When I see black people, or “colored” people in general, I see STRENGTH! I see strength automatically because I already know they’ve gone through some major things and still are. We probably always will. I don’t think that everyone realizes that that’s a part of our lives in general as “colored” people. Because of how our country was formed and the way in which it was built, we are born into the struggle of fighting the pressures of society in every aspect of our lives. This is regardless of our financial status or general successes; even the minority families who have been well-off for generations are born into this struggle of never being seen as a canvas of equal value. BEFORE each person paints the picture of their life, the canvas, the human, is the same and should be respected as such when considered in society.
Just yesterday, I had to have a one on one with my oldest daughter and reiterate some things that I feel like I should’ve never had to introduce to her in the first place. Coming from a background rooted in love and faith and purpose, you never want to introduce hate and ignorance and social division to your children in such a way that causes them to feel targeted. But I have to.
A little black boy in her class was told by a white boy that he belongs in the dumpster because he’s black.
I wont discuss the actions that were taken afterwards because that’s a whole nother problem with the same sad and shameful root. The point is that as parents of children who are a “minority”, we have to introduce these things to them at young ages so that they aren’t caught off guard and/or manipulated or subliminally insulted.
My children go to a predominately white school in a seemingly diverse neighborhood, however, they have dealt with racism, both from their peers and some of their educators. I’m hurt by this but I am not surprised. I teach my children the facts of history and the details about their different individual cultures (since they are mixed) so that they can have a better understanding of where they come from. This increases their love and pride for themselves and I feel like it broadens their dreams as they take steps daily to prepare for a life they will hopefully love, and be proud of.
Being mixed, my family has a lot to be proud of as a culture. Our ancestors have made so many honorable accomplishments and have withstood many weapons formed against them. To be here still, as a bloodline and as a people, we are proud. It gives us added power and drive to be great and use the 24hrs of each day in such a way that assumes a position for more greatness and victory! I love this part of the scenario when I’m teaching my girls.
It hurts to explain the things our people have had to endure…
…but it is with dignity that I explain our breakthroughs and abilities to smile and shine and excell and create and lead and invent and rise in the process!!!
We are so strong!
As women though, we have a whole separate set of oppression that we are faced with daily; therefore, as mixed, colored, WOMEN…. my babies will one day walk and radiate strength. They do it now already.
It is imperative though, that we teach our children to understand and be prepared for racism and oppression. It IS a reality and it is a fact of our and their lives. Teach them with love though; teach them about strength and resistance. I raise my babies never to allow personal disrespect, whether it is physical or mental, without standing up for themselves and how they feel as a human. It may take time for children to adapt and understand this concept and how to cope with it. But the more we teach and lead the more it will shine through them… because it IS in our roots.
All humans should act and receive in love.
My girls know already that although they shouldnt have to, they must work double time to get what some are getting with half the effort, simply due to the color of their skin. Because of the oppression we deal with daily as “colored” people, we are stronger. I tell my girls to use this obstacle to build a diamond of themselves.
Withstand, but resist!
By the time our children are sent off into adulthood, I want them to be wise beyond their years. I want them to be aware and awake. I want them to be knowledgeable and experienced. I want them to be inspired and empowered. I need them to be focused and driven. They stand for something. They represent so much and should feel that power with every step they take and word they speak.
But it is our job as the parents… to introduce this window of opportunity within a lack of opportunity, to them. Teach them to take this “societal disadvantage” and turn it into both an individual & cultural ADVANTAGE!
It is in our DNA to resist and rise above!
Take the time not only to learn and teach Black History, but also to LIVE it! Continue our legacy of greatness. This is what we are made of, and I love doing my part to make sure we keep our flames lit as a people!
(First 3 images retrieved from the Library of Congress, last 3 images retrieved from realtimesmedia.com)