Black people are speaking out against injustice. Black students are standing out in the cold protesting for their demands to be heard, asserting that if their demands aren’t met, those in power should step down. Social media is filled with Black people educating others about the adversities that fill the Black experience. Statuses emphasize patronizing Black businesses and boycotting Christmas. #Blackgirlsaremagic.
Biracial stars like Zendaya and Amandla are telling White America that they are proud of their Black sides and won’t be ridiculed for their dreadlocks. Natural hair YouTubers are teaching the young and old about what it means to be yourself and be unapologetic.
We are once again telling the world that Black is beautiful, poetic, and unwavering.
We are wearing dashikis and referring to each other as queens, and kings. Words like hotep and preach emerge from the mouths of our youth. We are becoming fearless, telling the judicial system that our blood shall not be spilled by law enforcement. And we are not hesitant to drag a racist on social media for saying that our Black pride is racism. We tell them that we no longer care to explain why hundreds of years of telling us we are nothing deserves to be remedied with us telling ourselves that,
we are everything.
Overall, we are fighting to be respected, included and equal to our White counterparts.
We are acting much like the men and women in the 70s that wore Afros and black leather jackets — who dared to declare that they hated the pigs and would die fighting the system. They faced jail, beatings and their own mortality. Like us, they dared to be arrogant and saturate themselves in Blackness. They fed themselves with the dream that one day our society would change for them. That we would live in a world where we didn’t have to look over our shoulders, fearing the unreasonable consequences of being Black. That 5–0 wouldn’t tail behind us for fictitious reasons. That they wouldn’t have to stand on aching feet anymore.
While many of their dreams have come true, many haven’t.
So we may take pride in tweeting quotes from Huey Newton and wearing braids, twist and Afros — but we must remember why we’re doing it. While African fabric may seem trendy and exotic, we must remember that it is indeed a part of us, because our history didn’t start with shackled chains and fatback for dinner. That our ancestors spoke different languages. That we had ceremonies and feasts, vastly different from the Thanksgiving dinners we have today.
We cannot be written down in another Texas-censored history book, as another great renaissance. We can’t be another Harlem rebirth or a Civil Rights sequel.
Our hair should never slide in and out of style like blazers and bell bottoms. We cannot forget why we must support each other’s businesses and speak out for our slain. Black is immortal, everlasting and as long as we are on Earth, we cannot forget this. I don’t want to tell my kids twenty years from now that wearing the unadulterated strands growing from my scalp was once fashionable.
I don’t want us to fade in and out of consciousness because the newspapers stopped writing about it and Black disparity is no longer profitable and edgy.
Our dreams cannot lie tucked away like clothes in old boxes in the attic, ready to be reworn when they are in season. Black communities should not only come together when bodies are outlined in the street.
We must always remember why it is we need to be a part of one another. We must stay resilient and as unfailing as the sun that comes out for us every morning. We must keep up our words of encouragement, creativity, and flare and not fetishize our consciousness. Being pro-Black, woke or however you like to call it, shouldn’t be something we were doing in 2015. It’s a mentality we should carry with us forever. It should be present in the speeches we pass down to our children and end in the words: