after ferguson erupted onto the national stage, i was appalled, although not the least bit surprised, by the rhetoric that quickly switched from shock to rage to blame to utter disrespect for black life. it hurt. it still hurts. honestly, it always hurts. i know all to well how a continued narrative on inhumanity shapes my black experience in this world. everyone seems to fear people who look like me.
when you grow up in an environment were everything about your existence brings out the worst in others, you stay exhausted. when fanny lou hammer said she was sick and tired of being sick and tired, you have to understand that being black means you never stop being reminded of your blackness. it follows you everywhere, haunting you as you shop, hang out with friends, play with your kids, travel to and from work, and every other normal thing that happens daily. you are bound to encounter someone who is threatened or scared of you just because you’re black. most people won’t admit to these thoughts, but trust me, your microaggressions don’t go unnoticed. i’m just too tired to address them. i’m too tired to care. i’m too tired to fight what continuously feels like a losing battle.
in the wake of ferguson and the civil unrest that followed, i was given an opportunity to break free of my exhaustion and use my words to shape the narrative of my experience. it was a small thing and only a small number of people were there to hear and witness, but that 7 minutes of time was more than enough for me to release the anguish and pain and rage that was building in my spirit. i’m happy now to share that talk with you guys. feel free to comment and leave your thoughts about what you hear, see, and feel as a result of me using my words to explore the narrative of inhumanity that shapes the black american experience. my actual talk happens around the 33 minute mark!