I have lived my entire life feeling like I was less than because of the color of my skin. It's an armor that I carry with me daily. I try not to harp on it but it's a form of reality that will never escape me. When I walk into a conference room full of 50 or 60 people and see 2 or 3 other black people I 'm reminded of my race. When I notice the fact that friends and friends of friends don't make a concerted effort to raise their children around a racially diverse group of children I'm reminded of my race. When I walk into Gucci or Louis Vuitton and get "followed" I'm reminded that of my race. When I log onto people.com and look at their 10-20 startracks photos and the only photos of black people are Beyonce and Rhihanna, I'm reminded of my race. When I go to the movies and watch a period film that has an r&b hip hop soundtrack with no black people actually in the movie, i'm reminded of my race. When I turn on the TV and listen to the tape of a man say they always get away with it or that they're thugs because of the music they chose to listen to in their car i'm reminded of my race. I could go on and on.
I guess my point is, that as much as we Americans like to think that the election of President Obama signaled equality, the truth is we're so far from it I could cry. As a black person, I have to remain aware of things that I can only assume others don't. It's a constant state of awareness. I'm not blaming anyone. The fact that we as a country have made the strides that we have in such a short amount of time speaks to the human soul and spirit. Like people, our country is a work in progress. Progress however, can only move forward by recognizing where changes should, and need to take affect. I'm no angel and i'm constantly in need of education and learning how to accept and appreciate. I just think that if you remain closed minded to the possibilities and unaware of your surroundings you will only aide in moving us as a whole backwards.
I'm incredibly grateful for some of my co workers, who took the time to get to know me and ask me human questions. Not can I touch your hair...yes I've been asked that more times than I care to count. I'm grateful for those who in their own way asked about me and were genuine about it. I'm grateful for those friends that shared black history facts this month because they recognized that black history is american history. I'm grateful for those friends and associates who invited me into their home...the first black person ever to sit on their couch. I'm thankful to all of those who took a step forward and said YES.
Being black while black ain't easy but it sure is interesting. May the black be with you, happy black history month.