey to greatness. We keep going and what’s most important, we survive.


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