What a time to be alive!
It's been a rough, but I believe, productive two weeks for humankind. Black people have been treated so poorly all over the world for so long! Black people are tired, and the video showing the inhumane death of George Floyd was the last straw!
Like a lot of my friends who moved from the motherland to America, I didn't realize how black I was until I moved here three years ago. I wasn't aware my blackness was even a 'problem' until America. After making a number of friends I could freely speak to about such issues, I realized there are levels to this. I realized even though I am a black woman in America, I am privileged in many ways being born and raised on African soil. Yes, I am African, privileged to have been born and raised on the original soil of black people. Privileged to learn about the history of Africa before slavery, as well as walk the same earth our ancestors did, very freely. Privileged to see Kings and Queens clad in rich textiles and gold jewelry during festivals. Privileged to see people like me play heroes on TV. Privileged to have the people in high places have the color of my skin which made it possible for me to aspire for such greatness. Privileged to know my hometown; to be an African, born and raised in Ghana. I have options.
So I have felt like I could never fully comprehend what my African American friends have felt growing up in a racist country their whole lives. They have been viewed first as the villains in any situation, treated unfairly, cheated in resources, watched their friends and family get hunted and killed with no justice being served and having to go on each day as if nothing happened - the world won't stop just because a black person was mistreated or killed.
Well the earth is shaking now.
During this time, like many, I have been overwhelmed with emotions. I have wrestled with how to fully express myself as an African living in America at a time like this and most importantly what I could do to help - if I could help at all. I wanted to join the many marches but I also kept wondering what I would do if I got arrested during a protest. I wanted to write but my heart was (and still is) very heavy.
Fear of saying the wrong thing, being in the right place at the wrong time, etc, kept me from addressing everything going on but realizing how much I was stifling my emotions was the eye opener. Not fully understanding because I wasn't raised here doesn't cancel the feeling of rage and disappointment. It doesn't mean I can't be tired of racism and constant fear of being black in America. So I allowed myself to feel all of it: the sadness, the anger, the disappointment, the fear, the hope, and the faith.
This bible verse which keeps ringing in my head:
"But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved" - Hebrew 10:39
I have allowed myself to feel the fear; feel the fear and do it anyway.
I have and will continue to join protestors in the fight for equality, I am laying it all down in my writing, I am donating, I am constantly checking on my black friends especially those born and raised here because if I'm feeling all this, I know THEY ARE NOT OKAY.
Most importantly I am praying.
Everyone is experiencing and combatting this fight differently and I am grateful many aren't shrinking back and the fact that more and more people are embarking on this journey to freedom gives me so much hope!